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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Well, I hope Neil Young will remember


Lynyrd Skynyrd performed "Sweet Home Alabama" at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards with Dickey Betts, Tim McGraw, and Gretchen Wilson as part of a tribute to Southern Rock.

Gretchen Wilson sang the line "Well, I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don't need him around anyhow."

skynyrd-sweet-home-alabama2-grammy-2005.jpg skynyrd-sweet-home-alabama3-grammy-2005.jpg

More concert photos by Frank Micelotta, Getty Images.

And so what does the performance of "Sweet Home Alabama" at the Grammy's signify? Well lots according to some folks. The song always seems to trigger all sorts of outrage, like this posting by monkeymind on dailykos:
"Enthroning this song on national TV has offensive political undertones and overtones--celebrate a provincial culture characterized by bigotry at the expense of left wing counter culture. As a final insult, February happens to be Black History Month. Honoring this song was wrong for all kinds of reasons."

I've always found this sort reaction to the song to be quite interesting. Apparently, lots of others find Lynyrd Skynyrd's song "Sweet Home Alabama" provocative.

Comment below.


At 2/19/2005 08:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

by frightwig on Sun Feb 13th, 2005 at 22:09:07 PST:

"I take it to mean that they opposed George Wallace, but they accept the political reality that "in Birmingham they all love the governor" and still can love their home and Southern culture.
I think the Watergate line is a kind of "methinks thou dost protest too much" observation. You know, it's good to hold politicians accountable when they're in the wrong, but perhaps the furor over Watergate--as if Nixon invented political dirty tricks and corruption--may have been a sign of a guilty conscience. Would Nixon's critics feel the same outrage and call for impeachment if it had been a Democrat, I think he wonders.

I take the Neil Young verse as nothing more than a little "mind your own business, you got your own race troubles up North and out West." It's a valid point. Randy Newman made a similar observation about Northern hypocrisy on race issues in his song "Rednecks." It doesn't let the South off the hook because racism also exists elsewhere in the country, but I think it's fair for Lynyrd Skynyrd to wonder why he put it all on Southern Man rather than writing about the problems in his own backyard.

Anyway, it's a good song with a great guitar hook, and I can't imagine a "Southern Rock" tribute without it. It gets played on "Classic Rock" radio every day, throughout the country. There's nothing wrong with performing it at the Grammies. Lighten up."

Daily Kos titled "Grammies Ode to Southern Red-State Rock Made Me Sick"

At 2/28/2005 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Southern Man who has been living "up north" for 'bout 20 years now. I voted for Kerry. I cry every time I sing Sweet Home Alabama. It's the greatest song ever written (well, second greatest behind Powderfinger). You don't have to be a bigot to love the South, her history and culture. Amen.

At 3/02/2005 05:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Southern Man is a man not tragically unlike anyone else. However, it is vital that no one forget the troubles of their local places, the issues that we forget as they do not particular apply to our own lives, but those nearest us. "Southern Man" was a song that needed to be written, and definietley not an attack on a man because he is southern. "Sweet Home Alabama" is an otherwise quite enjoyable tune, but was written with an unnecessary, innapropriate bias and attitude of ignorance. It could have been a much better song, in my opinion, if it has neglected the ideals of beligerence and inconsideration that plague southern culture stereotypes, and been more concerned with the real good times that we all have in some of the most hospitalable southern locals of the U.S., despite their political sufferings.

At 8/18/2005 02:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of us judge a song not for it's lyrics, but for it's melody. instrumentation and vocals. I always wondered about the line about Neil Young- I thought maybe Skynyrd hated his music.A former Texan now living in Oregon, I get questions about southern discrimination that force me to mention that blacks weren't even allowed to live in Oregon for many years and the KKK marched in southern Oregon about 60 years ago. As for Young, I liked 'Heart of Gold'- but none of his songs since. Hey, hey, my, my, Neil Young needs to die.

At 2/15/2006 08:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just need to face the facts. The members of Lyrnyrd Skynyrd did not like blacks. That is all there is too it. I'm not saying that's right but from there lyrics there is no way to deny it. Do not sugar coat it. Lynyrd Skynyrd's members were bigots. Plain and Simple

At 2/17/2006 11:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't anonymous march right up to the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and say that to their face? I think we all may very well know the answer to that one, and so does "anonymous". That's why he's afraid to say who he is. But that's OK man, if you want to wimp out, that's your business.

At 5/20/2006 02:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that after the Kent State shootings, Neil Young wrote "OHIO".
To me, that says he saw that the north also had its problems and they weren't limited to the "Southern Man".
It also shows that Nixon's problems weren't only limited to the Watergate. There was that thing called the Vietnam War, which many believe Nixon prolonged for political gain.

At 7/20/2006 01:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived in the south all my life and no music group has affected life as much as Skynyrd. For years you couldn't go in a bar without people screaming for the bar band to do one of their songs. Ronnie wasn't racist but he was southern to the bone and now he's gone and we still remember and we love him.

At 5/21/2007 01:43:00 PM, Blogger stone5150 said...

Some people obviously have WAYYY too much time on their hands to whine about a classic rock song like Sweet Home Alambama.
Are we supposed to forget the past just so that people won't be offended by anything. Racism and intolerance is a part of the past, one that we MUST not forget lest we repeat it.
That being said, no one alive today has ever owned a slave or been a slave, and a great majority of those complaining have never had to deal with any real intolerance. So get over it already!
I want my freedon of speech back without all the politically correct nazis telling me what I can listen to, say and think!


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