TENNESSEE by Arrested Development

November 22, 2022

“Tennessee” is a song by the song group Arrested development. It features some rap accompanied by the melodious vocalization by Dionne. 

The lyrics purported to have had a deeper meaning, evidently showing Speech’s vulnerability. It was inspired by the loss of two loved ones, his brother from an asthma attack and his grandmother.

Fun Facts:

  • “Tennessee” is a Hip Hop single produced by Speech and performed by Arrested Development on March 24, 1992. 
  • The song peaked at number six on the Billboard Charts and won a Grammy award in 1993.
  • “Tennessee” was sampled from Prince’s “Alphabet St.” He waited for the song to perform well and then charged Arrested Development $100,000 for the sample.
  • Prince is said to have demanded a single payment instead of suing for co-writer credit, meaning he would get lifetime royalties in the future.
  • “Tennessee” was received well during its peak earning praise from popular names such as Larry Flick from Billboard and James Bernard from Entertainment Weekly.
  • It was ranked #71 on the 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll and #98 on the Top 100 Singles of the 90s. 
  • One of their successful projects earned the song honors on the coveted Billboards and Grammy Awards.

Lyrics 

Lord, I’ve really been real stressed, down and out, losing ground

Although I am black and proud, problems got me pessimistic

Brothers and sisters keep messin’ up, why does it have to be so damn tuff?

I don’t know where I can go to let these ghosts out of my skull

My grandma past my brother’s gone, I never at once felt so alone

I know you’re supposed to be my steering wheel, not just my spare tire

(Home!) But Lord, I ask you

(Home!) to be my guiding force and truth

(Home!) For some strange reason it had to be

(Home!) he guided me to Tennessee

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

Lord it’s obvious we got a relationship

Talkin’ to each other every night and day

Although you’re superior over me

We talk to each other in a friendship way

Then outta nowhere you tell me to break

Outta the country and into more country

Past Dyesburg and Ripley

Where the ghost of childhood haunts me

Walk the roads my forefathers walked

Climb the trees my forefathers hung from

Ask those trees for all their wisdom

They tell me my ears are so young (Home)

Go back, from whence you came (Home)

My family tree, my family name (Home)

For some strange reason it had to be (Home)

He guided me to Tennessee (Home)

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

Now I see the importance of history

Why my people be in the mess that they be

Many journeys to freedom made in vain

By brothers on the corner playin’ ghetto games

I ask you, Lord why you enlightened me

Without the enlightenment of all my folks

He said, cuz I set myself on a quest for truth

And he was there to quench my thirst

But I am still thirsty

The Lord allowed me to drink some more

He said what I am searching for are

The answers to all which are in front of me

The ultimate truth started to get blurry

For some strange reason it had to be

It was all a dream about Tennessee

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

Oh, won’t you let me, won’t you help me

won’t you help me understand your plan

Take me home, take me home, home, take me to another place

Take me home, take me home, home, take me to another place

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