#54: The Crown Prince: Waylon Jennings: 1978
It seems I do a lot of writing about the songs of folks who have passed on and today here is another one! Waylon Jennings has been gone for over 20 years now, passing from this life in February 2002 at the age of 64. To be honest I probably would have missed his music all together were it not for my music loving hubby who discovered Waylon in 1975 and fell in love with his deep, rich, powerful, emotive, all together magical voice. Over the years I have listened to a lot of Waylon’s music and along with that great voice are some very deep and meaningful lyrics.
Jennings had a singing career that spanned five decades, he recorded 60 albums and had 16 # 1 country singles. He was a solo artist, sang with his backing band The Waylors, played bass guitar for Buddy Holly and with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson amd Kris Kristofferson formed The Highwaymen. As always there is so much more information around any of the topics I write about than I include in a blog post. One of my hopes is that the little I say might encourage others to search more information for themselves.
When I write about an artist there is always one of their songs which speaks to me above all others, in Waylon’s case it is The Crown Prince. This is a song about a young chap born into every opportunity this world could provide; prestige, wealth, intelligence, beauty, elite private education. As the lyrics go; All American golden boy with a silver spoon. His future held all the promise of a President. Trouble was he could not withstand the pressure. Raised to believe he always had to be the best, to be second best was not an option. …the first one in his family to wind up second best. He couldn’t pass the test. And so this young man ends up in a mental instution while his family’s biggest concern is to save face.
This is a really sad song and it highlights the sad fact that some parents, some parenting styles and some beliefs about what is important in life can screw up children to the point of insanity. There are no perfect parents and heaven knows we all make a lot of mistakes in this process of raising the next generation to be decent, caring contributors to the world. But the most important thing is to understand that our children do not belong to us and they are not here to fulfil our dreams or expectations. We must love them, be fair, honest and generous models of what it looks like to live a life of Faith, integrity and purpose. Kahlil Gibran, the poet puts it beautifully:
Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you
You may give them your love but not your thoughts
For they have their own thoughts
You may house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow
I hope you will listen closely to the message in the lyrics of this song.
Insanity is a state of mind, where life begins or where it ends, it all depends.