Ernest is breaking in the new year right with a little acoustic love on the old Merle Haggard classic, “That’s The Way Love Goes.”
Written by Lefty Frizzell and Whitey Shafer, the song was originally released by Johnny Rodriquez in 1973, and Connie Smith the following year, in 1974.
Merle brought it back in 1983 as the title track for his 38th career studio album, That’s The Way Love Goes. The song is well-decorated: It helped Merle capture his 30th number one single, won him a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, and simultaneously spent over 20 weeks on the charts.
Merle actually tried to cut it in the mid-70s as well, but didn’t like the end result.
If you give it a listen, it’s easy to see why it was so popular with listeners. It’s one of the sweetest, most simplistic love songs you will ever hear, and it was performed in a conversational tone – just two lovers discussing how love goes and the difference between saying “I love you” and showing it:
“That’s the way love goes, babe That’s the music God made For all the world to sing It’s never old, it grows Losing makes me sorry You say, ‘Honey, now don’t worry Don’t you know I love you too?’ And that’s the way love goes…”
It’s a well-known fact that greats like Merle are hard to cover and top, but Ernest’s acoustic version released earlier today on social media matched the tone of the original so nicely that it’s got to be a close second.
At worst, he revived a classic I hadn’t heard in quite some time, and I can get down with that.