Johnny Western – Ballad of Paladin

Johnny wrote the song as an expression of thanks to Richard Boone for allowing him to appear in early episodes of the tv series, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL.

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The story of “The Ballad of Paladin” is best told by master story-teller Johnny Western, himself. So if you ever have a chance to hear him tell it, don’t miss it! In the meantime, and in a nutshell, young Johnny wrote the song as an expression of thanks to Richard Boone for allowing him to appear in early episodes of the tv series, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL.
He started writing it in the waiting room of a hospital maternity ward, while he was awaiting the birth of his daughter! Boone liked the song and network executives agreed with Boone that it would make an excellent theme for the series. But when it came time to record it, Boone had to override record executives who wanted someone else to sing it. Richard Boone was adamant that the singer be Johnny Western. Obviously, Boone won the argument and Johnny’s life-long friendship as well.



Some versions:
The Ballad of Paladin Johnny Western (September 1958)
Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music Makers (March 1959)
Faron Young September (1963)
Chuck Wagon & The Wheels (1980 )





Johnny Western – Ballad of Paladin Lyrics

Have gun will travel, reads the card of a man
A knight without armor in a savage land
His fast gun hire, heeds the calling wind
A soldier of fortune, is a man called — Pal-a- din
Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam
Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home
He travels on to where ever he must
A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust
There are campfire legends that the Blade’s men sing
Of the man with the gun, of the man called — Pal-a- din
[C] Paladin, Paladin, [F] where do you [C] roam
Paladin, Paladin, [F] far, far from [C] home
[F] Far from [C] home, [F] far from [C] home

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