Old Timer
Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Song: Old Timer

Old Timer is a song in Waymore’s Blues (Part II) album by Waylon Jennings, an American country music artist. It was recorded and released at a time in Jennings ’career without being signed to any major label. Waymore’s Blues (Part II) is a one-off return to RCA for Jennings following brief endings with MCA Records and Epic Records. It was produced by Don Was, who would lend his unique work style to The Highwaymen’s The Road Goes on Forever a year later. Jennings later stated that they clicked from the start of the first take, which was the title cut, and instructed the musicians to forget about everything they had ever heard him do.

About the Song Old Timer

The Old Timer is a song that is very dear to Jennings’ heart. It is a touching story about an old mountain man from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, who falls in love with a woman from St. Paul. She came to visit her brother, and they met each other in the wilds. He couldn’t tell her he loved her. Members of the Western Writers of America chose the song as one of the top 100 Western songs of all time.

Waymore’s Blues (Part II) Tracklist

Most of the songs included in the album were written by Waylon Jennings. Here’s the tracklist:

  • Endangered Species
  • Waymore’s Blues (Part II)
  • This Train (Russell’s Song)
  • Wild Ones
  • No Good for Me
  • Old Timer (The Song)
  • Up in Arkansas
  • Nobody Knows
  • Come Back and See Me
  • You Don’t Mess Around with Me

Listen (Waylon Jennings Version)

Old Timer Lyrics

I grew up in Wyoming
In and around Jackson's hole
In the shadows of the Tetons
Where summers are hot
And winters unbearably cold
But the Spring and the Fall
Are always as good as it gets
For over 70 years now
I'd watch the sun rise and set

I've been a cowboy
Working the round-ups in spring
I've lived in the mountains
Hunted the grizzly
Trapping the rivers and streams
Always the loner
I've treasured my freedom the most
And though i never married
As a young man I might have come close

From somewhere back east
She came to the valley
With a man who did her no good
He was fast with the ladies
A tin horn gambler
And a cheat whenever he could
She had no friends or family
Most of the time he was gone
He died in a card game
And she found herself all alone

Alone and afraid and left unprotected
'Cause he was all that she had
Maybe I should have
But Inever told her
So she never knew he was bad
But I'll always remember
Standing and watching her cry
There was no one to help her
But I was determined to try

I mended her fences and
Fixed up her cabin
I had everything looking good
I laid by her food
And wood for the winter
Helping wherever I could
The more I was around her
The more I wanted to be
There was something about her
That brought out a good side of me

I went into town, I brought a new outfit
I got me a haircut and shave
I'd trek through the snow
For no good reason
Just to go by her cabin each day
I don't know about love
But Iwas quite taken in by it all
Till her brother came in the Spring
And he took her back to St. Paul

I don't go down to Jackson
Ain't nothing there but motels and bars
Too damn many tourists
No place to hide
They'll find you wherever you are
They like to call me old timer
I am getting older I guess
But i don't like the changes
'Cause I've seen it all at its best

When my life is over
I don't want to be left in town
But up in the mountains
There is a place
I've marked off my own piece of ground
High in the Tetons
Above and away from it all
From the top of old Grand
I bet on a clear day - you can see
All the way to St. Paul

1 Comment

  1. Minton J Miller

    This article told me everything I want to know EXCEPT the one thing I have been searching for 20 years. This song was based on a short story in a book oc short stories about the west. Does anyone have a clue what that story is and who wrote it? I would love to read it.

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