January 7

Be Blessed By These Beautiful Merle Haggard Gospel Songs

A pioneer of the outlaw country movement, Merle Haggard was known for being a rule breaker in and out of the studio. At one point in his life, he even became a one-time resident of San Quentin Prison. But while he is known to many as a tough country singer, Haggard has actually always been open about his Christian faith. Throughout the years, various Merle Haggard gospel songs were released and surely touched the hearts of millions of fans.

So, let us look back at some of the classic gospels recorded, published, and collectively reflected Okie From Muskogee’s conviction. Here are some of the best Merle Haggard gospel songs.

1. Life’s Railway To Heaven

From: The Land of Many Churches (1971)

In 1971, Haggard released a double live gospel album called The Land of Many Churches, which is actually composed of four live performances that were recorded in two churches, a prison’s chapel, and one during Nashville’s Union Rescue Mission.

Among the gospels recorded in the album is “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” which is one of the most recorded gospels in the realm of country music.

2. A Cabin In The Hills

From: Cabin In The Hills (2001)

Haggard released two gospel albums on the same day on May 1, 2001 – “Cabin in the Hills” was the title track of one of the albums. Written by Haggard himself, the song is a beautiful hymn of how God knows our misery and despair as well as the various works He has done for our salvation.

3. Farther Along

From: Cabin In The Hills (2001)

Haggard expressed his renewed faith with the gospel standard “Farther Along,” which is a beautiful Southern gospel hymn that centers on believing that truth will eventually be known to us and we will understand why things have happened.

4. The Old Rugged Cross

From: The Land of Many Churches (1971)

This classic hymn was written over a long period of time by Methodist evangelist George Bennard while traveling to revival meetings. He first wrote the first verse in 1912 but was only able to complete it almost a year later. 

“The Old Rugged Cross” was then published in 1915 and has since been recorded by countless artists.

5. He Walks With Me (In The Garden)

From: Songs for the Mama That Tried (1981)

“He Walks With Me (In The Garden)” was first published in 1912. The song came to people’s attention in the early 20th century during the Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns. The gospel song, which celebrates the joyous companionship one experiences with Jesus, was heavily covered by country legends. In addition to Haggard, it was notably recorded by Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell.

6. What Will It Be Like

From: Cabin In The Hills (2001)

Here’s another gospel song written by Haggard himself. “What Will It Be Like” finds Haggard pondering what it’s like to revel in Heaven’s pure bliss. He was in awe at what it would be like to be in a place without grief and suffering.

He then went on to give us a glimpse of how beautiful Heaven must be – a place where demons can never harm us.

7. One Day At A Time

From: Songs for the Mama That Tried (1981)

This popular Country and Western-style Christian song was written by Kris Kristofferson and Marijohn Wilkin. What’s remarkable is that it has been covered by over 200 artists. It also ranked No. 1 in various territories.

Meanwhile, Haggard recorded his rendition for the gospel album he dedicated to his mother, Flossie. 

8. On The Jericho Road

From: The Land of Many Churches (1971)

The gospel song appeared on Haggard’s The Land of Many Churches double live gospel album. It was written in 1928 by Don and Marguerete McCrossan, which makes you marvel at meeting Jesus on Jericho Road. The song became notable with Elvis Presley’s recording.

9. This World Is Not My Home

From: Cabin In The Hills (2001)

It’s amazing how Haggard’s unique solid country music voice brings a fantastic story to this classic hymn that resonates in our daily lives. The song centers on how our lives in this world are temporary, so Haggard laid up his treasures in Heaven – where his loving mother was waiting for him.

10. There’s Just One Way

From: If We Make It Through December (1974)

Haggard co-wrote “There’s Just One Way” with Kenny Seratt, which tells that there’s one way to make that trip to glory – and that’s through Jesus. After all, God loved the world so much that he gave his only son. 

While the country outlaw is hardly ever mentioned in the archives of gospel music, these Merle Haggard gospel songs released throughout his career proved the blessed life and faith he walked. So, which among these are your favorites?


merle haggard

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