<>

LOST HIGHWAY

(Leon Payne)

Hank Williams

© 1949 Fred Rose Music, Inc.


Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use" for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).


To order available recordings right from this site:
CDnow's Country/Folk section!


Covered by Bob Dylan (with Joan Baez) off-stage (hotel room) during 1965 British tour;
a fragment was in included in D. A. Pennebaker's documentary "Don't Look Back".

Possible inspiration for Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone."

The tune is (in my opinion) related to that of "Oh Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie."

Dylan's likely source: Hank Williams, MGM matrix 49-S-6032, Mar 1, 1949.


"Lost Highway", often assumed to have come from Hank's pen, was written by Leon Payne...

Payne was a blind musician who worked out of Jerry Irby's nightclub in Houston and guested on the Hayride and the Opry. His original version... had been released on the Nashville-based Bullet label in October 1948.

Colin Escott, Hank Williams - The Biography, Boston, 1995, p. 98.


MYRTIE (Mrs. Leon) PAYNE: In the early days of Leon's career, he hitchhiked from one place to another, finding jobs wherever he could. Once he was in Califonia hitchhiking to Alba, Texas, to visit his sick mother. He was unable to get a ride and finally got help from the Salvation Army. It was while he was waiting for help that he wrote this song.

Telephone interview, Dec 20, 1972; reprinted in Dorothy Horstman, Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy, New York, 1976, p. 368.


I'm a rolling stone, all alone and lost,
For a life of sin, I have paid the cost.
When I pass by, all the people say
"Just another guy on the lost highway."

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman's lies make a life like mine.
Oh, the day we met, I went astray,
I started rollin' down that lost highway.

I was just a lad, nearly twenty-two,
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you,
And now I'm lost, too late to pray,
Lord, I've paid the cost on the lost highway.

Now, boys, don't start your ramblin' round,
On this road of sin or you're sorrow bound.
Take my advice or you'll curse the day
You started rollin' down that lost highway.


To Lyrics Page
To Table of Contents
To Starting Page