I really wanted to listen to Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues” this morning. But the truth is that Haggard rarely passes up an opportunity to annoy me. He’s a demagogue. And in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was all about pitting the white working man against those other less noble members of society. He’s most explicit in attacking hippies for their drug choices, even while he was privately doing the very same drugs. In “Working Man Blues” he talks about never being on welfare. That’s a common myth that middle class people believe, even while they have their mortgages subsidized by the government.
But no one ever wrote better drinking songs than Merle Haggard. So here is a live performance of “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” with a kick-ass band. I do wish he would lose the hat. He looks stupid in it.