Recommendation VIII: Waylon Payne

I decided to make a new blog entry tonight since I have nothing else to do tonight lol. I had some plans but they fell through and I’m not doing anything at all right now except surfing the internet and listening to my iTunes at the same time, and then blogging this now as well. I actually wrote the beginning of this entry last night, but I ended up watching a movie with a friend and didn’t finish, so now I’m continuing this on today (Saturday) b/c I’ve got nothing to do tonight since my friends are not here lol. A new entry was needed anyway! :p

My eighth recommendation is: Waylon Payne’s “Her” from his 2004 The Drifter album. I don’t think I had ever heard of Waylon at all until I saw him on TV with Lee Ann Womack at the 2005 CMA’s in New York City when she won all those awards, deservingly. Later on, I saw his acting performance as Jerry Lee Lewis in the incredible Johnny Cash movie, Walk the Line, and he did awesome in his portrayal. Through these, I was definitely interested in Waylon Payne, but I didn’t know his music at all. I read that his mother was the late-and-great Sammi Smith (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”) and that he was named after Waylon Jennings. I did remember that Womack made a list of “music that you should hear” on and she said: ” Not only is Waylon a great writer–but the heartache in his voice is so believable…it just pours out of the stereo speakers. Achingly great album. ” I have listening to clips of the album and it sounds good and I will have to buy it sometime, but the song that stood out most to me was “Her”.

I read a very revealing and captivating article/interview with Waylon months ago and it got me more interested in him as a person (which is a must read, but be forewarned, there may be some objectionable language on there). From the interview, you can really see his love for his mother and his heartache over her death. So when I first listened to “Her” – a live version actually – on his MySpace page, his pain and sorrow shows right through his vocals and you can just feel it by listening. While the song is about a female lover leaving him and not coming back, after reading the article, you can totally apply the devastation of his mother’s death and her leaving to the song, because the lyrics actually work for that too and you can’t help but think of it. His vocals are damn good too: especially when he sings the chorus: ” Sheeeee. Is gone. Goneeee. “. I love when you can hear the emotion singers put into their work, and it’s even stronger it seems when they write it themselves.

The production comprises of an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and drums I believe, and I see it as a cross between alternative rock and traditional country with no steel or fiddle, so alternative country. Lee Ann Womack actually recorded this song for her next upcoming album, but the title was changed to be called “Him”. Over my Spring Break, I was able to watch and hear her performance of the song on PBS’s Soundstage from this year and she does a very fine job with it, but maybe I’m just used to Waylon’s version, and while I do love Lee Ann’s music to death, I still have to go with Waylon’s version for the best one. I cannot wait to hear the recorded version of Womack’s though…it seems like it has more of a traditional country sound to it. I like how she still sang the line: ” There’s too much goddamn space here in this dresser drawer ” because it seems it would be controversial and people would be turned off by using that word in a song with today’s commercial country crowd. I personally don’t use the phrase but it but it really works for the song and makes the extreme pain of the lyrics even more powerful.

Back to Waylon, I could not find the lyrics for “Her” anywhere online, so I listened to the song and type them up myself based on what I heard, so what I post after this may not be exactly accurate but it’s good enough. This song is for sure one of the best iTunes purchases I’ve ever made. I listen to it a lot. Also…I just realized, the last few recommendations have been sad songs, so I’ll try to mix it up more often! (maybe lol)

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the lyrics to “Her”, written by Waylon Payne:

Just a while ago, I thought I had it all
But it all fell to pieces in the early fall, when she moved on

Now, there’s a light that’s shining bright outside my door
But I don’t get the luck to forget, what it’s burning for
It’s her

But now
Is gone

Is gone

When the phone rings, I don’t jump out of the chair I’m in
‘Cause I know who ain’t waiting for me on the other end
It’s her

There’s too much goddamn space here in this dresser drawer
I found a pair of blue jeans on the bathroom floor

But now she
She is gone
She is gone


It has crossed that she ain’t coming home
But ’til I see that with these eyes, I’ll keep holdin’ on…




  1. Now there’s a light that’s shining bright outside my door
    But I don’t get the luck to forget what it’s burning for, it’s her

  2. Thanks for the correction Derek! – I fixed it.

  3. My buddy wrote that song, I was amazed to hear him sing it one night at the house. I said that’s Waylon Payne. He said yessir, I wrote that. That song still sticks with me after all of these years, perhaps my favorite of all time.

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