“Workin’ Man Blues” is a song written and performed by American country music artist Merle Haggard and The Strangers. It was released in May 1969 as the second single from the album A Portrait of Merle Haggard. The song was released during his early peak and became one of several signature songs during his career.
“Workin’ Man Blues” is Haggard’s tribute to a core group of his fans: The American blue-collared working man. Backed by a strong electric guitar beat that typified Haggard’s signature Bakersfield Sound, he fills the role of one of those workers expressing pride in values such as hard work and sacrifice, despite the resulting fatigue and the stress of raising a large family. He admits to relaxing during the off-working hours (“I drink my beer in a tavern, sing a little bit of these workin’ man’s blues.”) and vows that as a result of keeping his values, he will never need to go on welfare (“… cause I’ll be working, long as my two hands are fit to use.”).
From the album A Portrait of Merle Haggard
B-side “Silver Wings”
Released June 30, 1969
Recorded May 16, 1969
Label Capitol 2503
Songwriter(s) Merle Haggard
Producer(s) Ken Nelson