Today’s song is, ‘On the Road Again’. This song was written and made famous by country music singer, Willie Nelson. The song is about life on tour. ‘On the Road Again’ became Nelson's 9th Country & Western Number 1 hit overall (6th as a solo recording act) in November1980. It also became one of Nelson's most recognizable tunes. In addition, the song reached Number 20 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart and Number 7 on the ‘Adult Contemporary Chart’. It was his biggest pop hit to that time and won him a ‘Grammy Award for Best Country Song’ a year later.
In 1980 Willie Nelson starred in his first leading role in the film ‘Honeysuckle Rose’, about an ageing musician who fails to achieve national fame and his relationship with his family, who also are part of his band that travels throughout the United States while playing in different venues. Shortly after signing the contract, Nelson was approached during a flight by the executive producer of the movie, who requested him to write a song about life on the road to use as the theme song. Nelson quickly wrote the song. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it Number 471 on its list of the ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ In 2011, ‘On the Road Again’ was inducted to the ‘Grammy Hall of Fame’.
I must admit that from my late teens onwards, I have always ‘been on the road again’, whether it has been in search of a new place to see, a new job to take on, a new purpose to pursue or a new woman to love. Although I started to settle down in my early thirties into family life and children of my own, it took me another decade to get rid of that urge inside me to move on again.
Today, my 36-year-old son, William (known as Will), appears to have adopted my former urge to travel and to constantly be trying new places to go to, new things to do and new occupations and projects to work at. For many years, William has lived in Australia and is now a naturalised citizen there. William has always essentially done his own thing (a chip off the old block one might say). Having got a degree in Business Studies at Huddersfield University before going to Australia with his then-girlfriend whom he later married and divorced, he then acquired his masters and started work as an accountant.
William, however, has always had wanderlust and after obtaining his job as an accountant, he quickly decided that this 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, suited and booted career was not the job for him. Since then, he has travelled around Australia, obtaining all manner of work to basically sustain himself, whilst putting several projects he wants to pursue long-term into operation. One month, he will be working as a DJ, and the next he’ll be cutting records as a singer or be engaged as a gardener or a pond clearer. Many of his projects benefit the community and he has taught Yoga for many years now. He will frequently use the occupation of ‘house sitting’ to take him all around Australia and all over Europe for very little outlay of money. In short, he could accurately be perceived as being a 36-year-old man who is living the life of a highly educated, well-travelled nomad of positive spirit, purposeful goal and confident mannerisms, with a strong inner desire to change the world for the better.
As for the future, I very much guess that William will be happy wherever life takes him, and destiny leads him towards whatever he is meant to be doing.
I would say that his greatest characteristic is to honestly express his feelings, give his love spontaneously and to embrace the different cultures and people he encounters on his travels. What I really like about him, is that anyone who gets to know him and me, instantly recognises that we are father and son; not by our looks but by our actions. William has found that precious ability to be able to live in the moment, for the moment, while forever having an eye on both past and future.
I dedicate my song today to my son, William. Take care, son, be true to yourself and good to others. However far you travel in life, never lose your moral compass to bring you back home when the time is right for you. I love you and am very proud of you. Dad x
Love and peace Bill xxx