Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So You Want to Know How I Got To Be Me?

He was an old-time cowboy, don't you understand, his eyes were sharp as razor blades,
His face was leather tan, His toes were pointed inward from a-hangin' on a horse,
He was an old philosopher, of course.
He was so thin I swear you could have used him for a whip,
He had to drink a beer to keep his britches on his hips,
I knew I had to ask him about the mysteries of life,
He spit between his boots and he replied,

"It's faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money!"

He smiled and all his teeth were covered with tobacco stains,
He said, "it don't do men no good to pray for peace and rain.
Peace and rain is just a way to say prosperity,
And buffalo chips is all it means to me."

I told him I was a poet,
I was lookin' for the truth,
I do not care for horses, whiskey, women or the loot.
I said I was a writer, and my soul was all on fire.
He looked at me an' said, "You are a liar!"

"It's faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money!"

Well, I was disillusioned, if I say the least,
I grabbed him by the collar and I jerked him to his feet,
There was something cold and shiny layin' by my head,
So I started to believe the things he said!

Well, my poet days are over and I'm back to being me,
As I enjoy the peace and comfort of reality,
If my boy ever asks me what it is that I have learned,
I think that I will readily affirm,

"It's faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money" (repeat 2x)

Tom T. Hall, Faster Horses, Younger Women, Older Whiskey, and More Money.

A lot of the blogs that I have been reading, here as of late, have been about music. Likes, dislikes, jabs, and kudos. It is National Blogger Month and a lot of people have been discussing music, as this is a universal topic. Even people who aren’t into music will go to the trouble to spend a few minutes to tell you why.

When the topic of music comes up, I think of some of my favorite groups/artists. Rock-n-Roll, or Metal, or Blues, mostly. I never mention my favorite, because most people have never heard of him. I can bring up the tune “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and get a few nods, but almost no one can name a tune that he has done himself.

This is truly a shame, as he has written some really great songs, even if you don’t like country music. I have to say that one of the greatest gifts that my Dad ever gave me was to introduce me to the music of Tom T. Hall. This man has had as much influence on me as Jesus Christ, Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, and my Dad.

The above song is only just one of many that have steered me in life’s “little moments”. He taught me to be a good citizen, a good person, and a good father. Because of Mr. Hall, I decided to be a writer, as I have no talent for music. His words and phrases populate my speech. He guides me as I compose any given sentence, story, or joke. There is a reason that he earned the name “The Story Teller”. All of his songs capture a moment in time, and yet have a timeless quality.

I cannot sing his praises enough, but can sing most of his tunes by heart. I got the chance to see him once at the Jackson County Fair once, and it is a memory that I will treasure, always. I still recall that halfway through the show, my mother nudged me and suggested that maybe, just maybe, that the couple of thousand people who were sitting with us would like to hear him sing his songs, instead of me singing along.

So please, Dear and Gentle Reader, look up ol’ T. Try “Salute to a Switchblade” or “100 Children”. You will be richly rewarded. I know I sure have.



  1. I'll see if I can find a video to post here for you.

    I love Tom T. too, thanks to you. He is a sage.

  2. at first I thought the song was "100 Chickens"...

    It's funny you should penn this: a teacher friend of mine had a whole CD of T.T. music and he often drove me to work. I was introduced to the southern classics thru him, and I'd forgotten 'bout him for the last number of months.


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