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I min vandring gennem country-genren hører jeg for tiden Merle Haggard. Han sad fængslet i San Quentin, da Johnny Cash gæstede Folson State Prison i 1958, og hans historie er helt fantastisk. Hans far døde da han var ni, og den unge Merle tog det ikke pænt. “She tried to raise me right, but I refused”, synger han i Mama tried (1968), men da han strammede op blev han hurtigt en af de helt store. ‘Okie from Muskogee’ (1969) er måske det største hit, men personligt foretrækker jeg ‘Fighten Side of Me’ (1970). Senere i karrieren undsagde han de kompromisløse tekster, men bordet fanger. Han døde i 2016, for snart fem år siden.

“I hear people talkin’ bad about the way
We have to live here in this country
Harpin’ on the wars we fight
And gripin’ ‘bout the way things oughta be

And I don’t mind ‘em switchin’ sides
And standin’ up for things they believe in
When they’re runnin’ down my country, man
They’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me

ANNONSE

Yeah, walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me
Runnin’ down the way of life
Our fightin’ men have fought and died to keep
If you don’t love it, leave it
Let this song I’m singin’ be a warnin’

When you’re runnin’ down my country, man
You’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me

I read about some squirrely guy
Who claims, he just don’t believe in fightin’
And I wonder just how long
The rest of us can count on bein’ free

They love our milk and honey
But they preach about some other way of livin’

When they’re runnin’ down my country, hoss
They’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me”

(Merle Haggard, Fighten Side of Me, 1970)

ANNONSE

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