Take These Chains from My Heart

"Take These Chains from My Heart" is a song by Hank Williams. It was written by Fred Rose and Hy Heath and was recorded at Williams' final recording session on September 23, 1952, in Nashville. The song has been widely praised; Williams' biographer Colin Escott deems it "perhaps the best song [Rose] ever presented to Hank...It was one of the very few songs that sounded somewhat similar to a Hank Williams song."[1] Williams is backed by Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Chet Atkins (lead guitar), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), and Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance (bass).[2] In the wake of Williams' passing on New Year's Day, 1953, the song shot to #1, his final chart-topping hit for MGM Records. Like "Your Cheatin' Heart," the song's theme of despair, so vividly articulated by Williams' typically impassioned singing, reinforced the image of Hank as a tortured, mythic figure.

"Take These Chains from My Heart"
Single by Hank Williams
A-side "Ramblin' Man"
Released April 1953
Recorded September 23, 1952
Studio Castle Studio, Nashville
Genre Country, blues
Length 2:35
Label MGM
Songwriter(s) Hy Heath, Fred Rose
Producer(s) Fred Rose
Hank Williams singles chronology
"Take These Chains from My Heart"
"I Won't Be Home No More"

"Take These Chains from My Heart"
"I Won't Be Home No More"
"Take These Chains from My Heart"
Single by Lee Roy Parnell
from the album On the Road
B-side "Straight Shooter"
Released May 21, 1994
Genre Country
Length 3:22
Label Arista Nashville
Songwriter(s) Hy Heath, Fred Rose
Producer(s) Scott Hendricks
Lee Roy Parnell singles chronology
"I'm Holding My Own"
"Take These Chains from My Heart"
"The Power of Love"

"I'm Holding My Own"
"Take These Chains from My Heart"
"The Power of Love"

Cover versions

  • Tommy Edwards recorded the song for MGM in 1953.
  • Jack Scott recorded this song on an album in 1960.
  • Kitty Wells released the song on Decca in 1962.
  • Pianist Floyd Cramer recorded an instrumental version of the song in 1962.
  • George Jones recorded the song for his 1962 LP My Favorites of Hank Williams.
  • Ray Charles (October 1962) on the album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volume Two. The song peaked at #8 on the Billboard chart in 1963 and at #5 in the UK charts.
  • Bill Anderson cut the song for Decca in 1963.
  • Grant Green (jazz guitarist) recorded the song for Blue Note Records in 1963 at Rudy Van Gelder studios.
  • Al Martino 1963 (on the album "I Love You Because".
  • Carl Smith recorded the song for Columbia Records.
  • Dean Martin recorded the song for his 1965 album (Remember Me) I'm the One Who Loves You.
  • Williams' hero Roy Acuff recorded it in 1966 for Hickory.
  • Conway Twitty covered the song for Decca.
  • Dottie West 1968.
  • Marty Robbins with Chet Atkins on Marty's TV show 1968.
  • Williams' idol Ernest Tubb cut the song in 1968.
  • Stonewall Jackson (musician) released the song on Columbia in 1969.
  • Jerry Lee Lewis performs the song on his 1970 album Live at the International, Las Vegas.
  • Don Gibson recorded the song for RCA in 1971.
  • Glen Campbell included the song on his 1973 LP I Remember Hank Williams.
  • Johnny McEvoy cut the song in 1974.
  • Sonny James recorded the song for Columbia in 1974.
  • Charlie Rich 1974.
  • Dolly Parton on her TV show 1976.
  • Boxcar Willie in a medley of Hank Williams song in his concert show.
  • Little Willie Littlefield recorded a version for his 1990 album Singalong with Little Willie Littlefield.
  • Lee Roy Parnell covered the song on his album On the Road, with a guest vocal from Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn.[3] Parnell's version peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
  • The song appears on the 1997 album The Ghost of Hank Williams by David Allan Coe.
  • Merle Haggard covered the song on his 2001 album Roots, Volume 1.
  • Canadian singer Anne Murray covered the song in 2002.
  • Martina McBride recorded the song for her 2005 album Timeless.
  • The Kentucky Headhunters included the song on their 2005 album Big Boss Man.
  • Rosanne Cash included the song on her 2009 album The List.
  • The song appears on Lacy J. Dalton's 2010 tribute album Here's to Hank.
  • Madeleine Peyroux (2013) on the album The Blue Room.
  • Daniel O'Donnell 2015

Chart performance

Lee Roy Parnell

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 21
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 17


  1. Escott, Colin & 2004 237.
  2. Escott, Colin & 2004 347.
  3. Whitburn, p. 315
  4. "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2562." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. August 15, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  5. "Lee Roy Parnell Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.

External links

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