Thursday, April 7, 2016

An Outlaw's Final Ride...

Listen close and you can hear
That loud jukebox playin' in my ear.
Ain't no woman gonna change the way I think,
I think I'll just stay here and drink.
- Merle Haggard

Poor Willie Nelson said goodbye to yet another old friend yesterday.  Country music legend Merle Haggard - who never would have been mistaken for either of the two idiots who comprise Florida-Georgia Line - died yesterday at his home in California.  Merle Haggard was seventy-nine years old. 

In fact, he was exactly seventy-nine years old.  Haggard drew his first breath on April 6, 1937 and his last on April 6, 2016.  In between, he crammed a whole hell of a lot of life into the breaths he took - including but not limited to the three years' worth of breathing he did when he was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California following a conviction for burglary in 1957.  

It is not everyone - let alone every musician - who can answer "Solitary confinement" to the question, "Where did you spend your 21st birthday?"  Haggard could.  And he did.  He never ran away from his past. Rather, he embraced it and made it a focal point of the songs he wrote.

Including those songs whose lyrics just might break your heart... least a little.    

I remember Daddy praying for a better way of life,
But I don't recall a change of any size;
Just a little loss of courage, as their age began to show
And more sadness in my mama's hungry eyes...
- Merle Haggard 




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