Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Merle Haggard, “You Take Me For Granted”

“You Take Me For Granted”

Merle Haggard

Written by Leona Williams

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

May 20, 1983


#1 (1 week)

May 28, 1983

As their marriage was coming to an end, Merle Haggard topped the charts with its requiem, written by his soon to be ex-wife Leona Williams.

One could be forgiven for thinking this was penned by Haggard himself, thanks to his aching delivery of his partner’s words of neglect and abandonment:

My legs and my feet have walked ’till they can’t hardly move

From tryin’ to please you

And my back is sore from bendin’ over backwards

To just lay the world at your door.

And I’m trying so hard to keep a smile on a sad face

While deep down it’s breakin’ my heart

And as sure as the sun shines, I’ll be a lifetime

Not knowin’ if I’ve done my part.

It’s one of Haggard’s finest performances of the decade, with or without the back story.

“You Take Me For Granted” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. A great record.

    I always find it amusing though that Leona wrote it to complain about Merle, and he sang it about her…

  2. Only Haggard could pull of that feat and retain the emotional purity and intent of the lyrics. There is nothing ironic, vindictive, insincere, or tongue-in-cheek about his singing William’s lyrics. Haggard knew a great song when he heard it even if it hurt,

    His vocals convey all the twisted confusion and pain of a failing relationship shared in the lyrics to devastating effect.

    This song is crippling in its honesty. It can turn me into a burbling mess of tears every time I hear it if I let it.

    Again, a song I never assumed was an ’80s hit. As has been mentioned in past Haggard posts, Haggard’s output this decade is as strong as any other decade of his career.

    Is this my favorite Haggard performance?

    As of now, It just might be.

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