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Merle Haggard - I Made The Prison Band (WATCH)

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Merle haggard Songs | Merle Haggard - I Made The Prison Band (WATCH) | Country Music Videos
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You could say the lyrics in Merle Haggard's 'I Made The Prison Band' are pseudo-autobiographical. 

After living a somewhat troubled youth, Merle received a jail sentence in 1958 at Bakersfield Correctional Facility, and after attempting to escape was transferred to San Quentin Prison. He was later released in 1960, and by 1967 was approaching mega-stardom with number one hits on the country charts such as 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' and 'Branded Man'. 

Merle was understandably concerned his time in such a high-security prison would have a lasting effect on him. You can get that impression from the entire 'Branded Man' album, however he never relinquished to the public whether or not these songs were rooted in personal folklore.

This song was inspired by Merle's actual experience playing with a prison band. More specifically it's attributed to a 1958 performance by Johnny Cash at San Quentin, one that later inspired Merle to join the band.

+++++++ LYRICS BELOW +++++++

Deep inside this lonely prison where the pleasures are so few
Where the walls are strong and the days are long and there's nothin' new
I learned to play the guitar and I'm a doin' the best I can
I guess I could be worse because I made the prison band
I made the prison band.

Now there's ole bashful Bill on the doghouse bass Willie on the steel guitar
He hails from Ponkatilla where they drive a pretty mean bar
And back on the drum there's two time Tom our mshot temple man
The boys call me their singin' MC since I made the prison band
I made the prison band.

I've been plannin' a break since Christmas I had the details all worked out
But now I know that I ain't gonna go and there's no doubt
I had my try-out Sunday and the outcome changed my plan
I gotta rehearse for the Friday night show cause I made the prison band
I made the prison band.

Now there's ole bashful Bill on the doghouse bass Willie on the steel guitar
He hails from Ponkatilla where they drive a pretty mean bar
And back on the drum there's two time Tom our mshot temple man
The boys call me their singin' MC since I made the prison band
I made the prison band.

I made the prison band

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