A Man Named Will [Version (a)]:
One evening as a moonshiner laid in his room drinking himself to sleep
A dream came upon his eyes causing him to weep
It was all about a man named Will, a drinker from way back when
The liquor caused him to leave his home and turn from all his friends
In this dream, poor Will did live with nothing to ease the pain
But the whiskey that was sold to him by the moonshiner every day
The moonshiner said, "Drinking's killing you, why don't you give it up?"
Will replied, "I'm already dead," as he raised his final cup
And he walked out on that farewell road, he tried to make it through
The coldest sky upon his eye the moonshiner ever knew
Well, the devil's got a kind of face when the jug is in my hand
But I'm burning my still down just the same and I'm leaving this lonesome land
"A Man Named Will" is a little cautionary tale about drinking too much. It's actually a topic Beck tackled occasionally, from "Whiskey Be Your Lover
" to "Alcohol
." This is a good one too, a fairly well-written story. This entire song is one of the stronger examples of Woody Guthrie's influence on Beck, from the dream to moonshine to the language to the ending ("...and I'm leaving this lonesome land").