Playlist – Alabama
Verbose as we are, there is no way we can spend the next year constantly
yelling talking to each other. Terrible as it may sound to the ears of an outsider, singing as loudly as possible is a frequent occurrence in The Highland Flinger (THF). We will make a playlist of what we’re slappin’ the air bass to. Each list will contain songs from artists/bands from the state or will allude to the state in some way.
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
This southern rock anthem was made in response to Neil Young’s songs “Southern Man” and “Alabama”. “We thought Neil was shooting all the ducks in order to kill one or two,” Ronnie told Rolling Stone magazine regarding the creation of the answer song. The band felt that Young’s lyrical content was representative of the shortsighted “Yankee” belief that all Southern men should be held accountable for the verbalizations and actions of a racist minority.
2. Alabama – Song Of The South
This song has one of my favorite (and most absurd) lyrics in: “Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth”. Are they talking about their great manners while eating with their mouths closed? Is “mouth” one of the only usable words that rhymes with “south”? Ok, maybe that’s it…
3. Brad Paisley – Old Alabama
Jackie used this song on her triathlon training playlist because she “needed to mix it up with some country music, and because at the end when Alabama (the band) comes in, it gets really fast and gives you a good time to sprint.”
4. Hank Williams – Hey, Good Lookin’
One of the most influential country musicians of all time, Hank Williams was able to turn out 12 studio albums and wrote and/or sung 61 singles (11 of them hitting #1) before dying in the back of a Cadillac at the age of 29.
5. Emmylou Harris – The Road
The road from Selma to Montgomery saw three marches in 1965, and marked the peak of the Civil Rights movement.
6. Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E
Aren’t all songs that are also acronyms awesome? Name me one song with an acronym that sucks. That’s right, you can’t!
7. The Temptations – The Way You Do The Things You Do
Four members of The Temptations hailed from the Yellowhammer State. The band was named “The Primes” and “The Distants” before finally settling on “The Temptations”. Everything seemed easier when “the” was in front of a band’s name. Let’s go back there.
8. Ruben Studdard – Sorry 2004
Ruben kicks off the American Idol portion of this playlist. Who knew there were so many Idol contestants from Alabama?
9. Bo Bice – Lonely, Broke And Wasted
Bo Bice finished second to someone named “Carrie Underwood” on the 4th season of American Idol. His real name is “Harold Elwin”, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that you would go by “Bo” too if that was your name.
10. Taylor Hicks – Seven Mile Breakdown
Taylor Hicks finishes our tour-de-Idol. How did this guy win again?
11. OutKast – Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks actually sued Outkast over her name being used in this song. In the song, the singers refer to Parks as a metaphor for “overturning hip hop’s old order, and that people should make way for a new style and sound.” Aside from the fact that the metaphor doesn’t really work (telling people to move to the back of the bus for them), Parks wasn’t too fond of the language in the song. We learned this on Wikipedia
12. The Doors – Alabama Song
The Doors covered this song from the 1927 songspiel “Mahagonny”. What is a songspiel exactly? It’s an operatic musical drama in which spoken dialogue is interspersed with song.” The world needs more songspiels!
13. Sean Hayes – Alabama Chicken
A song about voodoo. Or fried chicken. It’s hard to tell.
14. The Commodores – Brick House
When you actually look up the lyrics to songs, it’s amazing. I’ve heard this song maybe 500+ times, and would never have known that an actual lyric is: “36-24-26, what a winning hand!” What game is that a winning hand in, exactly?
15. John Coltrane – Alabama
“How is this song about the Civil Rights movement without any lyrics?” you might ask. According to NewsOne.com, “Coltrane did not need any lyrics to show the injustice, violence and oppression that African Americans were facing in Alabama. Coltrane wrote the song after hearing about the four girls who were killed in a church bombing in Birmingham. He reportedly used Martin Luther King’s cadence from the eulogy.” Check out their list of the Top Ten Civil Rights Protest Songs.