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"A Country Boy Can Survive"
Hank - Country Boy Can Survive single.png
Single by Hank Williams Jr.
from the album The Pressure Is On
ReleasedJanuary 18, 1982
Label Elektra/ Curb
Songwriter(s)Hank Williams Jr.
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen
Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. singles chronology
" All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)"
"A Country Boy Can Survive"
" Honky Tonkin'"

"A Country Boy Can Survive" is a song written and recorded by American musician Hank Williams Jr. The song was released as a single in January 1982 and reached a peak of number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in March 1982. [1] It is considered one of Williams's signature songs even though it never reached number one.

Shortly after 9/11, Williams re-wrote and re-recorded the song with a patriotic theme under the name "America Will Survive"; the rewrite peaked at number 45 on the Billboard country charts.

In early 2007, Williams re-released the original version to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its original release, in addition to creating a music video for it. This re-release peaked at number 45 on the Billboard country charts.


This song was released in January 1982. It reflects changes to American lifestyle and society that corresponded with rural concerns of the negative impact from increasing urbanization, and exalts the self-reliance of 'country boys'.

The second verse mentions the narrator's relationship with a New York City businessman; despite their differing backgrounds (urban vs. rural) the two had become good friends and exchanged gifts ("he'd send me pictures of the Broadway nights/And I'd send him some homemade wine"). The businessman is "killed by a man with a switchblade knife/for $43 my friend lost his life"; Williams replies that he would like to personally shoot the mugger himself, but not before "(spitting) Beech-Nut in that dude's eyes". (The "America Will Survive" remix has the businessman being a victim of the 9/11 attacks.)

Chart history

Original version

Chart (1982) Peak
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [2] 2
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2

Year-end charts

Chart (1982) Position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) [3] 9

2001 re-release as "America Will Survive"

Chart (2001) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 45

2007 re-release for 25th Anniversary

Chart (2007) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 45


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States ( RIAA) [4] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions

Kid Rock recorded a cover of the song, which appeared on the 1993 EP Fire It Up, and as a B-side to his 1993 single " I Am the Bullgod".

Chad Brock version (Y2K version)

"A Country Boy Can Survive (Y2K version)"
Chad A Country Boy.jpg
Single by Chad Brock, Hank Williams, Jr., and George Jones
from the album Yes!
B-side"Going the Distance"
ReleasedNovember 22, 1999
Genre Country
Label Warner Bros. Nashville
Songwriter(s)Hank Williams, Jr.
Producer(s) Buddy Cannon
Norro Wilson
Chad Brock singles chronology
" Lightning Does the Work"
"A Country Boy Can Survive"
" Yes!"
Hank Williams, Jr. singles chronology
"I Ain't Goin' Peacefully"
"A Country Boy Can Survive"
"America Will Survive"
George Jones singles chronology
" Choices"
"A Country Boy Can Survive"
"Sinners and Saints"

In late 1999, Chad Brock and George Jones collaborated with Williams to record a re-written version of the song with a Y2K theme, with lines such as "If the bank machines crash, we'll be just fine." This version peaked at number 30 on the Billboard country charts, and number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Chart positions

Chart (1999) Peak
Canada Country Tracks ( RPM) [5] 66
US Billboard Hot 100 [6] 75
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [7] 30


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN  978-0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ "Hank Williams, Jr. 2 Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  3. ^ "Hot Country Songs – Year-End 1982". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  4. ^ "American single certifications – Hank Williams, Jr. – A Country Boy Can Survive". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  5. ^ " Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 10016." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. January 10, 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  6. ^ "Chad Brock Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Chad Brock Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.

External links