I notice, both in this song and the Uncle George song, that I chose miscreants as heroes. Especially in this one, because if you met Willie (if he's even still alive), you'd consider him a total loser. I will never forget how, when I took my guitar and sang this to him, he cried. Like a baby. It was very touching.
I think the envy I expressed in this song came about because I had two teenage kids, and our family was going through a hard time financially. It was a stressful time in my life, and Willie had no obligations at all. From the outside looking in, his seemed like a stress-free life. The verses are sung to a tune very similar to the tune of "Okie from Muskogee". The chorus, however, goes to a different beat and tune.
copyrighted Donna Wood
I first met him working in the orchard; it was time for grading apples in the fall.
Willie didn't do a lot of talking, so at first I hardly noticed him at all.
But as we worked, I came to know him better; and I learned to admire him, in the end.
Now one of life's quite unexpected pleasures is having good ole' Willie as a friend.
Oh Willie, take it easy till it's over.
Don't let life destroy your sanity.
Rolling with the flow,
Smiling as you go,
Won't you tell me how it feels to be so free?
Drinking Bud, and fishing for the big one;
Taking in most any kind of stray.
I know, in the end,
You're the one who wins,
So keep right on and show us all the way.
Willie tries to keep away from police 'cause he don't like to tangle with the law.
In his house he keeps a loaded shotgun (just a little trick that he learned from his pa).
No, he doesn't make a lot of money. But if he did, he'd give it all away.
As long as he can do a little fishing (and drinking), Willie makes it fine from day to day.
Willie isn't paying on a mortgage, and you won't see him drive a fancy car.
Sometimes you might see his rusty pickup sitting just outside the local bar.
He don't give a damn for your opinion: Just take him as he is, or let him be.
Willie doesn't claim to have the answers (or questions), but Willie's lifestyle sure looks good to me.