I happened to walk into a honky tonk
One night down in New Orleans
Up above the bar hung a big guitar
Like none I'd ever seen.
The neck was set with diamonds
And though the strings were old
Like Kings of sound they wound around
Six keys of solid gold.
A man stepped up beside me
His breath was strong with wine
He said you know that guitar once belonged
To a mighty close pal of mine.
He used to play it right here
I forget the year around '45, I think
Ha, I could tell you quite a story friend
If you'd care to buy me a drink.
Well, I possessed by every weakness
That takes a man a fool
I bought a round, he drank it down
And then he rocked back on his stool.
He said, Yeah, I remember now
It was '45 alright.
He just returned from the Great War
That's where he lost his sight.
His buddies gave him that guitar
At the time it was simple and plain
He added the gold and the diamonds
As he played his way to fame.
He was doing a show in Shreveport
The night he received a call
To come appear on the Grand Ole Opry
The greatest show at all.
I was driving him to Nashville
It was cold and misting rain
The signals flashed and the whistle screamed
I swear Mister I never saw that train.
I heard the doctor tell him
Just after he used his knife
You're lucky son it was just your arm
It could have been your life.
But he died that night, life just demanded
More than he could give
I think he couldn've made it
He just lost his will to live.
But this world's loss is heaven's gain
And tonight he's still a star
He plays with a band of angels
That's my son's golden guitar...