Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Goodbye Merle

 I was on the computer when I saw a sidebar saying Merle Haggard had passed away. I immediately stopped what I was doing to fact check that. Willie Nelson has been reported dead several times so it is best to check. Turns out it is true and that it was his birthday as well. The Hag was 79, not that old in todays world. Somehow it seemed right that he would pas on his birthday. Reminded me of a John Wayne movie, the shootist. He played a character that was a gunfighter and had his final gunfight on his birthday. In that movie, he was aware of all that and you could say planned. I don't think Merle planned any of it but had been suffering from pneumonia for a while. Fate or irony ? Being a fan of the Hag, my next thought was, are the good times really over for good. I feel a sadness for the loss of this man and his words. Well the words he wrote will remain with us, that is true, but no more will be forthcoming. Probably just as well. as the " good times " for Merle Haggard truly had passed. He will be missed.
 I admit that I wasn't always a Merle Haggard fan but discovered him later on. I can remember seeing him on hee-haw and other shows. He was a country boy before, as Barbara Mandrel put it, country was cool. He helped make it cool. He wrote over 700 songs in his lifetime. The majority of people in the United States would know a great number of those songs if they heard them. They may not know that Merle wrote them but they know the tune. Some called him the poet of the common man. I would agree. Along with everyone else,  I have a few favorites. Merle Haggard has a song for every occasion. Working man blues for when you're feeling rebellious and mama's hungry eyes when feeling pensive.
 When I was young I wanted to be older. It is that way with us all. Nobody told me getting older meant losing old friends. I always figured they would be there with me. Even though I never met Merle Haggard in person or even went to one of his shows I feel like I know him. Our musical heroes are like that. I remember hearing about the death of Jimi Hendrix and couldn't believe it. That was in my rock and roll days. not too long ago we lost the Possum, George Jones. That was a blow to me as well. George sang a song asking, who's gonna fill their shoes, who's gonna stand that tall ? Merle Haggard was that tall. We still have Willie, but he was a late bloomer. at least as a performer, he wrote great music long before most knew who he was. I expect it is just a generational thing. The greatest generation, as it has been called, has almost left us now. This generation in music is fading away. Will Alan Jackson. Dwight Yokum and Ricky Skaggs fill those shoes ? In my opinion they are candidates. The " new " crop doesn't impress me at all. A lot of show but little go. They know how to sell the product, just not how to create it. Just my opinion though and I'm certain there are many that would disagree. Music is a personal thing. I take the passing of the Mighty Merle Haggard personally and will grieve along with the rest of the world. A man that will not be forgotten. An icon and that is a term I don't apply often. Rest in Peace Merle Haggard. Well he was the ramblin' kind and it was time for him to move on. I'll miss him.

" Everything does change, except what you choose to recall,
there's a million good daydreams to dream on
but, baby,  you are my favorite memory of all. "

                                                           Merle Haggard, My favorite memory