Michael Ray Mourns Grandmother’s Death With Merle Haggard Song
The words of an old Merle Haggard song came to mind when Michael Ray learned his grandmother had died.
On Tuesday (Jan. 1), Ray shared the sad news and that Haggard's "I I Could Only Fly" came to him in his time of mourning. He felt an immediate need to play it in her memory, so he did, and he shared the video on Instagram.
"I don't know what to say except thank you for all you did for all of us," Ray writes. "I'm so glad God gave me you as a grandmother you were the definition of strong independent, hard-working, god-fearing, family woman. I'm so glad Carly got to meet you — she reminds me a lot of you in some ways."
The 30-year-old singer is dating singer Carly Pearce. In fact, the two became engaged last month and then celebrated Christmas with Ray's family Florida. Ray indicates that his grandmother — his father's mother — died earlier this week.
"Pls watch over us. It's not easy letting you go but I know because you raised us and taught us about God and Heaven that you’re without pain and with papa Amos."
Amos is the country star's grandfather — the man he credits with instilling his love of music. Ray even named his most recent album Amos after him and speaks with great reverence for a musician as passionate as they come, who never earned money performing.
"If I Could Only Fly" is a storied country ballad Haggard had been performing long before he made it the title track to his well-received album from 2000. The late Blaze Foley wrote "If I Could Only Fly," and the Guardian smartly points out that the 2000 version far supersedes other popular Haggard versions of the song, including a popular YouTube performance from 1986.
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