Don't Let the Old Man In

Album: First Rose of Spring (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • It was Toby Keith who penned this mantra for Willie Nelson's age-defying lifestyle. The country star wrote the tune in the late 2010s, inspired by a conversation with the veteran actor and director Clint Eastwood.
  • Nelson recorded the song for First Rose of Spring, his 70th album. The veteran singer released the record on July 3, 2020, just over two months after his 87th birthday.
  • Nelson told The Sun as soon as he heard the song, he knew he had to record it. He added that there's one lyric that especially flipped him out.

    Many moons I have lived and my body's withered and worn
    Ask yourself how old you'd be
    If you didn't know the day you were born


    "I feel like that line," Nelson said, probably all too aware he was born back in April 29, 1933.
  • First Rose of Spring is Nelson's fourth album in just over 26 months. He told The Sun that his work ethic keeps "the old man" at bay. "You have to keep going, taking one day at a time and thinking positive," Nelson said.
  • That's regular Willie Nelson collaborator Mickey Raphael playing the harmonica. Raphael has performed throughout the years with a variety of artists, ranging from Elton John, U2, and Motley Crue to Vince Gill, Neil Young and Chris Stapleton.

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