Ben Haggard is carving out an impressive name for himself. The son of country great Merle Haggard routinely takes to Facebook and YouTube to share intimate acoustic covers of songs. This time, he’s got a country classic for fans.
In the latest post, Ben Haggard covers Lefty Frizzell’s classic “Long Black Veil.” The tragic country tune fits his voice perfectly.
Haggard elects to turn the song into even more of a ballad. He slows it down and draws out the notes. The approach adds another level of melancholy to the tune. The no-frills, one microphone approach puts Haggard’s voice front and center, and it’s really something.
Haggard’s cover version only went up on Wednesday, but it earned nearly 100,000 views and 1,500 shares in that short amount of time. Comments on the video alternate between noting similarities between Ben Haggard and his dad and wondering why the younger Haggard isn’t a household name yet.
Lefty Frizzell first recorded “Long Black Veil” in 1959. It quickly became his most successful song, encouraging cover versions in just about every decade since its release. Notable artists to cover “Long Black Veil” include The Byrds, Don Williams, Johnny Cash, Bruce Hornsby and even Dave Matthews Band.
And talk about a tear-jerker. The song tells the story of a man wrongfully convicted of a crime. The judge gives him a chance to exonerate himself with an alibi. But the man refuses, because on the night of the murder, he was having an affair with his best friend’s wife. So he instead chooses death over revealing the truth. And she visits his grave wearing a “long black veil.”