Before rock & roll gave listeners the Traveling Wilburys, country music spawned the Highwaymen, a supergroup of mythic proportions that featured living legends Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. The foursome had worked together in various combinations over the years, but teamed up under the Highwaymen umbrella in 1985. Their first single together, “Highwayman,” topped the country charts that year and spawned an album of the same name on Columbia. The album also proved mightily popular, hitting number one on the country listings and producing a Top 20 follow-up single in a cover of Guy Clark’s “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train.” Afterward, the members returned to their individual careers for a few years, but reconvened in 1990 to record a sequel, Highwayman 2. It reached number four on the country album charts and spun off the minor hit “Silver Stallion,” but didn’t cause quite the same stir overall as its predecessor.
I was a highwayman. Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive.
I was a sailor. I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide.
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed
But I am living still.
I was a dam builder across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around..I’ll always be around..and around and around and
around and around
I fly a starship across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again..