“The Fightin’ Side of Me” is a song by American country music artist Merle Haggard, released in 1970. The song was written and performed as a response to the anti-war and countercultural movements of the time. It expresses a strong sentiment of patriotism and loyalty to the United States, as well as a criticism of those who oppose the country’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
The song features a classic country sound with twangy guitars and a driving beat, and Haggard’s distinctive voice delivering the lyrics with conviction. Some of the most memorable lines of the song include: “If you don’t love it, leave it / Let this song I’m singin’ be a warnin’ / If you’re runnin’ down my country, man / You’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.”
“The Fightin’ Side of Me” was a commercial and critical success, reaching No. 1 on March 23, 1970 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and becoming one of Haggard’s signature songs. Its message of patriotism and defense of traditional values struck a chord with many listeners, and the song remains a popular anthem of American conservatism. Many have taken to record the song and our friends were fortunate to capture Gene Watson singing the No. 1 hit.
Check out Gene Watson’s performance of “The Fightin’ Side of Me” from Country’s Family Reunion: God Bless America Again. Catch more of his performances at countryroadtv.com/artist/gene-watson/