About The Song

“Okie From Muskogee” by Merle Haggard is a classic country song that sparked conversation and controversy upon its release in 1969. Here’s a breakdown:

Origins and Release:

  • Written by Merle Haggard with contributions from Roy D. Acuff.
  • Released in 1969 on Haggard’s album of the same title, “Okie from Muskogee.”
  • The song became a major hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and winning several awards for Haggard.

Genre: Country

Lyrics and Theme:

  • The song is sung from the perspective of a patriotic American living in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
  • The lyrics express strong conservative values and criticize the counterculture movements of the late 1960s (“We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee / We don’t take our trips on LSD”).
  • It celebrates traditional American values like hard work, patriotism, and family.

Controversy and Impact:

  • “Okie from Muskogee” was a controversial song due to its stance against the counterculture movement.
  • It was seen by some as a reactionary response to movements for social change, particularly those involving the Vietnam War and civil rights.
  • Despite the controversy, the song became a huge hit, resonating with many Americans who shared Haggard’s views.
  • It remains a significant song in country music history, sparking discussions about patriotism, tradition, and social change.
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Legacy and Complexities:

  • “Okie from Muskogee” is a complex song with lasting influence.
  • While some see it as a celebration of patriotism, others view it as an endorsement of intolerance.
  • Regardless of interpretation, the song offers a valuable glimpse into American society and cultural tensions during the late 1960s.

Want to hear the song?

“Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard is available on most streaming platforms, but you may want to be aware of the song’s potentially offensive content for some listeners. There’s also the official music video available on YouTube: you can search for “Merle Haggard – Okie From Muskogee (Official Music Video)”.

Would you like to explore other Merle Haggard songs or learn more about the cultural context of the song?

Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤
We don’t smoke marijuana in MuskogeeWe don’t take our trips on LSDWe don’t burn our draft cards down on Main Street‘Cause we like livin’ right, and bein’ free
We don’t make a party out of lovin’But we like holdin’ hands and pitchin’ wooWe don’t let our hair grow long and shaggyLike the hippies out in San Francisco do
And I’m proud to be an Okie from MuskogeeA place where even squares can have a ballWe still wave Old Glory down at the courthouseAnd white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all
Leather boots are still in style for manly footwearBeads and Roman sandals won’t be seenAnd football’s still the roughest thing on campusAnd the kids here still respect the college dean
And I’m proud to be an Okie from MuskogeeA place where even squares can have a ballWe still wave Old Glory down at the courthouseAnd white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all
And white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of allIn Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA

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