Ramblin' Man is a song by the Allman Brothers that became one of their most popular, as measured both by chart position and its success, forty years later, as a staple of classic rock. The song tells the story, from a first person perspective, of a "ramblin' man", who drifts around the South.

There was an earlier song called "Ramblin' Man", written and recorded by Hank Williams, which was probably one of the inspirations for this song. However, the Hank Williams song is not that similiar to the Allman Brother's song, and the entire concept of musicians as wanderers goes back much further than Hank Williams. Williams' song, however, is a slow, sad song, sung almost as a dirge, and much less musically complicated than the Allman Brother's song.

One of the most noticeable things about this song is how amazingly upbeat and happy it is. If you were to read the lyrics:

My father was a gambler down in Georgia,
But he wound up on the wrong side of a gun
And I was born in the backseat of a Greyhound bus
Rolling down Highway 41
You would probably be guessing that the song was a sad song, which is half of what country music is about.

But this song is a bouncy ode to the carefree life, with the singer "trying to make a living", with the possible unsavory aspects of moving from town to town and womanizing not mentioned. And indeed, if this had been, like Jessica, strictly an instrumental, not much would be lost from it.

It also is the first piece of music I ever heard that I am consciously aware of. I remember this being my mom's go-to song for cleaning the house when I was not yet three years old. This has probably left an early impression on me, and why I will always like it, no matter how otherwise weary I get to the tropes of country rock.

As a final note, Dickey Betts was not actually born in the backseat of a Greyhound Bus, as far as my research can ascertain.

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