When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

22 February 2006

Follow the bouncing Willie

I've been a Willie Nelson fan forever, as both songwriter and singer. Even though Willie writes amazing stuff (Good God, y'all, the man wrote "Crazy" for Patsy Cline, and that alone would put him in the Hall of Fame forever) some of his strongest performances are when he works with material written by others. I think he does the definitive version of Paul Simon's "An American Tune," for instance.

You've probably read about Willie's latest release (available on iTunes) - "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond Of Each Other)". Written over twenty years ago by Texas songwriter Ned Sublette, it's a straight-ahead (pardon the expression) affirmation of gay love on the range.

As the chorus says:
Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other
What did you think that them saddles and boots was about?

A little background on the song, and why it's being released just now, when the whole world is apparently gettin' Brokeback:

Two years ago, David Anderson, Mr. Nelson's friend and tour manager of three decades, told his boss he's gay. Last March, while Mr. Nelson recorded a batch of previously unreleased songs for iTunes, he discovered the song in a stack of demos he had tossed into a drawer.

Singing "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other" was Mr. Nelson's way of telling a longtime pal everything was OK, says Mr. Anderson.

"This song obviously has special meaning to me in more ways than one," says Mr. Anderson, who lives in Dallas. "I want people to know more than anything – gay, straight, whatever – just how cool Willie is and ... his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him."

Dallas Morning News: Willie Opens Closet for "Cowboys" (Feb 14, 2006)
If you visit secretcowboys.com, you can hear the song in its entirety--and they promise a video soon.

You boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there...

(Hat tip: retired blogger, New York City expat and good pal Scott.)

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