Throughout his nearly 84 years, Willie Nelson has crafted more than his share of timeless ballads. Now, another can be added to that impressive list. In the black-and-white video for the lilting “It Gets Easier,” the Texas-born icon, armed with his faithful six-stringed sidekick Trigger, sings “It gets easier as we get older; it gets easier to say, ‘Not today.'”
Along with the gently defiant assertion that he doesn’t “have to do one damn thing that I don’t want to,” however, is the breath-catching conclusion, “…except for missing you, and that won’t go away.”
Co-written with longtime friend Buddy Cannon, who also produced God’s Problem Child, the upcoming LP from which the song is taken, “It Gets Easier” not only applies to the advantages of aging, but also to Nelson and Cannon’s collaborative process.
“We have a system that works,” Nelson tells Rolling Stone Country. “I write a verse and he’ll write a verse and next thing you know we’ve got a song completed. Then we’ll get a melody, and he’ll go in the studio with a band to record it and put his vocal on there. Then when I get a chance, I go in the studio and I’ll record my vocal. Over the years, we put out four or five albums. It’s been really easy to do it that way.”
Nelson, who was forced to postpone or cancel a series of shows last month due to illness, has a concert tonight in
God’s Problem Child will be released on April 28th, two days before Nelson celebrates his 84th birthday.