Listen to Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson Cover Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’
Despite the criticisms that Bob Dylan had for Merle Haggard and other country legends last year, during Dylan’s MusiCares Person of the Year acceptance speech, there are no hard feelings. The Hag and Willie Nelson recorded a cover of Dylan’s 1963 song “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” for their new album, Django & Jimmie.
Press play on the video above to hear a snippet of the cover and see Haggard and Nelson in the studio, recording the song.
In Dylan’s speech, in front of artists and industry professionals, he said, in part, “Merle Haggard didn’t even think much of my songs. I know he didn’t. He didn’t say that to me, but I know way back when, he didn’t. Buck Owens did, and he recorded some of my early songs … And that trumps anything else out of Bakersfield. Buck Owens or Merle Haggard? If you had to have somebody’s blessing, you can figure it out.”
Haggard took the high road, tweeting, “Bob Dylan, I’ve admired your songs since 1964. ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Bob, Willie and I just recorded it on our new album,” following the controversial remarks. He also didn’t seem too personally affected by Dylan’s harsh words.
“I don’t know what the f–k is wrong with Bob,” Haggard tells Broadway’s Electric Barnyard. “I’ve always liked his music. And his writing was just impressive to me because I was a songwriter and struggling … and I love to hear him sing, and I loved to hear him play the guitar …”
For his part, Dylan later said that his words were taken out of context.
“I wasn’t dissing Merle, not the Merle I know,” Dylan explains. “What I was talking about happened a long time ago, maybe in the late ’60s. Merle had that song out called “Fighting Side of Me,” and I’d seen an interview with him where he was going on about hippies and Dylan and the counter culture, and it kind of stuck in my mind and hurt, lumping me in with everything he didn’t like. But of course times have changed, and he’s changed too … He’s a complete man, and we’re friends these days. We have a lot in common.”
Django and Jimmie is available on Amazon.
Test Your Willie Nelson Knowledge!
Willie Nelson + More Country Stars Who Have Served in the Military