On This Day: Merle Haggard Records ‘If We’re Not Back in Love by Monday’ in 1977

by Katie Maloney

Forty-four years ago today, country music legend Merle Haggard recorded his song about reigniting the flame between two long-time lovers.

“If We’re Not Back in Love by Monday,” is a song about rediscovering love after years of marriage. During the song, Merle Haggard sings to his wife asking her to take a trip with him to Florida “like we used to do.” He lists all the romantic things they’ll do together during their trip. Haggard says that, if they’re not back in love by the time the trip is over, then they can go their separate ways. But, at least they’ll both know that they gave it one last try.

During the song, Merle Haggard sings, “If we’re not back in love by Monday, we can’t say we didn’t try. But before we bury our love, let’s make sure we’ve let it die. Sleep a few more nights together, say the things we used to say. If we’re not back in love by Monday, we can go our separate ways.”

The song was written by Sonny Throckmorton and Glenn Martin. Haggard recorded the song as the first single for his album Ramblin’ Fever. The song spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and peaked in the number two spot.

Merle Haggard’s “If We’re Not Back In Love By Monday”

Merle Haggard Has A Romantic Side

For as gritty as his music was and as rebellious as his reputation was, Merle Haggard was actually pretty romantic. Haggard recorded songs like “If We’re Not Back in Love by Monday,” “That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Today, I Started Loving You Again,” and more. He was also married five times. So, it’s pretty obvious that he’s well-acquainted with the ups and downs of love. In fact, he even talked about how music was a “double-edged” sword for him and his wife, Theresa, during an interview in 2010.

“You know, music is a double-edged sword. It takes me away from her and sometimes that’s not good. But it also brings us together in ways that nobody else would understand,” said Haggard. “Actually singing together, actually harmonizing together, that requires some duel fault that might not exist in other marriages.”

Merle Haggard and Theresa worked together for his album, I Am What I Am.

“Yea, she works on stage with me. We’ve been together 24 years. And that’s twice as long as I’ve ever been with any woman. So looks like it’s gonna be a steady deal,” said Haggard.