Okie from Muskogee

Merle Haggard (OKLAHOMANS 2, Chapter 5) unleashed his fiery anthem to Oklahoma heartland values in the fall of 1969, at the height of national protests against nearly everything. He later recalled that because of his own prison term as a young man, he felt a strong connection to the American boys losing their freedom to the military draft and war in Vietnam:


“I was drivin’ on Interstate 40 and I saw a sign that said ‘19 Miles to Muskogee,’ while at the same time listening to radio shows of The World Tomorrow hosted by (Christian evangelist) Garner Ted Armstrong. Muskogee was always referred to in my childhood as ‘back home.’ I knew what it was like to lose my freedom, and I was getting really mad at these protesters. They didn't know anything more about the war in Vietnam than I did. I thought how my dad, who was from Oklahoma, would have felt. I felt I knew how those boys fighting in Vietnam felt.”


Okie from Muskogee won the Country Music Association song and album of the year, rallied the American “Silent Majority,” and remains one of the most famous songs ever written in the genre.

 

We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee

We don't take our trips on LSD

We don't burn our draft cards down on Main Street

We like livin' right, and bein' free

We don't make a party out of lovin'

We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo

We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy

Like the hippies out in San Francisco do


I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,

A place where even squares can have a ball

We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,

And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all


Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear

Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen

Football's still the roughest thing on campus

And the kids here still respect the college dean


And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee

A place where even squares can have a ball.

We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse

And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all


And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all

In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA.


For the second paragraph, I would insert somewhere that Merle Haggard himself said that, just to further vindicate it.

 

The above article is a bonus to the fascinating historical content found within our book

Oklahomans Vol 2 :

Statehood - 2020s

which can be purchased HERE.


View the inspiring 2-minute preview video HERE.

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