Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hats off to Haggard

Are we rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell With no kind of chance for the flag or the liberty bell
Wish a Ford and a Chevy
Could still last ten years like they should
Is the best of the free life behind us now
Are the good times really over for good

Things have been heading south since Merle Haggard wrote "Are the Good Times Really Over" back in 1981. Let's not even go into detail.

But you know what? Haggard turns 74 today and in another month he'll be back on tour, spreading his working man blues to audiences that can't get enough of a bad thing. And that's a good thing.

Haggard has cranked out more than 30 No. 1 songs and he's been in the Country Music Hall of Fame since 1994. And that stretch of time he did at San Quentin before he got his first recording contract? Hell, that was erased by a pardon back when Ronald Reagan was governor of California.

Everything is relative, and we have to believe that life has been relatively good to Haggard, despite the downtrodden tone and lyrics to most of his songs.  We love 'em all, but if forced to list our 10 favorites right here and now it would go something like this (some days we'd switch the order; some days we'd pick different songs):

1. Workin' Man Blues
2. I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink
3. Okie From Muskogee
4. The Fightin' Side of Me
5. If We Make It Through December
6. Mama Tried
7. Daddy Frank
8. Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star
9. Bar Room Buddies
10. Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room

UPDATE: Spooky, after posting today we received this email from

Dear Customer,
Customers who have purchased or rated music by Merle Haggard might like to know that 20 hits is now available. You can order yours for just $9.98 by following the link below.  20 hits by Merle Haggard, Price: $9.98

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