Willie Nelson Brings Heartbreak To The Holidays With “Pretty Paper”

Willie Nelson Brings Heartbreak To The Holidays With “Pretty Paper” | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

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Country music outlaw Willie Nelson has had no shortage of heartbreaking hits, often sending us to tears of sorrow with songs such as “Always On My Mind” and “Seven Spanish Angels.”

Nelson’s iconic voice not only carries lyrics of heartache and pain in an eloquent manner, but his facial expressions tell the genuine emotion conveyed through his music. The singer did just that in his past performance of the holiday ballad “Pretty Paper.”

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Nelson wrote “Pretty Paper” in 1963 and Roy Orbison made it a hit.

While a variety of holiday songs continue to glorify the joy of the season and the feelings of love and warmth, this tune takes an icy twist from Christmas shopping for loved ones to the look of despair on the face of a homeless man in the cold. It tells a very true story of a man Nelson often saw while he lived in Fort Worth, Texas. The man moved with rollers, selling paper and pencils in front of Leonard’s Department Store. It was later revealed that the man had atrophied below the knee due to childhood meningitis. 

The lyrics heartbreakingly read,

“There he sits all alone on the sidewalk/ Hoping that you won’t pass him by/ Should you stop? Better not, much too busy/ You’re in a hurry, my how time does fly.”

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Nelson chills our hearts as he sings,

“In the distance the ringing of laughter/ And in the midst of the laughter he cries,” and slowly transitions backwards into the beginning of the song.

Not only a beautiful performance from the country legend himself, but this song also bears a gut-wrenching reminder that not all are so fortunate during the holiday season to be surrounded by love, warmth, and gifts.

You can watch Nelson’s performance below and tell us what you thought!

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