Willie Nelson and his son Micah dream of going out in a blaze in the new song “Die When I’m High (Halfway to Heaven),” a collaboration with the younger Nelson’s Particle Kid project. Released just ahead of Father’s Day, it’s a loving tribute to country icon Nelson.
A gentle, lilting waltz, “Die When I’m High” starts with Micah singing lines that sound like they have his father in mind, while Willie’s signature guitar accents chime in. “If I reached my age, I’d forget how to play/well, I guess I proved them wrong,” Micah sings.
“I never expected my redneck confessions would be sung by this old man,” Willie sings in one solo section. The two come together for a rousing chorus that’s perfect for swaying and holding beers (or joints) aloft: “If I die when I’m high, I’ll be halfway to heaven/Or I might have a long way to fall.” The video features clips of both father and son performing along with animated portraits of Willie.
“Sometime back in December 2020, in between endless rounds of chess and dominos, my dad looked up at me and said, ‘If I die when I’m high I’ll be halfway to heaven,’” Micah says in a statement. “It took me a second to process, but I said, ‘Dad, that’s the best song title I ever heard. You better write the rest of it quick.’ He said. ‘Why don’t you write it?’ So I did. That night I wrote it for him, about him. It’s really just a love letter to him.”
Particle Kid’s latest album, Time Capsule, was released in April 2022. The band will be performing live in addition to Willie Nelson on the Outlaw Music Festival tour, which gets underway on June 24 in St. Louis.