Hank Williams Jr – Family Tradition

It was released in May 1979 as the fourth and final single and title track from his album of the same name. It peaked at No. 4, and is one of his most popular songs. It has sold 909,000 digital copies as of April 2016.

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Cover LP Hank Williams, Jr Elektra 1979
Cover LP Hank Williams, Jr Elektra 1979

“Family Tradition” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Hank Williams Jr. It was released in May 1979 as the fourth and final single and title track from his album of the same name. It peaked at No. 4, and is one of his most popular songs. It has sold 909,000 digital copies as of April 2016.

The song is a Williams’ statement of rebellion, not only in his lifestyle and living out the lyrics of his songs, but of his musical identity and direction. Taking off on the point of his father, the younger Williams notes that the hard-living lifestyle is a “family tradition,” referring to the alcohol and drug use that became associated with his personal life.



From the album Family Tradition
B-side “Paying on Time”
Released May 28, 1979
Recorded 1978
Genre Country, country rock
Length 4:00
Label Elektra/Curb
Songwriter(s) Hank Williams Jr.
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen





Hank Williams Jr – Family Tradition Lyrics

Country music singers have always been a real close family
But lately some of my kinfolks have disowned a few others and me
I guess it’s because I kind of changed my direction
Lord I guess I went and broke their family tradition

They get on me and want to know
Hank, why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
Over and over everybody makes my predictions
So if I get stoned, I’m just carrying on an old family tradition

I am very proud of my daddy’s name
All though his kind of music and mine ain’t exactly the same
Stop and think it over. Put yourself in my position
If I get stoned and sing all night long it’s a family tradition

So don’t ask me, Hank why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
If I’m down in a honky-tonk some ole slick’s trying to give me friction
I said leave me alone I’m singing all night long it’s a family tradition

Lord I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam
And they both tried to kill me in 1973
When that doctor asked me, Son how did you get in this condition?
I said, hey sawbones, I’m just carrying on an ole family tradition

So don’t ask me, Hank, why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
Stop and think it over, try and put yourself in my unique position
If I get stoned and sing all night long, it’s a family tradition!

Single Hank Williams, Jr Elektra 1979
Single Hank Williams, Jr Elektra 1979
SourceWikipedia
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