“Workin’ Man Blues” is one of Merle Haggard’s signature song. In addition, it was personally written and recorded for his hard-working blue-collared job fans. Merle’s fans are so dear to him that he went to the point of making a song about their life as a working man. “Workin’ Man Blues” is one of the songs that feature the Bakersfield sound which Merle is known to be one of the pioneers in this country music sub-genre.
“Workin’ Man Blues” Chart Performance
Merle was just getting started in his career and he placed another No. 1 song on the chart again. “Workin’ Man Blues” was his seventh No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1969. He recorded the song with his loyal band The Strangers. This is also one of his tracks to be included on his album A Portrait of Merle Haggard.
A Portrait of Merle Haggard, The Album
A Portrait of Merle Haggard was Merle’s tenth studio album released in 1969, under Capitol Records. Moreover, the album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts. It also entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 99. Aside from his song “Workin’ Man Blues,” another song from his album was also able to enter the Billboard Hot Country chart, “Hungry Eyes.”
About the Song
“Workin’ Man Blues” portrays the life of a working man who has a large family to feed and bills to pay. He wants to run away from all of this, yet he knows that he has a responsibility to fulfill. He spends his free time drinking just so he can relax and not constantly worry about his work. In addition, he is aware that after his time drinking, he has to go back and work again.
“Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
I ain’t never been on welfare, that’s one place I won’t be
Because I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I drink a little beer in a tavern
Sing a little bit of these working man blues.”
Other Cover Versions