On This Day: Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart Record ‘Farmer’s Blues’ Together in 2003

by Matthew Wilson

Singers Merle Haggard and Marty Stuart partnered together to perform this ode to farmers and the agriculture industry back in 2003. The two joined forces to record “Farmer’s Blues together.”

Written by Stuart and Connie Smith, the song explores the highs and lows of being a farmer. And sometimes, there are more lows than highs, especially if you’re a small independent farmer. For instance, the song details how bad weather might ruin crops. Farmers may struggle to get a loan to buy farming equipment from the bank. And even if they have a successful harvest, no one may buy their produce. Sometimes it can be difficult being a farmer.

Both Haggard and Stuart are great together in this music video. Their voices harmonize while singing this sad but also catchy tune. Lyrics include: “Who’ll buy my wheat? / Who’ll buy my corn / To feed my babies when they’re born? / Seeds and dirt / A prayer for rain / That, I can use.”

A Farm Saved Marty Stuart’s Life

For Stuart, it’s not just a song though. The country singer actually owns a farm in Mississippi. Rather than giving him the blues, Stuart’s farm acted as a peaceful retreat during his career. At one difficult point, Stuart faced a reckoning in his career and struggled with what to do.

“I felt I was in the weeds, musically,” Stuart told NPR. “And I knew I was spiritually and professionally and personally. I was just – you know, that’s what happens when you start on the road when you’re 12 years old and you don’t go home for a long, long time. And it was a lifestyle that I knew was going to kill me.”

Stuart decided to go back home to Mississippi. The retreat back to his farm helped him figure out what he wanted to do with both his career but also his life as well.

“I knew that I had to bring it down – turn the volume down – and go back to the ground,” Stuart said. “So I went back home to Mississippi, to my farm, and spent a lot of time soul-searching and looking for a different way to do it. And it has paid off. I didn’t like the way my life or my legacy was shaping up. And I knew that I could do something about it. And only I could do something about it.”