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The Highwaymen were a “supergroup” of country music that released three studio albums. The group is composed of 4 singers really famous at that time : Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. The four artists enjoyed each other’s company and were friends before being band mates. They had different musical outlooks and that’s the combination of them that all made their music so unique and popular. The Highwaymen released multiple albums and the most famous of them are Highwayman in 1985 and Highwayman 2 in 1990 in which were released interesting songs of social commentary such as American remains or Born and raised in black and white .
Born and raised in black and white depicts the different life of two brothers. The metaphor of “black and white” is used to show these discrepancies between them.
Two boys playing in the burning sun
One with books, one with guns
These two verses initiate two different visions of life : the peaceful one and the violent one.
That idea is pursued in the first chorus, One learned to pray, one loved to fight where we can see the gap between their lifestyle.
The song continues with the adulthood of the boys who became men. They finally confront each other where the rogue boy got arrested by the police after he killed a man. The main idea is kept in the second chorus, One lives to pray, one prays for life who highlights the fact their priorities are totally opposed.
Finally, we understand it was their destiny :
I said it's just what life had planned
In the last chorus, as a conclusion, the singers say I chose the dark, you chased the light, as a result of that “Black and white” upbringing.
If you loved this song, we recommend you the singer “Tom T. Hall” who plays country music as well in a similar way than The Highwaymen.