Silver Wings Lyrics

Merle Haggard Vinyl Record Memories.

Merle Haggard vinyl record memories brings back his popular Silver Wings in this 1978 Austin City Limits performance.

Merle performed Silver Wings during his first appearance on the popular Austin City Limits.

When he stepped onto that stage in Austin, Texas for the first time in 1978 Merle was at the top of his game.

He had already been named Entertainer of the Year by both the Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music in the same year (1970). His recent release of a tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World (My Salute to Bob Wills), sparked a renewed interest in western swing.

With his band, the Strangers, it was no stretch to say that he had the best live show in country music. Haggard is joined by longtime band members, the Strangers, which in 1978 featured his then-wife Bonnie Owens.

Before singing "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive" Merle remarked, “We’ll go into what is known as our prison segment. We’ll dedicate it especially for all the shut-in friends over at the county jail.” He follows up with his 1967 hit song, "Sing Me Back Home." Both are included in the 16-song set with his debut on the popular Austin City Limits series.

Haggard recalled the story of this mournful song to the UK magazine Uncut: "It was written on a plane – a 707 coming out of Phoenix, Arizona going to LA with Bonnie Owens," he said. "I looked out and those silver wings were just gleaming. I thought, what a great title for a song."

I moved to a small town outside of Austin, Texas two years after he first sang the Silver Wings lyrics on Austin City Limits.  I later purchased the video to this classic Merle Haggard concert so I could view it over and over. If I had known he was going to be there I believe I would have moved two years earlier.

Silver Wings Lyrics | Why No Number One For This Great Merle Haggard Song?

1969 Album, A Portrait of Merle Haggard.

Silver Wings was written by Haggard but was never released as a single. 

The song was on the 1969 album "A Portrait Of Merle Haggard" and the album went to #3. A rebellious soul with a kind spirit, he lived a rich blue-collar life, and his music reflected it in every way. With songs like "Workin' Man Blues," "The Fightin' Side of Me," and "If We Make it Through December" that's hard to argue.

Two songs off that "Portrait" album, "Workin' Man's Blues" and "Hungry Eyes" would both become #1 songs for Merle and were among several signature songs for Haggard.

Haggard wrote four of the LP's ten songs himself, including the mournful "Silver Wings" which, much like his earlier composition "Today I Started Loving You Again," was never released as a single but became immensely popular with audiences.

Silver Wings has since become a Merle Haggard standard and a favorite at his concerts. Romanticizing an airplane’s “silver wings” that took away his lover, Haggard sang so intimately that you wondered if you were eavesdropping.

"Don’t leave me, I cried
Don’t take that airplane ride
But you locked me out of your mind
And left me standing here behind."

See if you agree after watching this great Live performance more than 40 years ago. 

Silver Wings Lyrics
Written by Merle Haggard
From 1969 album - A Portrait Of Merle Haggard

Silver wings...Shining in the sunlight

Roaring engines...Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away...And leaving me lonely
Silver wings...Slowly fading out of sight

Don't leave me I cry...Don't take that airplane ride
But you've locked me out of your mind...And left me standing here behind

Silver wings...Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines...Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away...And leaving me lonely
Silver wings...Slowly fading out of sight

Silver wings...Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines...Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away...And leaving me lonely
Silver wings...Slowly fading out of sigh

Slowly fading out of sight....

Enjoy this page? Share it with your friends!

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

You might also like these...

  • That's The Way Love Goes Lyrics | Merle Haggard duet with Jewel.

    That's The Way Love Goes was a #1 song for both Johnny Rodriguez and Merle Haggard, ten years apart. Haggard's version possesses a trace of sadness that somehow becomes uplifting mainly because of his masterful delivery of words and this duet with Jewel is solid gold.

  • Pride In What I Am | Merle Haggard Vinyl Record Memories

    "I Take A Lot of Pride In What I Am" is a fan favorite from the 1970, "Fightin' Side of Me" live album. The introduction says it all. The Houselights blink, then dim. The crowd quiets. Then the intro and the man they've been waiting for. This is Merle Haggard - Live!

  • Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star | Merle Haggard Vinyl Record Memories

    Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star was co-written by Merle Haggard with Freddie Powers in 1987 and was the last of his thirty eight number one singles as a solo artist. Haggard wishes upon a star not for riches but for reconciliation with a lover, with a bit of doo-wop influence.

  • Misery and Gin lyrics | Is this the Best Barroom song ever written?

    Misery and Gin lyrics was the first single off the album "Back to the Barrooms," and words alone make this one a Honky-tonk classic. "Looking at the world through the bottom of a glass all I see is a man who's fadin' fast" adds to my list for Best Bar Room song ever written.

  • When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold | Merle Haggard vinyl record memories

    When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again, performed by Merle Haggard in 2004 at Texas honky tonk, Billy Bob's. Merle performs 21 songs and the entrance of the talented Janie Fricke singing back-up on this number was a welcome bonus for all.

  • Mama Tried Lyrics | Merle Haggard 1968 Vinyl Record Memories

    Mama Tried Lyrics looks back on hard times as Merle Haggard tried to focus on the pain and suffering he caused his mother after being placed in San Quentin prison in 1957. His songwriting always seemed to take you with him and make you feel the hurt he experienced.

Return to Merle Haggard Main Page

Return to Home Page.

Ever thought of having your own website? I built Vinyl Record Memories "from scratch" with SoloBuildIt! Click below to find out more....

Top of Page

Vinyl Record Memories Newsletter

Go to Vinyl Record Memories Newsletter Sign up page.

A Little Bit of Nostalgia in your inbox each month.

SignUp Today

"Cattle Call Duet"

Cattle Call was originally recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1945, and re-recorded in 1955. Forty years later, Eddy Arnold joined 13-year-old Texan LeAnn Rimes on a version of "Cattle Call" for her 1996 Curb debut album, Blue.  Read more.

Country Cheatin' Songs.

Send Me Down To Tucson, one of the all time classic country cheating songs that finds the singer having a torrid affair with a lover in another city and state. Read more...

Best Train Song Ever?

The City of New Orleans is a well-written train song with a beautiful message. If you love the song you probably like trains. If you like trains, this song is sure to delight you. Come with me and Ride That Train.

I Want to Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart.

Patsy Montana's cowboy song lyrics paints a different picture of a woman who wants to rope and ride and sleep out under the stars, just like her Cowboy Sweetheart. Suzy Bogguss does the song proud. Read More... 

Ronnie Milsap 1973
"I Hate You"

Milsap had a warm, friendly croon and an easy delivery to his music. The song, "I Hate You" shows the way and delivers a solid country foundation. Read more...

From Rodeo Star to Music Star, Moe Bandy Shines with Talent.

Moe Bandy sings a cowboy classic.

While the tears on my make-up melts my painted smile into a frown. The crowd thinks I'm a dandy, I'm Bandy the rodeo clown...Read more.

Cowboy Campfire Songs

Polish up your spurs, Saddle up ole paint and get ready to relive your childhood! Come with me and let's relive those bygone days with these cowboy campfire songs and fond memories of your favorite silver screen cowboys.  Read more...