[Willie Nelson's] early recordings contain versions of some of his most enduring compositions, including "Crazy," "Hello Walls," and "Funny How Time Slips Away," proving that he had already matured into a writer of incredible depth. (pp. 92-3)
Already, the lyrics convey the thoughtfulness and sophistication that would mark most of his material throughout his career. In his songs, he grapples with the usual dilemmas of leaving, being left, of pain, anger, jealousy, and sadness. Yet his attempts to deal with these emotions are often expressed in the wider context of an implied spiritual unrest, or a mortal sadness over the sadness over the passage of time. Some of the songs have almost mystic...
(The entire section is 472 words.)