Late country icon Merle Haggard’s youngest son, Ben Haggard, took to Facebook to share a cover of his father’s nostalgic song, “Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver).” He only shared a short snippet (a couple of verses from the middle of the song), but it’s evident that he inherited Merle’s talent.
Ben knows all of Merle’s songs by heart, and not just because he’s the country legend’s son. Ben played guitar for Merle’s band, The Strangers, over the last eight years, beginning when he was just 15-years-old. Since Merle passed away, Ben and his brother Noel have continued to tour with the band and perform Merle’s songs.
Ben has shared several cover songs on his Facebook page. The caption of this one simply reads, “Are they?”
The wistful song choice seems to be a statement about the times. Written by Merle himself, it expresses a longing to go back to a simpler way of life. The lyrics show a sentiment for things like patriotism and a strong worth ethic. However, the song does end on an optimistic note. “The best of the free life is still yet to come,” he sings. “The good times ain’t over for good.”
“Are the Good Times Really Over” was featured on Merle’s 1982 album, Big City. It hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts after its release.