what is the story behind the song "sweet home alabama"?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    "Sweet Home Alabama" was written as an answer to two songs, "Southern Man" and "Alabama" by Neil Young, which dealt with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. "We thought Neil was shooting all the ducks in order to kill one or two," said Ronnie Van Zant at the time. The following extract shows the Neil Young mention in the song:

    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

    Van Zant's other response was also controversial, with references to Alabama Governor George Wallace (a noted supporter of segregation) and the Watergate scandal:

    In Birmingham, they love the governor (boo boo boo)

    Now we all did what we could do

    Now Watergate does not bother me

    Does your conscience bother you?

    Tell me the truth

    In 1975, Van Zant said: "The lyrics about the governor of Alabama were misunderstood. 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," Kooper notes "'We tried to get Wallace out of there' is how I always thought of it."

    The final line of the song indicates that it may be against racial discrimination: "My Montgomery's got the answer." This is a reference to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which led to a Supreme Court decision declaring Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses unconstitutional.

    At the end of the song, Alabama is also referred to as where "the governor's true."

  • watergate doesnt bother them cause they never had faith in the gov any way, or hippies

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