Brantley Gilbert is honoring the life and legacy of Charlie Daniels, by covering one of the late singer’s biggest hits. Brantley performed “Long Haired Country Boy,” in tribute to the country music legend.
“Charlie Daniels is a legend of country music,” Brantley said of his performance. “[I] put together this cover with Jesse Franklin to honor the man he was and the music he made. Both will inspire me forever. RIP Charlie Daniels.”
“Long Haired Country Boy” was first released in 1975. The song, from Charlie’s fifth studio album, Fire on the Mountain, was written by Charlie. Although it failed to chart when Charlie first released it, he re-released it five years later, where it landed in the Top 30.
Charlie might have been proud of the song when he wrote it, but he went several years without playing it in his concerts, because of the song’s lyrics, which began with, “People say I’m no good and crazy as a loon / ‘Cause I get stoned in the morning / And get drunk in the afternoon.”
“Things have gotten so serious and it’s such a big problem with drugs and alcohol with kids, and it just went against my Christian feelings to actually do anything that somebody could construe with promoting that lifestyle, or those things, the alcohol and drugs,” Charlie previously told Songfacts.
Although Brantley sang the original version, Charlie eventually changed the lines to reflect his current beliefs.
“The song was such a big part of our repertoire and was always just a popular song for us to do,” Charlie reflected “And people kept wanting it, so I changed ‘I get stoned in the morning, I get drunk in the afternoon‘ to ‘I get up in the morning, I get down in the afternoon,’ which means the same thing. I wish I had done that to start with.”
Although Charlie wrote the song more than 40 years ago, the message behind “Long-Haired Country Boy,” is just as relevant as ever, and maybe more.
“If you don’t like me, we don’t need to have any trouble, we don’t need to be going upside each other’s head or anything,” Charlie said of the thoughts he was trying to convey with the song. “Just leave me alone. Just walk around me. Maybe you don’t like the way my hair looks, maybe you don’t like the way I eat my soup, or whatever it is that you don’t like about me, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I don’t care. If you don’t like me it’s okay. Maybe I don’t like you either, but I’m not going to bother with you. Just walk around me, go to the other side of the street, or I go to the other side of the street, and let’s just co-exist here.
“There’s no need to have problems,” he added. “You may mentally and intellectually disagree with people, but you don’t have to be nasty about it. You certainly don’t have to be physical about it. So if you don’t like me, it’s okay, just leave me alone. And that’s what the song’s about.”
Brantley ended his performance by acknowledging the loss the country music community feels in Charlie’s absence.
“Rest in peace, Charlie Daniels,” Brantley stated. “Thank you so much for the legacy you left behind. We appreciate you.”