As I was driving around, I had the Willie Nelson station on my Sirius satellite radio. It might surprise you that I would ever listen to a country-music station, but I do flip by there now and then, partly because it's amusing, partly because I'm off and on reading Willie Nelson's autobiography (amusing in the extreme), partly because the old "classic" twangy country music from the '50s and the '60s is a thousand times better than current "country" music, which, let's face it, is pretty obnoxious.
Today and yesterday, though, the station is focusing on Merle Haggard, the country-music icon (what is the definition of "icon"?) who died yesterday on his 79th birthday. I knew little of Merle Haggard, whose main irritation to me was his 1969 hit song, "Okie From Muskogee"...
We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don't take no trips on LSD
We don't burn no draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.
etc., etc., etc..
That irritation came partly from being stationed in the Army (against my will), where everybody in my ranks was either a drunk or a pothead, and the potheads happened to be more interesting,... It was a difficult anti-Establishment period in our history, and Merle was there to irritate some of us...
But listening to this Willie Nelson station tribute to Merle Haggard's sometimes sad, personal music has made re-think some of this... I raise my drink to you, Merle, and may you find peace always. We're all in this together, and we all share much.