Honky Tonk Song

Album: I Lived to Tell It All (1996)

Songfacts®:

  • During one bender in 1966, hard living country singer George Jones' wife, Shirley, tried to curb his drinking by hiding their car keys so he couldn't get to the nearest bar, which was eight miles away. Undeterred, Jones found the key was still in the ignition of his sit-on lawnmower, so set off at 5 mph before being pulled over by the police. This song, composed by Billy Yates and Frank J. Meyers, catalogues the lawnmower story:

    Let me explain before you put me in the tank
    She took my keys away and now she won't drive me to drink
  • Jones performed the song during a rare appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote his I Lived to Tell It All album.

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