Music

Merle Haggard’s Final Recording, ‘Kern River Blues,’ Drops Today

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Almost exactly a month after his death, Merle Haggard’s voice will return to country airwaves one last time.

According to a statement on the late country singer’s official website, Haggard’s final studio recording will be released to the public on May 12. Entitled “Kern River Blues,” the track was written while he was in the hospital seeking treatment for pneumonia earlier this year.

Haggard went against doctors recommendations and went back on the road, but managed to find time to record what would be his last song during his time at home in February. The track is “about his memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late ‘70s,” and is being released as a way of thanking Haggard’s fans for the support and love that his family has received since his passing.

The song will be exclusively premiered on Willie Nelson’s SiriusXM channel Willie’s Roadhouse at 5 pm ET. It will then be available to purchase through MerleHaggard.com or through iTunes. 10% of all gross proceeds from the sale of his final song will go to various homeless charities.

Fans can get a preview of “Kern River Blues” in the player below.

I’m leavin’ town tomorrow
Get my breakfast in the sky
Well, I’m leavin’ in the early morning
Eat my breakfast in the sky
Be a donut on a paper
Drink my coffee on the fly

I’m flying out on a jet plane
Gonna leave this town behind
I’m flying out on a jet plane
Gonna leave this town behind
They’ve done moved the city limits
Out by the county line

Put my head up to the window
Watch the city fade away
Put my head close to the window
Watch Oildale fade away
The blues back in the ‘30s
Just like the blues today

There used to be a river here
Runnin’ deep and wide
Well, they used to have Kern River
Runnin’ deep and wide
Then somebody stole the water
Another politician lied

When you closed down all the honky tonks
The city died at night
When you closed down all the honky tonks
The city died at night
When it hurt somebody’s feelings
Well, a wrong ain’t never right

Well, I’m leaving town forever
Kiss an old boxcar goodbye
Well, I’m leaving town forever
Kiss an old boxcar goodbye
I dug my blues down in the river
But the old Kern River is dry

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Merle Haggard’s Final Recording, ‘Kern River Blues,’ Drops Today