Willie Nelson: 20 Essential Songs

From the signature ballad he wrote for Patsy Cline to his love letter to life on the road

Load Previous

"On the Road Again" (1980)

There's something delightfully crude about the fact that Nelson wrote one of his biggest, and signature, hits on the back of a doggie bag. "On the Road Again" was conceived, spur of the moment in the middle of a flight, as the theme song for Honeysuckle Rose, the 1980 film about an outlaw country singer who didn't quite make it to the top, starring Nelson himself. The film may have been an alternate reality to his own life, but the song was quintessential to the real thing, a jaunty, singalong travelogue tailor-made for awards galas and commercial placements. Which is apt, because no song celebrates Nelson's band-of-gypsies love affair with life on the road and making music with his friends more simply than this one.

Back to Top