“We Are The Cowboys”–the fourth single and latest video from Willie Nelson’s forthcoming studio album First Rose Of Spring–premieres online today, Friday, June 19.
The new video for “We Are The Cowboys,” created and directed by Willie’s son Micah Nelson, comes just ahead of Father’s Day. Watch the video here: http://willienelson.lnk.to/cowboysPR
The song, originally recorded by Billy Joe Shaver on I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal in 1981, was also recorded on Honky Tonk Heroes, by a collective of Shaver, Willie, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson in 1999 (produced by Shaver’s late son, Eddy, at Nelson’s studio in Pedernales, Texas).
Like many of the songs on First Rose Of Spring, “We Are The Cowboys” begins with familiar iconic imagery then delivers you somewhere unexpected. “The cowboys are riding tall in the saddle/They shoot from the heart with the songs that they play,” Nelson sings, before rhapsodizing about “a right handsome woman on up around Boulder” and declaring, “We are the cowboys, the true sons of freedom/We are the men who will get the job done.” The song then makes a surprising turn not often heard in cowboy anthems: “Cowboys are average American people/Texicans, Mexicans, Black men and Jews/They love this old world and they don’t want to lose it/They’re counting on me and they’re counting on you.”
In spotlighting this song, Willie makes it clear what the good guys or “cowboys” should be doing, for the sake of us all: “The world will breathe easy when we stop the bleeding/The fighting will end when all hunger is gone/There are those who are blind so we’ll all have to lead them/It’s everyone’s job till we get the work done.”
Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver extended cowboy ideals to recent and current American history: There’s a job to be done, bleeding and hunger to be stopped and prejudice to be overcome. With “We Are The Cowboys,” Willie has brought a nearly forty-year-old song back to life at just the right time.
First Rose Of Spring will be available on CD, vinyl and digital formats as well as part of exclusive merch bundles on Willie’s web store on Friday, July 3.
Fans may pre-order the First Rose Of Spring album and listen to “We Are The Cowboys” now at: https://willienelson.lnk.to/1stRosePR
Nelson’s 70th solo studio album (and 14th for Legacy Recordings), First Rose Of Spring is the artist’s first new release since winning the 2020 Best Country Solo Performance Grammy Award–Willie’s 10th overall (not including his Grammy Legend and Lifetime Achievement Awards)–for “Ride Me Back Home,” the title track from his 2019 Legacy Recordings release. The previous year, My Way, Willie’s musical homage to Frank Sinatra took home the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
An essential addition to the Willie Nelson canon, First Rose Of Spring is an eloquent new chapter in the chronicles of one of America’s greatest musical troubadours.