Merle Haggard, 68 years old and still going strong, is releasing his 51st album, Chicago Wind, on October 25th.
1. Chicago Wind
3. Honky Tonk Man
4. I Still Can't Say Goodbye
5. It Always Will Be
6. Leaving's Not The Only Way To Go
7. What I've Been Meaning To Say
8. Rebuild America First
9. Where's All The Freedom
10. White Man Singing The Blues
11. Some Of Us Fly (with Toby Keith)
Merle Haggard defies labels. Is he a Republican? Is he a Democrat? In the 1970's, George Wallace begged for him to campaign for him, and allow him to use "Fightin' Side of Me" as a theme song, but he refused. He said he owed a debt of gratitude to Ronald Reagan for pardoning him in 1960 (while serving in San Quentin prison). He defended the Dixie Chicks when they said they were ashamed Presidnt Bush was from Texas. On his last country CD, That's the News, he had two songs speaking out against the war and the Patriot Act, and one song in support of the troops.
On this CD, which of course I haven't heard yet, he tackles the war again, this time head-on at 90 miles an hour.
Here, in part, is the lyrics to "Rebuild America First":
Yea, men in position but backing away
Freedom is stuck in reverse
Let's get out of Iraq and get back on the track
And let's rebuild America first.
Then, in "Where's All The Freedom?" the Hag discusses the Ten Commandments, gasoline prices, and civil liberties:
Are we a nation under God anymore
How long do we cower down
Is this really still our ground
Our country is like a prisoner of war
Where's all the freedom that we're fightin' for?
I tend to believe Merle Haggard is a classic patriotic Democrat. He's against the war, for God and the Bible, for the troops, and for helping people in need.
Sounds like a pretty good campaign platform in the making to me.