Long known for his acerbic political and social commentary in songs such as “Okie from Muskogee” and “Are the Good Times Really Over,” country great Merle Haggard has released a brand new topical song addressing the healthcare crisis in the United States. The track, titled “Song for the Sick,” began making headlines as soon as it appeared on Haggard’s website last Sunday.
An entirely new composition, the song nevertheless contains echoes of classic Haggard, especially in the jaunty, swinging chorus delivered to subtle snare accompaniment:
Dollar bills are still in style for legal tender
But politicians talk while soldiers pay the fees
We need a real big switch of gender
Remember when Nixon lied to us on TV?
Anyway, about the health care, we all need it
Especially squirrely men who will not fight
The cost we will pay if we don’t heed it
Will be inevitable damnation and hellfire
[Bob Wills-style ‘Ah-haaaaaaa’]
Media response to the song has been divided along political lines, with FOX News calling it “an impeccably argued, masterfully written anti-Obamacare satire by a longtime conservative hero” even as the New York Times hailed it as “the latest in a long line of socially-conscious post-millennial Haggard songs” and “the final proof of [Haggard’s] lefty conversion.”
Outside of the news business, some believe the politically-motivated readings miss the mark. “I know it’s supposed to be something about healthcare, but beyond that, I have no idea what the hell Merle is trying to say, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t either,” said Nashville housewife Luann Jefferson. “He probably just figured he should slap something topical together so FOX and the New York Times would talk about him again.”
She added: “That part about extraterrestrials taking our nursing jobs was a little too ‘out there’ for me.”
Find more satirical articles in the Fake News archive.