BY LINDI SMITH Wide Open Country
In honor of country legend Merle Haggard, Vince Gill performed the song he wrote for him on April 15 at the Grand Ole Opry. With Paul Franklin on the steel guitar, the two gave a beautiful and moving performance of the song, titled “A World Without Haggard.”
The song was written by Gill after Haggard’s passing on April 6 (his 79th birthday) after suffering from complications resulting from a pneumonia. Since then, there have been endless tributes from fellow musicians honoring the influential icon.
Gill’s performance of “A World Without Haggard” is truly stunning. The lyrics are beautiful, meaningful and powerful, and Gill’s voice soars through the Opry. You can feel his love for Haggard throughout the whole performance.
In the song, Gill sings about the moment he learned of Haggard’s passing on his way to Georgia and how he thought he’d live forever. He expresses his admiration for him with lyrics like, “He was my biggest inspiration, the reason why I sang the blues/Taught me how to play the guitar, and write a country song.”
The chorus is simple and perfect: “I’m lost in a world without Haggard/Who’ll tell the truth to you and me?/I’m lost in world without Haggard/It’s a world I thought I would never see.”