Merle Haggard, ' I’m Always on a Mountain When I Fall' (MCA)
In the "almost been a winner" title track, which right on cue climbed all the way to only Number Two on the country singles chart, Merle Haggard sings a version of the blues that likely shows up way more often in human hearts than it ever does in songs: "I hate to say I'm giving up, but I believe losing's just become a way of life for me." From there, Merle proceeds to count losses that walk arm-in-arm with all the little reasons he's not giving up after all. In "It's Been a Great Afternoon," another Number Two hit, a lover helps him combat a hangover with a "rowdy afternooner," and on "Love Me When You Can," one more Number Two, he begs another lover to please just fit him in once in a while. On "The Immigrant," Merle even praises illegal Mexican workers who can't win for losing but who are also key for "helping America grow.: Merle says he knows the feeling.