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"Riding With Private Malone"
Single by David Ball
from the album Amigo
Released 2001
Format CD Single
Recorded 2001
Genre Country
Length 4:35 (album version)
Label Dualtone
Writer(s) Wood Newton
Thom Shepherd
David Ball singles chronology
"I Want to with You"
"Riding with Private Malone"
"She Always Talked About Mexico"

"Riding with Private Malone" is the title of a song written by Wood Newton and Thom Shepherd, and recorded by American country music artist David Ball. Released in late 2001 as the first single from his fifth studio album Amigo, the song reached a peak of #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts (now Hot Country Songs) chart, and #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Ball's first Top 40 country hit since "Look What Followed Me Home" in 1995.



Based on an urban legend,[1] the song describes a narrator who purchases a Chevrolet Corvette through the classified ads. Upon purchasing the car, he opens its glove compartment, where he finds a note written by the car's former owner, a deceased soldier. The note tells of the car's origins dated 1966:

"My name is Private Andrew Malone
If you're reading this, then I didn't make it home
But for every dream that's shattered, another one comes true
This car was once a dream of mine, now it belongs to you
And though you may take her and make her your own
You'll always be riding with Private Malone."

Throughout the rest of the song, the singer fixes up the car and starts driving it; on some occasions, he claims to see a "soldier riding shotgun" in the front seat (i.e. the soldier's ghost). By the third verse, the singer has wrecked the car after speeding on a road curve during a severe rainstorm, and although he does not recall the accident, he discovers that he was rescued by an unidentified soldier. But the singer undoubtedly knows that it was Private Malone who saved him.

The song is primarily backed by acoustic guitar throughout.


Rick Cohoon of Allmusic gave the song a favorable review.[2] He stated that it "combines two elements that blend well for country fans-patriotism and the supernatural." Cohoon also said that "the plot is memorable, and Ball's performance drives the piece."[2]

Chart positions

Chart Peak position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 36




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