The Allman Brothers Band - Ramblin' Man




"Ramblin' Man" is a song by American rock band The Allman Brothers Band, released in August 1973 as the lead single from the group's fourth studio album, Brothers and Sisters (1973). Written and sung by guitarist Dickey Betts, the song was inspired by a 1951 song of the same name by Hank Williams. It is considerably more inspired by country music than other Allman Brothers Band compositions, which made the group reluctant to record it. Guitarist Les Dudek provides guitar harmonies, and it was one of bassist Berry Oakley's last contributions to the band.


The song became the Allman Brothers Band's first and only top 10 single, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 12 on the Easy Listening chart.


"Ramblin' Man" was first created during songwriting sessions for Eat a Peach. An embryonic version, referring to a "ramblin' country man," can be heard on the bootleg The Gatlinburg Tapes, featuring the band jamming on an off-day in April 1971 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.


Betts continued to work on the song for a year, but the lyrics came together in as little as twenty minutes. "I wrote "Ramblin' Man" in Berry Oakley's kitchen [at the Big House] at about four in the morning. Everyone had gone to bed but I was sitting up," said Betts in 2014. Trucks noted that the band acknowledged it was a good song but were reluctant to record it, as it sounded too country for them. New member and keyboardist Chuck Leavell enjoyed the song, noting, "It's definitely in the direction of country but that didn't bother me in the least […] I think our attitude was, 'Let's take this thing and make it as great as we can.'"






Lyrics



Lord, I was born a ramblin' man,

Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can.

And when it's time for leavin',

I hope you'll understand,

That I was born a ramblin' man.


My father was a gambler down in Georgia,

And he wound up on the wrong end of a gun.

And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus

Rollin' down highway 41.


Lord, I was born a ramblin' man,

Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can.

And when it's time for leavin',

I hope you'll understand,

That I was born a ramblin' man.


I'm on my way to New Orleans this mornin',

Leaving out of Nashville, Tennessee,

They're always having a good time down on the bayou, Lord

Them Delta women think the world of me.


Lord, I was born a ramblin' man,

Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can.

And when it's time for leavin',

I hope you'll understand,

That I was born a ramblin' man.


[Repeat and Fade]

Lord, I was born a ramblin' man...