If We Make It Through December

Joey + Rory, Merle Haggard

About If We Make It Through December

"If We Make It Through December" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Merle Haggard and The Strangers. It was released in October 1973 as the lead single from the album Merle Haggard's Christmas Present, and was the title track on a non-Christmas album four months later. In the years since its release, "If We Make It Through December" — which, in addition to its Christmas motif, also uses themes of unemployment and loneliness — has become one of the trademark songs of Haggard's career.  


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If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be all right I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the fallin' snow

If we make it through December
I got plans of bein in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine

I got laid off down at the factory
And there timings not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I been workin' hard
I wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl
Now I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of year
And why my little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here

If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be alright I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the fallin' snow

If we make it through December
I got plans of bein' in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine

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Merle Haggard

Merle Ronald Haggard (born April 6, 1937) is an American country music song writer, singer, guitarist, fiddler and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era. more »

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Written by: Merle Haggard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


8 facts about this song

Background
"If We Make It Through December" was released in 1973 as part of Merle Haggard's Christmas album titled "Merle Haggard's Christmas Present."
Performance
The song topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart for four weeks. It was Haggard's 15th number one single, helping to cement his place as a country music icon.
Popularity Beyond Christmas
While the song is part of a Christmas album, its lasting popularity cannot be tied exclusively to the holiday season. Its appeal extends beyond Christmas, as it addresses universal themes of job loss, financial struggle, and hope for a better future.
Cross-Genre Success
"If We Make It Through December" wasn't just a hit on the country charts. It also reached number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, introducing Haggard’s music to a wider audience beyond country listeners.
Song's Inspiration
Merle Haggard was directly inspired by working-class woes and struggles when crafting this song. His own experiences with poverty and hardship shaped the emotional resonance and authenticity of the lyrics.
Music and Lyrics
The song is a mix of melancholy and optimism. Haggard sings about a laid-off factory worker who can't afford to buy Christmas presents for his daughter but remains hopeful that things will get better.
Cover Versions
"If We Make It Through December" has been covered by many other musicians across different genres. Some of the more notable versions include renditions by Alan Jackson and LeAnn Rimes.
Lasting Impact
More than four decades after its release, the song remains a favorite during the holiday season and continues to be regularly played on country radio stations. It's seen as a classic that showcases Merle Haggard's storytelling abilities and deep understanding of human emotions.

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    If We Make It Through December

    217.3K
    878     9

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1974

    Billboard #28


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