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July 13

A Forgotten Hit, “In My Next Life” by Merle Haggard

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A Forgotten Hit, "In My Next Life" by Merle Haggard 1
Merle Haggard in January 1965. |Photo Credits: bakersfield.com

Sometimes, when great artists release a number of songs during their entire career, there will surely be numerous hits that fans would crave to listen to. However, there will always be at least one song that many would stumble upon and forget over time. As for Merle Haggard, he also has a few songs that were sadly forgotten after a couple of years of enjoying the limelight. Well, for some, they may still remember this, but for most, this will be a complete recollection of missed Haggard hits.

To note, he charted his first Top Ten hit in 1965, and still managed to reach as high as no. 4 after more than 2o years in the industry. However, as the new wave of country stars and country music starts to evolve and modernize, legendary artists like Haggard started to fade in the limelight. One of the Hag’s songs that got lost in the shuffle was his ’90s hit, “In My Next Life.” A hit on the radio in 1994, this song narrates a story of a farmer and his wife.

A Forgotten Hit, "In My Next Life" by Merle Haggard 2
Merle Haggard |Photo Credits: tennessean.com

Starting to feel guilt and insecurity, the farmer thinks that he has been a failure. The couple’s farm has not yielded any produce, and one more season of drought has caused a death knell for the farm. In tears, he stands by his wife and expresses his emotions as told in the chorus of the song:

In my next life, I want to be your hero,
Something better than I turned out to be.
I spent this life behind a plow and harrow.
In my next life, I’ll make you proud of me.

Deeply, the man tells his wife that he will be her hero had he had another life. He points out that he will be far better, and that their life will have a progress, and she will be proud of him.

Merle Haggard simply conveys a touching husband-wife moment wherein they will standby together no matter what happens. He also stresses the point that two married couples vowed to do when they got married, the phrase that says: “For better or for worse; In sickness and in health; ‘Til death do us part.”

WATCH: Country music legend Merle Haggard performs “In My Next Life” in a live concert in 1993.

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