About The Song

Waylon Jennings and Good Hearted Woman. Now that’s a pairing that conjures up a smoky barroom filled with heartache and steel guitars. Jennings, a legend of outlaw country, wasn’t known for sunshine and rainbows. He sang of the working class, the down-and-out, and the folks on the fringes. But within that gruff exterior, there was a wellspring of empathy, a deep understanding of the human condition. And Good Hearted Woman taps right into that.

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This song, released in 1972 on the album Ladies Love Outlaws, wasn’t a chart-topper for Jennings. But for those in the know, it became a touchstone, a quiet gem within a catalogue filled with hard-driving anthems. It’s a slow burner, with Jennings’ signature baritone whispering the tale of a man wrestling with his feelings for a woman who may be a little too good for him.

There’s a weariness in Jennings’ voice from the very first note. He paints a picture of a life lived on the road, a life filled with fleeting encounters and impermanent connections. We can practically hear the creak of the barstool beneath him as he contemplates this woman – a good hearted woman, the lyrics emphasize. This isn’t some two-bit floozy he’s singing about, but someone with kindness and depth.

The beauty of the song lies in its ambiguity. We never quite learn the full story. Is this a woman he’s met on his travels, a fleeting encounter that leaves him yearning for something more? Or perhaps someone he knows on a deeper level, someone who sees past his rough exterior but with whom a real connection feels out of reach?

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Good Hearted Woman doesn’t offer easy answers. It’s a song that lingers, that makes you ponder the complexities of relationships, the yearning for connection, and the self-doubt that can hold us back. It’s a testament to Jennings’ songwriting prowess that he can evoke such a rich tapestry of emotions with a seemingly simple story.

It’s also worth noting the musical backdrop. Jennings is backed by his band, The Waylors, who were renowned for their tight musicianship and raw country sound. But here, they take a more subdued approach. The guitars weep rather than twang, the drums provide a gentle pulse, and the overall feel is one of introspection.

Good Hearted Woman might not be the most well-known song in Waylon Jennings’ catalogue, but for those who appreciate the quieter side of outlaw country, it’s a masterpiece. It’s a song that speaks to the heart, a reminder that even the toughest exteriors can hold a yearning for something good, something pure. So, put on your headphones, pour yourself a glass of something strong, and let Jennings take you on a journey of introspection with this forgotten gem.

Video

Lyrics

“Good Hearted Woman”

She’s a good-hearted woman in love with a good-timin’ man
She loves him in spite of his wicked ways
She don’t understand
Through teardrops and laughter,
They’ll pass through this world hand in hand,
She’s a good-hearted woman loving a good-timin’ man.

Well, a long time forgotten
Dreams have just fell by the way
And the good life he promised
Ain’t what she’s living today
But she never complains of the bad times
Or bad things he’s done
She just talks about the good times they’ve had
And all the good times to come.

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She’s a good-hearted woman in love with a good-timin’ man
She loves him in spite of his wicked ways
She don’t understand
Through teardrops and laughter,
They’ll pass through this world hand in hand,
She’s a good-hearted woman loving a good-timin’ man.

He likes the bright light, the nite life
And good-timin’ friends
When the party’s all over
She’ll welcome him back home again
She don’t understand him,
But she does the best that she can
This good-hearted woman
Lovin’ a good-timin’ man.

She’s a good-hearted woman in love with a good-timin’ man
She loves me in spite of my wicked ways
She don’t understand
Through teardrops and laughter,
They’ll pass through this world hand in hand,
She’s a good-hearted woman loving a good-timin’ man.
She’s a good-hearted woman loving a good-timin’ man.