Music Friday: Country Legend George Jones Put a Golden Band on ‘The Right Left Hand’ This Time

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country music legend George Jones sings about finally finding that special someone in his 1987 hit “The Right Left Hand.”

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In the song, Jones sadly recounts how he’s cried a million tears over relationships that had come undone. But now he can rejoice because the Lord has given him “a true love of a lady” who “lets him know her love is here to stay.”

He sings, “So I put a golden band on the right left hand this time / And the right left hand put a golden band on mine / When our hair is snowy white / Time will prove I’m right / I put a golden band on the right left hand this time.”

Songwriters A.L. “Doodle” Owens and Dennis J. Knutson use a clever play on words to describe Jones’ true love in relation to the others. Jones sings about placing the ring on the “right” left hand — as opposed to the wrong one — this time.

Music critics believe the song is a tribute to Jones’s fourth wife, Nancy, whom he credited with saving his life and career. He married Nancy in 1983 and successfully emerged from a dark time brought on by his alcoholism. With Nancy’s nurturing, he was also able to stage a comeback and revitalize his reputation as an A-lister on the country music scene.

“The Right Left Hand,” which was the third track from Jones’s 1986 album Wine Colored Roses, peaked at #8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The album also performed well, hitting #5 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Born in a log cabin in the small town of Saratoga, Texas, Jones got his first guitar at the age of nine. By 1955, at the age of 24, Jones had already served in the Marines, was married twice and recorded his first hit song, “Why Baby Why.” In 1969, he married Tammy Wynette. They were divorced six years later, although they continued to perform together after the breakup.

Jones told Billboard in 2006 that when it comes to his music, “It’s never been for love of money. I thank God for it because it makes me a living. But I sing because I love it, not because of the dollar signs.”

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Over a career that spanned seven decades, Jones is credited with charting 168 country songs. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. Jones passed away in 2013 at the age of 81 and rests at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, Tenn.

Please check out the video of Jones’s live performance of “The Right Left Hand.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“The Right Left Hand”
Written by A.L. “Doodle” Owens and Dennis J. Knutson. Performed by George Jones.

I’ve cried a million tears,
Down through the years
Searching for that special one
And the vows I took before,
Were all forever more,
But no matter how I tried they came undone

Then the good Lord finally gave me
A true love of a lady,
Someone who believes in me
And she lets me know each day,
That her love is here to stay
Lord I finally found someone who’ll never leave

So I put a golden band on the right left hand this time,
And the right left hand put a golden band on mine
When our hair is snowy white,
Time will prove I’m right
I put a golden band on the right left hand this time

I’ll never have to plead
For the love that my heart needs,
She’ll be close enough to touch
And when the nights are long and cold,
She’ll be there to hold,
All dressed up for one more night of love

I put a golden band on the right left hand this time,
And the right left hand put a golden band on mine
When our hair is snowy white,
Time will prove I’m right
I put a golden band on the right left hand this time

I put a golden band on the right left hand this time

Credit: George Jones photo by BstarXO Chester L. Roberts (Own work) [

CC BY-SA 3.0

or

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],

via Wikimedia Commons

. Woodlawn Cemetery photo by Thomas R Machnitzki (thomasmachnitzki.com) (Own work) [

GFDL

or

CC BY 3.0

],

via Wikimedia Commons

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