OG Musical Slap Fight

Long before Biggie and Tupac made an East Coast/West Coast hairpulling contest happen, Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd hit the proverbial mat with a classic North/South Yanks/Confederates titty attack . According to my favorite unreliable source, Wikipedia, Neil Young wrote Southern Man about racism in the South. He felt like the South needed to make up for their bullcocky. Also, he’d gotten his arse kicked in Alabama for having long hair and had a bone to pick.

Here’s his love letter to the South:

“Southern Man”

Southern man
better keep your head
Don’t forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton
and I saw black
Tall white mansions
and little shacks.
Southern man
when will you
pay them back?
I heard screamin’
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Southern man
better keep your head
Don’t forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

Lily Belle,
your hair is golden brown
I’ve seen your black man
comin’ round
Swear by God
I’m gonna cut him down!
I heard screamin’
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Here’s the song:

Lynyrd Skynyrd was all, “Oh YEAH?!” and penned their own counter-attack song, Sweet Home Alabama. It’s not the same gravity of diss that today’s geniuses pen (“I gots more cars than you bitch!”) but Neil Young definitely felt the slap AND Alabama’s tourist council now has a theme song to this DAY. (And honestly where would karaoke night be without “Sweet Home Alabama”?! Ridiculousness.)

Here’s the lyrics:

Big wheels keep on turning,
carry me home to see my kin
singing songs about the southland.
I miss ole bamy once again and I think it’s a sin.

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her.
Well, I heard ole 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 coming home to you.

In Birmingham they love the Gov’nor.
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, Lord, I’m coming home to you.

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
and they ve been known to pick a song or two.
Lord, they get me off so much,
they pick me up when I’m feeling blue, now how about you.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I’m coming home to you.
Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I’m coming home to you.

And here’s the song:

Personally I can’t take a side. I’m a Yankee by birthright and by nature and totes I agree with Neil. The South, you done fucked up. That being said, who does not like the infection jingle of the world’s most white trashiest song?

Musically, I prefer “Southern Man”. But “Sweet Home Alabama” kinda gets points for responding with aplomb, a good sense of humor and a positive outlook.

So who’s side are you on?

* My neighbors are going to slit my throat if I listen to “Southern Man” one more time. Either that or they’ll blast me out with their Polka. Either way I betta cut the shit and fall in line.

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