Remembering Guy Clark With His 25 Greatest Songs On The Seventh Anniversary Of His Death

Guy Clark country music

The great Guy Clark may no longer be with us, but his music will continue to live on forever.

As May 17, 2023 marked the seventh anniversary of his passing in 2016, it is a great time to enlighten anyone who is not familiar with Clark’s work, and to remind those who are this he his immortalized through the spectacular music he left behind.

A native of the west Texas town of Monahans, born in 1941, Clark spent much of the first decade of his career as a songwriter in the Houston folk scene and with brief stints in Austin throughout the 1960s. Moving to Nashville in the early 1970s, with his wife Susannah Clark who was also a songwriter, Clark managed to stay true to his Texas roots and maintained a close friendship with fellow Texas legend Townes Van Zandt.

While in Nashville, he became known as a prolific songwriter, with many of the biggest names in the business either covering or recording his songs. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffet, Vince Gill, Chris Stapleton, Kenny Chesney – the list can go on and on of popular artists who have used Clark’s songwriting.

After a long life as a musician, Clark unfortunately passed away nearly seven years ago to the day, following a battle with Lymphoma, but he left behind some of the best music ever created. While his music was frequently recorded by others, it is his original music he recorded himself that is especially remarkable. With 13 studio albums and close to a dozen live and compilation albums to his name, there is no shortage of music for Clark to be remembered by.

The pinnacle of his music catalog, in my opinion, is his debut album Old No. 1. Released in 1975 with little fanfare or publicity, Old No. 1 is the ultimate showcase of his songwriting and storytelling abilities, and contains some of the most iconic songs the genre has ever heard. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest country albums of all time. But he definitely didn’t stop there.

As Clark he went on throughout his career, he built one of the most impressive, albeit underappreciated, musical catalogs out there. Guy Clark was truly one of a kind.

If you are not familiar with Clark, Old No. 1, or any of the other music in his catalog, then here are my 25 favorite Guy Clark songs as we remember him near the seventh anniversary of his passing. Here’s to the great Guy Clark, a generational Texas troubadour.

25. “Out in the Parking Lot” – Keepers (1997)

24. “Ramblin’ Jack and Mahan” – Boats to Build (1992)

23. “Immigrant Eyes” – Old Friends (1988)

“My grandfather’s days are numbered
But I won’ t let his memory die
‘Cause he gave me the gift of this country
And the look in his Immigrant Eyes”

22. “Texas Cookin’” – Texas Cookin (1976)

 21. “The Cape” – Dublin Blues (1995)

“He’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
Always trust your cape”

20. “Stuff That Works” – Dublin Blues (1995)

19. “I Don’t Love You Much Do I” – Boats to Build (1992)

18. “Rita Ballou” – Old No. 1 (1975)

17. “Magnolia Wind” – The Dark (2002)

16. Fort Worth Blues” – Cold Dog Soup (1999)

“But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
And London never fails to leave me blue
Paris never was my kinda town
So I walked around
With the Ft. Worth Blues”

15. “Homegrown Tomatoes” – Better Days (1983)

14. “Rain in Durango” – My Favorite Picture of You (2013)

“She wound up with a backstage pass
Hangin’ with the pickers in the band
‘Til her heart got broke by a banjo man
Now she’s had all the bluegrass she can stand”

13. “The Randall Knife” – Better Days (1983)

12. “Texas 1947” – Old No. 1 (1975)

11. “My Favorite Picture of You” – My Favorite Picture of You (2013)<

“It’s hard to believe
We were lovers at all
There’s a fire in your eyes
You’ve got your heart on your sleeve
A curse on your lips, but all I can see
Is beautiful”

10. “She Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” – Old No. 1 (1975)

9. “Hemingway’s Whiskey” – Somedays the Song Writes You (2009)

“You know it’s tough out there, a good muse is hard to find
Livin’ one word to the next, one line at a time”

8. “The Last Gunfighter Ballad” – Texas Cookin (1976)

“The old gunfighter stood on the porch
And stared into the sun
And relived all the old days
Back when he was livin’ by the gun
When deadly games of pride were played
And livin’ was mistakes not made”

7. “Cold Dog Soup” – Cold Dog Soup (1999)

“Ain’t no money in poetry
That’s what sets the poet free”

6. “Anyhow, I Love You” – Texas Cookin (1976)

“I wish I had a dime
For every bad time
But the bad times always seem to keep the change”

5. “Let Him Roll” – Old No. 1 (1975)

4. “Dublin Blues” – Dublin Blues (1995)

“Here I sit in Dublin
Just rollin’ cigarettes
Holdin’ back and chokin’ back
The shakes with every breath”

3. “The Guitar” – Somedays the Song Writes You (2009)

2. “L.A. Freeway” – Old No. 1 (1975)

“I can just get off of this L.A. freeway
Without gettin’ killed or caught”

1. “Desperados Waiting for a Train” – Old No. 1 (1975)

“He’s a drifter and a driller of oil wells
And an old school man of the world
He taught me how to drive his car
When he’s too drunk to
And he’d wink and give me money for the girls
And our lives was like some old western movie

Like desperados waiting for a train
Like desperados waiting for a train”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock