My Sunday Song – “Guitar or a Gun” by Will Hoge

For My Sunday Song #267, we are going to dive in to the song “Guitar or a Gun” by Will Hoge. The song is off his 2015 album ‘Small Town Dreams’. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the album went to #15 on the Country Charts and #162 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The song was written by Will Hoge, Dylan Altman and Gary Allan. Will sought out Gary specifically to write with on this track along with another song in hopes Gary would record them. Thankfully for us, Gary passed and Will got to keep this great track all his own.

The song is basically Will thinking about growing up in Franklin, Tennessee. Will would go to the local pawn shop and stare for hours at the guitars on the wall and the guns behind the counter. He would ride his bike over there every weekend. After mowing lawns all Summer, he took his $200 he earned and finally went to that pawn shop to buy one of those two items. He wanted both and the lyrics tell you what his dad said about them but not letting you know really which one his dad was talking about. All Will could think about was being in a gang…a gang of guys that form a band or a gang of guys to do nothing but get in to trouble and ride off in to the sunset like the gang from the movie “Young Guns”. Since we are reviewing a song by Will Hoge, I believe we know he chose the Guitar.

The song is a southern rock sounding track with an acoustic guitar, an electric, a piano and some driving drum beats. It starts off slow with the acoustic guitar and then Will singing the first verse before the band comes in and then they all join in and take it home. The bridge and chorus kick it up a notch and are catchy and colorful. The music and the song feel tell a great story and take you back to your childhood where you might have had the same thoughts. Will is a master at telling great stories and this song is just that.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think. Did you have the same problem he had on which to decide. Think how many people out there choose the gun and where they ended up. I would like to think Will made the right decision. I would also think, being from Tennessee, he probably has both now. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a Happy Sunday!

“Guitar Or A Gun”

A cool September morning, waitin’ on the pawn shop to let me in.
$200 worth of summer yard mowin’ that I just had to spend.
I had my eye on two things, but I could only pick just one.
A young man’s first decision; is it a guitar or a gun?

I can still hear daddy’s voice say “now think about it son.
One of these will last forever, and the other’s just for fun.
One can feed your family, and one will end you up in jail.”
And he seemed to know which one was which, but me, I couldn’t tell.

I could learn to shoot like Jesse James, out there on the run,
or play guitar and be a Rolling Stone, now that just sounds like fun.
A rock star or an outlaw, well either way I’ve won,
when I walk out this door with a guitar or a gun.

I’ve thought about it long and hard, as I held ’em in my hand,
standin’ at the crossroads, still deciding who I am.
They’re both just wood and metal. Six bullets or six strings?
Whichever choice I make I’ll leave here feeling like a king.

Will I learn to shoot like Jesse James, out there on the run,
or play guitar and be a rolling stone, now that just sounds like fun.
A rock star or an outlaw, well either way I’ve won,
when I walk out this door with a guitar or a gun.

A cool September morning, waitin’ on the pawn shop to let me in.
$200 worth of summer yard mowin’ that I just had to spend.

Should I learn to shoot like Jesse James, out there on the run,
or play guitar and be a rolling stone, well that just sounds like fun.
A rock star or an outlaw, well either way I’ve won,
when I walk out this door with a guitar or a gun.
when I walk out this door with a guitar or a gun.
With a guitar or a gun.

Written by Will Hoge , Dylan Altman and Gary Allan

15 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Guitar or a Gun” by Will Hoge

  1. I wound up clicking buy it now on two of his albums yesterday – My American Dream and Small Town Dreams. I listened to more of the songs, and liked what I heard. I hadn’t heard of him until you posted Thoughts and Prayers.

    This song is so well written. I could easily see someone like the Boss or Mellencamp covering this song.

    Listening to this song, it reminds me of Matthew Good, my favourite Canadian singer/song writer. I can’t quite figure out why right now though.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I should get my CDs today.

        Reading more about the guy, he was labelled as being all country. About 20 years ago, country would have been a four letter word to me. Now, a good song is good no matter the genre. Heck, I bought a Garth Brooks CD a month ago, because Thunder Rolls is an excellent tune. It doesn’t get much more country than him! He also did a great job of covering Kiss years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. NIce. I have always disliked Country, but certain artist stand out and Garth was one. I don’t really consider Will Country. Yes, he leans that way, but his first two albums were rock and I feel Southern Rock and maybe a little Alt-Country might be more accurate.

          Like

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