This song could be released today and it would still be a “bop.” Are kids still using the word “bop” to describe cool new songs? Probably not…
I’ll confirm my age in another way and say “they don’t make music like they used to,” because this Waylon Jennings masterpiece is hard to beat.
On this date in 1987, Jennings’ “Rose in Paradise” sat atop the country music charts at Number One. The pioneering outlaw country artist recorded the song after it was written by Stewart Harris and Jim McBride.
“Rose in Paradise” was released in January of 1987 as the first single from the Jennings’ album Hangin’ Tough.
It only took one week for the song to climb its way up to the number one spot on country charts, and it stayed there for an impressive 19 weeks. The “#1” title that this classic Waylon song held marked the 12th time that Jennings had a chart-topping country single.
The song tells the story of a young woman named Rose who falls in love with a wealthy banker in Georgia. The love shared between the two is mutual, but the banker keeps the woman in the song away from others out of fear that he’ll lose her.
The lyrics tell the story as:
“She was a flower for the takin’
Her beauty cut just like a knife.
He was a banker from Macon,
Swore he’d love her all his life…”
That nice home that Rose is given in the song is a place she cannot leave after getting together with the banker. That is, until a gardener hired by the wealthy banker convinces Rose to run off (or so we think).
The song continues:
“He hired a man to tend the garden,
Keep an eye on her while he was gone.
Some say they ran away together,
Some say that gardener left alone.
Now the banker is an old man,
That mansion’s crumbling down.
He sits all day and stares at the garden,
Not a trace of her was ever found…”
How about that for a dramatic story? There’s enough there to make a full fledged movie or limited series on Netflix if they wanted to.
I’d certainly watch it, especially if it included (how could it not?) this wonderful song from the legendary Waylon Jennings.
Take a listen: