About the song

Ah, yes, Amarillo by Morning, a true gem from the vast treasure trove of country music. Released in 1983 by the legendary George Strait, this song transcended its origins as a cover and became a signature tune for the King of Country himself. But Amarillo by Morning‘s story stretches back a decade before Strait’s masterful rendition.

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Originally penned by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser in the early 1970s, the song’s intended purpose was quite different. Stafford, a former rock and roll artist then venturing into country music, envisioned it for a movie soundtrack. The opening line, “Amarillo by mornin’/Up from San Antone,” sets the stage for a journey, a sentiment that would resonate deeply within the country music landscape.

However, the song found its initial success with Stafford himself. His 1973 recording, though not a chart-topper, garnered a loyal following. But it was George Strait who truly breathed life into Amarillo by Morning. Strait, a champion of neotraditional country music, championed a return to the genre’s roots. His 1982 cover, with its prominent fiddle and classic country instrumentation, resonated perfectly with audiences yearning for a more traditional sound.

Amarillo by Morning isn’t just about a trip from San Antonio to Amarillo, Texas. It’s a poignant exploration of the restless spirit that defines the quintessential cowboy. The lyrics, delivered by Strait’s signature baritone, paint a picture of a lonesome drifter, forever chasing the next rodeo, the next paycheck. Lines like “I ain’t got a dime/But what I’ve got is mine/I ain’t rich/But Lord, I’m free” capture the essence of a life on the open road, one filled with hardship but also a sense of unwavering independence.

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The song’s enduring appeal lies in its relatable themes. It speaks to the universal human desire for freedom and the bittersweet nature of chasing dreams. The journey from San Antonio to Amarillo becomes a metaphor for life’s own journey, with its uncertain destinations and ever-present sense of wanderlust.

Amarillo by Morning cemented George Strait‘s position as a country music icon. Interestingly, the song even transcended the genre, becoming a favorite among astronauts. The story goes that Amarillo by Morning was played to wake up astronaut Rick Husband on the STS-96 mission, a testament to the song’s power to evoke a sense of wide-open spaces and endless possibilities.

So, when you hear the first twang of the guitar in Amarillo by Morning, prepare to be transported to a world of dusty trails, lonesome nights, and the unwavering spirit of a cowboy chasing the next sunrise. It’s a song that captures the essence of country music and reminds us of the enduring allure of the open road.



“Amarillo By Morning”

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I’ve got is just what I’ve got on
When that sun is high in that Texas sky
I’ll be bucking at the county fair
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo I’ll be there

They took my saddle in Houston, broke my leg in Santa Fe
Lost my wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way
Well I’ll be looking for eight when they pull that gate
And I hope that judge ain’t blind
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s on my mind

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Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I’ve got is just what I’ve got on
I ain’t got a dime, but what I got is mine
I ain’t rich, but Lord I’m free
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be