Lord it's the same old tune, fiddle and guitar
Where do we take it from here?
Rhinestone suits and new shiny cars
It's been the same way for years
We need a change

Somebody told me, when I came to Nashville
"Son, you finally got it made"
Old Hank made it here, and we're all sure that you will
But I don't think Hank done it this way, no
I don't think Hank done it this way


Ten years on the road, makin' one-night stands
Speedin' my young life away
Tell me one more time, just so's I'll understand
Are your sure Hank done it this way?
Did ol' Hank really do it this way?

Lord, I've seen the world, with a five-piece band
Looking at the back side of me
Singing my songs, and one of his now and then
But I don't think Hank done 'em this way, no
I don't think Hank done 'em this way

Take it home

Lyrics submitted by HamiltonInches

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way Lyrics as written by Waylon Jennings

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentWell, I'm not a big Waylon fan, but the dude did write one of the best country music songs ever, in this one. It's about following the path of your mentor, but questioning if you are really doing it the right way. Maybe he's wondering if he's keeping true to his roots, or if he's selling out.
    sailingallaloneon May 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll comments by others about the meaning of this song are wrong. Allow me to clarify. The song was written by Waylon. As a child and teenager, Waylon idolized Hank. He sat by his radio at night, so excited to hear Hank's latest song. Later he saw Hank on television. He thought, "Wow! Look at Hank singing with his guitar! How exciting! What a life! I'm going to do that someday!"

    Then Waylon actually did start doing it. But it wasn't exciting and easy after a while. Making records was often boring and difficult. Touring was very rigorous. It wasn't fun. It was boring. Record companies preached about what they wanted. Fans want to hear hits. Night after night it is the same shit. So, Waylon is saying "This isn't fun. It is hard. It looked fun for Hank. I thought it would be fun for me. It isn't. Did Hank really do it this way? He couldn't have done it this way. Because I thought he was living the greatest life possible, seeing him on stage with his guitar."

    Waylon is borded and tired of his music and of touring, but as a kid seeing Hank do it, he never thought it would be boring and difficult. So he is asking, are you sure it was boring and difficult for Hank.
    songman3367on August 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song but it is a little out of kilter in a couple of ways. As far as the road life and drug use, yes Hank did do it that way. He suffered from partial spina bifida so he was in pain most of his waking hours. He self-medicated just to keep playing music and it ultimately cost him his life. From what I have read of Waylon and the other seminal Outlaw Country artists is that what they didn't like was the "Nashville Sound" and the Nashville system. The powers that be in Music City in the 60's and 70's were ashamed of their hillbilly roots and did everything they could to make Country Music palatable to more sophisticated tastes. If that meant adding strings and horns and stripping away the soul of a song, so be it. There was also the studio system. Very few band members were heard on their own albums. There was of course the "A Team" and many other notable studio musicians who stood in for road bands in the studio. So, Waylon had his criticisms of Music City but he didn't exactly voice them in this song. By the way, I grew up in Nashville, born in 1954, and I am a musician.
    1MAN1BANDon June 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOriginally I was thinking that he felt like his work's authenticity had been questioned and he was saying "Don't think Hank done it this way" to say he was making his own path. But listening to it again it makes much more sense that he was feeling that the Nashville Syndicate was telling him what he needed to do and was questioning if this was really the authentic and artistic way.
    delgadoon December 08, 2012   Link

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