Music

Country Rewind: Hank Williams Jr. Shows His Softer Side With 'Cherokee'

Country singer Hank Williams, pictured at the 1989 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Oct. 9, 1989. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

On his great 1977 album One Night Stands, Hank Williams Jr. let it slip that his Bocephus persona had a sensitive side with the gorgeous "Cherokee."

TVA fisheries biologist Donny R. Lowery, co-writer of Alabama's "Old Flame," wrote the lyrics for one of the best deep cuts in Hank Jr.'s catalog. While a couple of songs preceding it on the album, "Angels Get Lonesome Sometimes" and a cover of Eric Carmen's "All By Myself," softened Williams' gruff image, this deep cut fully bares the heart of a well-rounded artist mislabeled as nothing more than the party rocker behind "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight," "Born to Boogie" and "Family Tradition."

Read More: The 10 Best Hank Williams Jr. Songs

So, the next time someone talks about Williams as if he's a one-dimensional self-parody or questions whether he's one of the Country Music Hall of Fame's biggest snubs, play "Cherokee" and let a great song speak for itself.

"Cherokee" Lyrics:

Wake up sweet Cherokee I'm coming home
I see the haze of the fog in the canyons where we used to roam
But your people didn't like my white man's ways
But I love you Cherokee don't care what they say

Time is catching up with me cause I've been on the road
I traveled way up north and then down through Mexico
If I had a nickel for the times I've slept in the cold
I'd be a rich man for a while then I'd lose it all
I'd be a rich man for a while then I'd lose it all

Wake up sweet Cherokee I'm coming home
I see the haze of the fog in the valleys where we used to roam
The nightmares and scars of the memories have gone away
And I think I'm coming home to stay

On the way back home through Oklahoma I had a thought
Wondered if you'd look at me or even talk at all
Cause I told you I had to leave and move along
It was so wrong for me to go all on my own

Wake up sweet Cherokee I'm coming home...

I love you Cherokee don't care what they say

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Country Rewind: Hank Williams Jr. Shows His Softer Side With 'Cherokee'