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Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Sweet Home Alabama" - Live 1974


Ronnie Van Zant, Ed King, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Bob Burns, Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell performing Sweet Home Alabama May 12, 1974 in Hamburg Germany shortly after release of single in USA



"Sweet Home Alabama" was the lead track on the album Second Helping, and it became Skynyrd's first hit. The song was written during the sessions for the group's first album, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, but they decided to save it so they would have a big song to open Second Helping.


Ed King's guitar playing and songwriting skills were an essential element of Lynyrd Skynyrd's first three albums: (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), Second Helpingand Nuthin' Fancy. King co-wrote one of the band's most recognizable hits "Sweet Home Alabama", and his voice counted the "one, two, three", before he launched into his famous riff to start the song.


"Sweet Home Alabama" was written as an answer to two songs by Neil Young, "Southern Man" and "Alabama", 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 excerpt shows the Neil Young mention in the song.







Lyrics


Turn it up


Big wheels keep on turning

Carry me home to see my kin

Singing songs about the south-land

I miss 'ole' 'bamy once again

And I think it's a sin, yes


Well I heard Mister Young sing about her

Well I heard old 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, boo hoo ooo

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, here I come Alabama


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 bout you?


Sweet home Alabama

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet home Alabama

Lord, I'm coming home to you


Sweet home Alabama, oh sweet home

Where the skies are so blue and the Governor's true

Sweet home Alabama

Lord, I'm coming home to you, yeah yeh




Songwriters: Edward C. King / Gary Robert Rossington / Ronnie Van Zant

Sweet Home Alabama lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group