March 17

Merle Haggard’s ‘Sing Me Back Home’ Hits The Right Notes On Sad Song

An intriguing single, Merle Haggard’s ‘Sing Me Back Home’ brings old memories from the past. It’s not every day you get to hear a theme that doesn’t involve love and breakup. And that’s what Merle’s song is all about.

Based on True Story

A quick background of Merle Haggard is he went through hardship during his childhood. He got involved in the robbery and got incarcerated several times after his father died. While at San Quentin State Prison, Merle started gambling with his cellmate. When he was caught drunk, he went to solitary confinement, where he met Caryl Chessman. He was an author and on death row.

He also met another prisoner who goes by the name James’ Rabbit’ Kendrick. He escaped jail but went back in again because of killing a police officer while on his escape route. ‘Rabbit’ was executed after that. These are the people whom Merle met that pushed him to change his life.

Moreover, the country legend shared in an interview that he wrote the ‘Sing Me Back Home’ inside a prison. He would often watch inmates being led down a hallway to the death penalty. He made the song like how prisoners can relate to it. The lyrics remind him of crying in his cell, regretting, and wanting to go home.

Country Legend Classic

The 1960s and 1970s are more about jail time music. He gained popularity with his songs about jingoistic and conformist themes. Merle had 38 number-one hits on US country charts between the 1960s and the 1980s. Several of the singer’s hit singles made the Billboard all-genre singles chart. The country legend also earned many honors and awards. This includes the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977 and Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

Merle Haggard’s ‘Sing Me Back Home’ was released in 1967. He recorded it together with ‘The Strangers’ and made it the title track. In 2019, the song ranked No. 32 in Rolling Stone on its list of the 40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time. It peaked at No. 1 in US Hot Country Songs and ranked to No. 7 Canadian RPM Country Tracks.

You can listen to the classic country song below.


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