Monday, March 18, 2013

Story Songs: The Wayward Wind

We all have songs that we never tire of hearing. One of mine is "The Wayward Wind," a No. 1 song by Gogi Grant in the summer of 1956.

The song, written by Stanley Lebowsky and Herb Newman, has been covered by everyone from Tex Ritter to Patsy Cline to Frank Ifield to Neil Young. 

Although it has that sweeping sound of a John Wayne-type western movie, apparently the tune has never been used in a soundtrack for the silver screen.

The song is about a woman who fallls for a man who isn't ready to settle down:

"In a lonely shack by a railroad track
He spent his younger days
And I guess the sound of the outward-bound
Made him a slave to his wand'rin ways"

The narrator then tells of their meeting and a broken promise:

"Oh, I met him there in a border town
He vowed we'd never part
Though he tried his best to settle down
I'm now alone with a broken heart"

And she finally accepts that he is a person who'll never stay put -- even for love.

"And the wayward wind is a restless wind
A restless wind that yearns to wander
And he was born the next of kin
The next of kin to the wayward wind"

I've included a video of Gogi singing the song when she was 80. You may have seen it on PBS fundraising specials. What an an inspiring and marvelous voice. She'll be 89 in September.

Trivia: Is Gogi her real name? According to IMDb, her birth name is Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg. She was named "Most Popular Female Vocalist" in 1956 by Billboard Magazine, according to the website.
Do you have any songs that you enjoying listening to over and over?

"The Wayward Wind" lyrics


  1. Well you had me stumped here! I don't remember Gogi at all, though, once I heard her sing, I vaguely remember the song. What a wonderful voice at the age of 80. A beautiful woman!

  2. I'm surprised you haven't heard of Gogi Grant. Glad you enjoyed the video. I really enjoyed how she got into the song and conveyed the emotion to the audience.

  3. I always thought this was a song from a film. It has that feel to it

  4. I agree. I thought it was from a 1950s western but couldn't find anything after an extensive search. If you run across anything that says it was, please let me know.