“The Roots of My Raising” is a song written by Tommy Collins, and recorded by American country music artist Merle Haggard and The Strangers. It was released in January 1976 as the first single and title track from the album The Roots of My Raising. The song was Merle Haggard and The Strangers twenty-third number one on the country chart. The single spent one week at number one and a total of ten weeks on the country chart.
The song, sung in first-person, sees a young man who visits his childhood home for the first time in several years. As he approaches home, he reflects on the gravel road and the one-room schoolhouse he attended as a child. Once at home, he sees his father sleeping, comfortably and clutching a photo of his wife (the singer’s mother) in his hands. At this point, he speaks of his now-deceased mother and recalls times where people could take out a bank loan simply on a verbal promise of repayment.
From the album The Roots of My Raising
B-side “The Way It Was In ’51”
Released January 12, 1976
Songwriter(s) Tommy Collins
Producer(s) Ken Nelson and Fuzzy Owen