Willie Nelson’s 1997 Performance Of “Funny How Time Slips Away” Is Country Music Perfection

I believe lyrics carry so much weight and can bring music to life.

As a country music fan, it’s always amazing to hear your favorite artists belt out their lyrics with an insane vocal range, but sometimes a talking song can make the artist’s words shine beautifully and simply.

Willie Nelsons “Funny How Time Splits Away is a classic.

He originally wrote the song in 1961, and Billy Walker sang and released it that same year. Over the decades it has been covered by so many artists across a wide range of genres including Elvis Presley, Al Green, Glen Campbell and more.

One of my favorite videos of him performing it is from Austin City Limits in 1979. The song highlights Nelson’s iconic voice with a simple guitar strum.

The lyrics are simple but have a lot of emphasis on how easy it is to let time pass and not enjoy the special moments.

I love this performance but I think I’ve just found one that tops it for me.

Willie re-did the song for a songwriters night in 1997 and spoke the lyrics in this version instead of singing them.

It’s breathtaking. You can hear the seriousness of the words as they slide off his tongue as he accompanies himself on guitar. The band joins in, and the softness of the word shines brightly alongside the musical arrangement.

The accompanying songwriters sit and absorb the heaviness of the words and Nelson’s performance. My eyes were glued to the screen. And how about picking? Willie doesn’t typically fall into the conversation of country music’s great guitarists (his guitar trigger is probably more famous than his skills), but heck, he gets to choose.

The whole video experience was too good and showed the principle that speaking songs can make the lyrics shine. Willie Nelson’s 1997 Performance Of “Funny How Time Slips Away” Is Country Music Perfection

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