I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

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This article is about the Hank Williams song. For other uses, see I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (disambiguation).

"I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" is a song written by Fred Rose and American country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams, released by Williams in 1952. The last single to be released during Williams' lifetime, it reached #1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart posthumously in January 1953. Co-writer Fred Rose died a year after the song's release. Meant to be a humorous song, as evidenced by its ironic title and chorus, the song took on additional poignancy following Williams' death. In fact, the urban legend that the song was #1 at the time of his demise is not far from the truth, as he did in fact die in the early hours of January 1953.

The song has been covered by artists such as The Delta Rhythm Boys, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams Jr., Hank Williams III, and The Little Willies.

In 1999 the song was used as the theme for the BBC Radio 4 comedy Married. In 2008 Hank Williams' version of the song has been used as the theme for the HBO animated Comedy "The Life & Times of Tim". Singer-songwriter and author Steve Earle released his first novel on May 12, 2011, which takes its title from the song and tells the story of a doctor haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams. Earle also released an album titled I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive on April 26, 2011, although only the iTunes album download includes a cover of the song. Earle often covers the song in live performances. The song was recently featured in the 2013 Video Game The Last of Us. Rapper A$AP Ferg is planning to release a hip-hop rendition of the song in summer 2014, featuring Wiz Khalifa, Rawcus, and Hologram Tupac.

Chart performance[edit]

Hank Williams version[edit]

Year Chart Position
1952 Billboard Country Singles #1
Preceded by
"Midnight" by Red Foley
Country & Western National Best Sellers
number one single by Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys

January 24, 1953
Succeeded by
"Eddy's Song" by Eddy Arnold