"Ramblin' Man" is a song written in 1951 by Hank Williams. It was released as the B-side to the 1953 #1 hit "Take These Chains from My Heart", as well as to the 1976 re-release of "Why Don't You Love Me". It is also included on the 40 Greatest Hits, a staple of his CD re-released material.
The song is notable for the simplicity of its structure, relying upon a 2-chord, minor-key, rhythm guitar figure and alternating minimal accompaniment from fiddle and steel guitar. It also features Williams' trademark "yodel". The song's three verses, all ending in the title line, are sung straight through with no pause for instrumental solos. The song tells the story of a man trapped in his drifting ways, doomed to break his lover's heart. Tales of wanderers were a common theme for Williams, and consequently, Country music as a whole.
Cover versions[edit source | edit]Edit
- Williams's grandson, Hank Williams III, performed the song with The Melvins on the 1999 album The Crybaby.
- Steve Young covered the song on his 1975 album Honky Tonk Man.
- The Residents covered the song on their album Stars & Hank Forever, a double tribute to Willams and John Philip Sousa.
- Albert Kuvezin and Yat-Kha covered the song on their 2005 album Re-Covers.
- The song was released as a single in 2005 by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, and was also included on their 2006 album Ballad of the Broken Seas.
- The song was also covered by Cat Power on the 2008 album Jukebox
- Strawfoot covers this song on their 2009 release "How We Prospered
- Mark Eitzel covers this song on his 2010 release Brannan Street
- Waylon Jennings covered the song