Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, November 25, 2016

A woman in her fifties, wearing a Love Trump Hates button, turned to her Brooklyn-bearded husband and said loudly, "This is unbelievable!" She found the nearest store clerk, a young woman in a green apron who was staring up at the ceiling, looking for the invisible speakers blaring this message from the other America. "This is so inappropriate," the woman said. "Can we turn this off?"

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"Ronnie painted a picture everyone liked. Because no matter where you're from, sweet home Alabama or sweet home Florida or sweet home Arkansas, you can relate."

Nonsense. Some of us who grew up in the South understood what was meant by "we all loved the governor." That was Gov. George Wallace, "segregation today, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever" Wallace to be exact. That song is a celebration of racism and to deny it is just stupid.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-25 11:16 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Danni...

Ronnie Van Zant and Al Kooper set the record straight way back in 1975 -- not that anyone seems to have paid any attention to their comments.

"We tried to get Wallace out of there is how I always thought of it," Kooper said.

"The lyrics about the governor of Alabama were misunderstood," Van Zant said. "The general public didn't notice the words 'Boo! Boo! Boo!' after that particular line, and the media picked up only on the reference to the people loving the governor. The line 'We all did what we could do' is sort of ambiguous.

"Wallace and I have very little in common. I don't like what he says about colored people." Adding, "We're not into politics, we don't have no education, and Wallace don't know anything about rock and roll."

In defense of Sweet Home Alabama point two:

The lyrics:

Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth
Some take that as an attack on the liberals who were so outraged by Republican President Richard Nixon's actions.

More credible though, is the argument the band was actually trying to make the point that they, as Southerners, don't judge everyone in the North for the Nixon administration failings.

So therefore, Northerners shouldn't judge everyone in the South for the failings of the Wallace administration…people who live in glass houses and all that…

In defense of Sweet Home Alabama point three:

The final line:

Yea, yea Montgomery's got the answer
For those who don't know -- Montgomery, the Alabama state capital, is credited with being the catalyst for the American civil rights movement -- its where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of a bus in 1955, and the city was a staunch enforcer of the Jim Crow racial segregation laws.

Some take the line as the band's clear support for the laws and the racial caste system they maintained.

Others however, see it as as a nod to the civil rights movement, specifically the infamous march from Selma to Montgomery, led by Martin Luther King. www.popdust.com>

#2 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-25 11:24 AM | Reply

Further...

In defense of Sweet Home Alabama point four:

The confederate flag:

The fact that Lynyrd Skynyrd was known to play with a confederate flag in the background has only added fuel to the "they must be racist" fire.

But, much like how the American flag emblazoned all over Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA cover helped wrongly convince people the song was a patriotic anthem -- when in actuality it was a scathing takedown of the American government over how they mistreated Vietnam veterans -- it seems Lynyrd Skynyrd also did not stand firmly for the values a flag is supposed to convey.

Now, there's no doubting the band was proud to be southern, and that the musicians frequently played up to their "good old boys" image -- however, as Van Zant confessed in 1975, the whole confederate flag thing was solely down to their record company, not their own, personal, choice.

"That was strictly an MCA gimmick to start us off with some label. It was useful at first, but by now it's embarrassing except in

Europe, where they really like all that stuff because they think it's macho American," he said, going on to claim that initially it was

bearable to be perceived as rednecks, but a whole different matter to subsequently be categorized as racists.

In defense of Sweet Home Alabama point five:

The whole Neil Young feud thing:

There's absolutely zero doubt Sweet Home Alabama was a revenge song -- a rebuttal to Neil Young's Southern Man. The band was vocal about the origins of, and motivation for, the track.

However, once again, nuance is the key -- as journalist Ross Warner wrote in Glide magazine, "When Skynyrd criticized Neil Young's Southern Man, it was for the sweeping generalization of all southerners as rednecks. Don't condemn southerners now for what their ancestors did."

Van Zant backed up that sentiment, explaining, "We thought Neil was shooting all the ducks in order to kill one or two. We're southern rebels, but more than that, we know the difference between right and wrong."

Even Young himself claimed his lyrical takedown of the South was somewhat heavy handed.

"I don't like my words when I listen to [Southern Man]. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue," he wrote in his 2012 autobiography Waging Heavy Peace.

But, let's leave the final say to Van Zant -- who is tragically unable to comment any further on the controversy, as he died in a plane crash on October 20th, 1977.

"We wrote Alabama as a joke. We didn't even think about it – the words just came out that way. We just laughed like hell, and said Ain't that funny' … We love Neil Young, we love his music…" www.popdust.com

I loved this song from the first time I heard it, but until today did not know these facts about it. I have seen the current iteration of Lynyrd Skynyrd on tv and they have black band members today. Rock on boys!

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-25 11:29 AM | Reply

Someone just the other day was commenting on how much more qualified these people are to make electoral decisions than those living in flyover country. Looks like they're just a different breed of idiot.

#4 | Posted by LIVE_OR_DIE at 2016-11-25 11:47 AM | Reply

After reading that all I can say is I'll never have those 5 minutes back. That makes me sad.

#5 | Posted by YAV at 2016-11-25 12:00 PM | Reply

Tony, I read your post and understand it, still don't buy it. They "love the governor? still means that same thing to me. The "boo, hoo, hoo" isn't a denial, it's a taunt. No music group that used a Confederate flag as a prop is going to ever convince me that their song that openly celebrates their racist history is not itself racist. None of those guys would ever be welcome in my home. I was in Mississippi and Alabama back in the sixties, there was nothing pretty or nice about it, those were some of the angriest, nastiest people I have ever encountered and the way that most black people were forced to live back then was a sin against God. He's right too that not all southerners were the same but most of them were.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-26 09:20 AM | Reply

First, the line is "Boo, boo, boo" as quoted by its author. I'd likely believe you if I hadn't befriended two good ole boys from Jacksonville, Alabama that I met in Indianapolis in 1985. I thought the same things and they changed my mind and my life by showing me how wrong my prejudices were. To this day, they are my real "brothers from another mother", and I love them unconditionally. We go years without seeing each other and when we do it's like nothing ever changed.

If you know the music business, promotion does whatever it needs to in order to move vinyl or sell seats. The song is what it is, and those who wrote it know better than those critiquing it from the outside.

We both think and feel as we do even in disagreement. You're too much a kindred spirit for me to think any differently when we disagree. You're a Retort treasure, never change.

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-26 09:28 AM | Reply

This shows just how wacked out the progressive brain really is.

A communist leader, responsible for the deaths of thousands is lamented when he dies while a southern rock band is demonized over a song.

It's sad but funny.

#8 | Posted by jamesgelliott at 2016-11-26 02:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Wow. a Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric interpretation argument on the DR.

I've officially seen it all.

#9 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2016-11-26 05:59 PM | Reply

BTW...The song should only be played during the summer, blasting out of the open windows of a muscle car with no a/c, filled with empty beer cans and roach butts.

#10 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2016-11-26 06:01 PM | Reply

Wow. a Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric interpretation argument on the DR.

I've officially seen it all.

Along with a black northerner defending Skynyrd....

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-26 06:02 PM | Reply

Along with a black northerner defending Skynyrd....

Against a southern white woman! LOL!!!!

#12 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-26 06:03 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Wow. a Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric interpretation argument on the DR.

I've officially seen it all.
Along with a black northerner defending Skynyrd....

#11 | POSTED BY TONYROMA AT 2016-11-26 06:02 PM | FLAG:

Along with a black northerner defending Skynyrd....
Against a southern white woman! LOL!!!!

#12 | POSTED BY TONYROMA AT 2016-11-26 06:03 PM | REPLY | FLAG,

LMAO

Never given much thought just like the tune. Interesting take on it from both sides. I also like southern man and never found it overly offensive because it is a good jam regardless of the words.

#13 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2016-11-26 06:11 PM | Reply

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