Hank Williams’ Last Single Was Prophetically Titled, “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive”

Hank Williams wearing a hat
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Irony or Prophecy?

The world lost the talent of Hank Williams far too soon, and the loss is one that’s still mourned in the country music genre.

Young Hank, born Hiram King Williams, suffered with what is believed to have been an undiagnosed form of spina bifida, a disorder of the spinal column which gave him excruciating pain throughout his life. The condition effected his control of lower body movements, and after a largely unproductive surgery, the negative effects, including his pain levels, went mostly untreated.

Paired with other poor life circumstances such as living in poverty through the Great Depression and having his childhood home burn down to the ground, it’s clear that Hank lived a rough life.

His pain, which was amplified by a fall he took hunting in 1951, inevitably led to Hank’s addiction and heavy use of alcohol and other drugs throughout his life; these same vices would lead to his separation from his wife, his dismissal from the Grand Ole Opry, and his early demise at the age of 29.

And in an odd and timely recording, Hank sang his final single and gave it an eery title. Possibly inspired by a premonition of his spiraling health, the song was named, “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive.”

Although it’s got an upbeat rhythm that lends itself to optimism, the opening lines find Hank expressing his anger towards life’s circumstances, and many of the song’s lyrics seem to imply this might have been his truest autobiography:

Now you’re lookin’ at a man that’s gettin’ kinda mad
I had lot’s of luck but it’s all been bad
No matter how I struggle and strive
I’ll never get out of this world alive …

I’m not gonna worry wrinkles in my brow
‘Cause nothin’s ever gonna be alright nohow
No matter how I struggle and strive
I’ll never get out of this world alive …

The song’s primary intention was probably to be comedic since it’s obvious none of us will make it out of this world alive.

But it seems a bit more than ironic that this was Hank’s last sample of work left behind for his fans.

Here’s to the great Hank Williams.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock