A Country Boy Can Survive

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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
GenreCountry, Outlaw Country
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 country music artist 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 charts in March 1982.[1] It is considered one of Williams' 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 exchangd 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 positions[edit]

Original version[edit]

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

2001 re-release as "America Will Survive"[edit]

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

2007 re-release for 25th Anniversary[edit]

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


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[3] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chad Brock version (Y2K version)[edit]

"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
FormatCD single
LabelWarner 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"
Hank Williams, Jr. singles chronology
"I Ain't Goin' Peacefully"
"A Country Boy Can Survive"
"America Will Survive"
George Jones singles chronology
"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[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 66
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 75
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 30


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

External links[edit]