Sunday, April 02, 2006

Merle and Johnny

Howard Husock in City Journal.

In a television appearance with Haggard, Cash recalled one of his trademark prison concerts in San Quentin. Haggard remarked that he’d been there for the concert. When Cash noted that he didn’t recall Haggard being on the bill that day, Haggard replied, “I was in the audience, Johnny.”

I discovered country music through youthful drinking in Irish pubs, particularly the legendary Lamb and Flag in Worcester, whose jukebox contained two absolute classics - Merle Haggard's "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive" and Hank Thompson's "A Six Pack To Go" coupled with "The Wild Side Of Life". Beautiful. Short, sweet and to the point.

Hey Mr Bartender ... (long pause then a guitar chord)

Please don't be so slow ... (drums kick in)

I've got time for me more round
And a six pack to go
Tomorrow morning's Sunday
I'm gonna be feeling low
So please please bartender
I want a six pack to go
I've been drinking all day long
Taking in the town
I've done spent my whole paycheck
Just a honky tonking round
Well I don't have enough to pay my rent
I ain't gonna worry though
I've got time for one more round
And a six pack to go

(cheerful guitar ...)

One six pack to go !


James G. said...

Wow, thanks for that article...

I just posted the lyrics to "The Fightin' Side of Me" on my blog just this last Thursday!

Must be some sort of Merle Haggard zeitgeist going around.

DFH said...

Re Cash: where are the British equivalents of albums like San Quentin and Fulsom Prison?

I guess "25 Minutes To Go (Until I’m Released On Bail Again)" doesn’t have quite the same impact, does it?

Anonymous said...

Does the zeitgeist include the classic "Set my chickens free"?