Sweet Home Alabama

November 16, 2021

Today’s song of the day is “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Recorded in June 1973 and released in June 1974, “Sweet Home Alabama” became the anthem for southern pride in the US. 

Written by Skynyrd band members Ronnie Van Zant, Ed King, and Gary Rossington, the song first appeared on Skynyrd’s second album “Second Helping.” It achieved Gold and Platinum certification in the US and 2x Platinum in Great Britain.

Fun Facts

  • Van Zant, King, and Rossington wrote “Sweet Home Alabama” in response to Neil Young’s criticism of the South’s embrace of slavery and Jim Crow in his songs “Southern Man” and “Alabama.”
  • The song’s reference to “Birmingham” and Alabama Segregationist Governor George Wallace opened the band to criticism for adopting what some believed to be a racist view.
  • Neil Young would later defend “Sweet Home Alabama” as an appropriate response to his songs, believing his lyrics were “condescending” and “not well thought out.”
  • The National Review ranked Sweet Home Alabama #4 on its list of 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs.
  • In 2006, CMT ranked “Sweet Home Alabama” as the #1 Greatest Southern Rock Song.
  • None of the song’s composers were actually from Alabama, Vant Zant and Rossington hailed from Florida, and King from California.
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first hit and was produced by Blood Sweat & Tears founder Al Kooper.
  • Neil Young sang “Sweet Home Alabama” at a memorial event for Skynyrd band members Van Zant and Steve and Cassie Gaines.

Lyrics:

(Musixmatch)

One, two, three

Turn it up

Big wheels keep on turnin’

Carry me home to see my kin

Singin’ songs about the south-land

I miss Alabamy once again and I think it’s a sin, yes

Well I heard Mister Young sing about her

Well I heard ol’ Neil put her down

Well I hope Neil Young will remember

A southern man don’t need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet home Alabama

Lord I’m comin’ home to you

In Birmingham they love the governor (boo-hoo-hoo)

Now we all did what we could do

Now Watergate does not bother me

Does your conscience bother you?

Tell the truth

Sweet home Alabama

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet home Alabama (oh yeah)

Lord I’m comin’ home to you

Here I come, Alabama

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers

And they’ve been known to pick a song or two (yes they do)

Lord they get me off so much

They pick me up when I’m feelin’ blue

Now how about you?

Sweet home Alabama

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet home Alabama

Lord I’m comin’ home to you

Sweet home Alabama (oh, sweet home)

Where the skies are so blue

And the governor’s true

Sweet home Alabama (lordy)

Lord I’m comin’ home to you, yeah, yeah

Montgomery’s got the answer

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