We move into Merle Haggard’s third album, I’m a Lonesome Fugitive. It’s interesting to listen to this early music, because you really hear the influence of Hank Williams. And he really is the best that country music has to offer. It’s too bad that he died so young. There’s something very precise about the music that Haggard was doing at this point. And it is something that we don’t much get in the later music — great though some of it was.
Today’s song is “House of Memories.” It’s a beautiful song — not at all what people normally think of when they think of Haggard. It’s about that point after a break-up when you can only remember the good things that are gone. I think that is how we get over relationships. At first, we can only think of the good times. But eventually we see the relationship for the mixed bag that it was. But “House of Memories” is a good way of rendering that first period.
I don’t much think about “love,” but I am indeed haunted by memories. These are memories of every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done. A lot of them have to do with love. Sadly, most do not. It would be great to be able to pass off everything to hormones. Instead, I have to depend upon what I think is a very true excuse: I’m a slow learner. But ultimately, it is all about brain chemistry. I know people who fret about their past and others who don’t care at all. I’d like to be in the latter category, but I’d be such a terrible person if I were that it is best that I’m not.