Businessweek Archives

KFC's Sweet Home Alabama Ads Ignore The Racist Backdrop of the Song.


?? Dear Martha: A Few Thoughts About Your New Brand |

Main

| Booze Ads Proliferating on TV. Not Such a Bad Thing. ??

February 25, 2005

KFC's Sweet Home Alabama Ads Ignore The Racist Backdrop of the Song.

David Kiley

Music is an integral part of advertising, to be sure. Pick the right music and it can be a creative signature for years. United Airlines has done this with George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue." But I would have liked to be in the room when the creatives at FCB, Chicago decided it was a good idea to use Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" for KFC. Using a song that has long been an anthem for defending the Confederacy to sell fried chicken? Am I the only one squirming and laughing at the same time?

Am I overstating this? You decide. Here's one verse of 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? need him around anyhow."

This is a reference to Neil Young's "Southern Man." A stanza from that song, which tells of the changes coming for the Southerners whether they like it or not, goes: "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"

Sweet Home continues: "Sweet home alabama Oh sweet home baby. Where the skies are so blue

And the governor? true. Sweet home alabama. Lordy Lord, I? coming home to you. Yea, yea montgomery? got the answer."

That Governor? He was George Wallace, who championed segregation of the races. For any clear thinking person, white or black, George Wallace was a bad guy. Not just a product of his generation and upbringing. He stood in front of the doors of a school, trying to keep black students out. He ordered up fire hoses to put down demonstrations. Go to any road house in Alabama, and on many a night you can still hear this song being belted out by folks clutching their long-neck bottles and throwing a salute to a Confederate flag.

Clipping the refrain from "Sweet Home Alabama," using it to sell fried chicken nationally, and ignoring the meaning and intent of the song seems pretty stupid. But hey, that's just me.

Then again, aren't there some people complaining about Paul McCartney singing "Get Back" in the Super Bowl for this line: "Jojo left his home in tucson, arizona for some california grass." I just wonder if the same people fired up about "Get Back," or those who think Teletubbies and SpongeBob are promoting a gay agenda, will also complain about the use of a Southern Road House song rhapsodizing about the good ol' days of George Wallace to sell chicken and biscuits from Berkeley to Baton Rouge and every town in between.

06:29 PM

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://blogs.businessweek.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/

A few years ago I wrote an article for the Toledo City Paper about the George Wallace comment in Sweet Home Alabama when they were doing a reunion tour stop in Detroit, which has a large African-American population. The jist being how can a band that's not good, or relevant, and is horribly offensive politically as well as aestheticly, continue to make money even after their main members are dead?!! What is more pathetic, the self congratulatory entertainment industry or the lowest of the lowest common denominator type people who still enjoy this crap? You see what happens when these people vote. Now KFC uses Sweet Home Abalama as a jingle in a commercial. This is even more disgusting after the "urbanization" of The Colonel into a cartoon jive talkin' hip-hop dancin' fried chicken monger. KFC was not even being subtle about their target market of African-Americans in their previous ad campaign. I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this. This travesty is right up there with Flava-Flav's "reality" show where he chases a bitchy rich white woman around. Come on Chuck D you need to start making some new albums and try again to take the power back, because this is the paramount of absurdity and the selling out an entire culture wholesale.

Posted by: Marc Williams at April 27, 2005 05:06 PM

Thank goodness someone has written about this.

I thought, am I missing something?

I was just at an event in Chicago when eveyone cheered when this song came on! Blacks and whites!

I was just blown away and had to sit down and ponder if if was just mis-hearing or misunderstanding the words of the song. Then I heard it again as part of the group finale of the Country music version of American Idol. Everyone on stage singing this song as the credits rolled?

Interestingly enough, I read later that the Lynyrd Skynyrd band was actually big fans of Neil Young as was Neil Young of them. So that only further confuses things.

But the words sung are the words sung. So celebrating Wallace and what he did is just that.

What more needs to be said.

Posted by: charlie at May 1, 2005 01:16 AM

Well it is not as clear cut in my eyes that Sweet Home was racist. After the line about the governor (Wallace) comes 'Boo, Boo, Boo.' The song strikes me showing pride for the area that they came from, while recognising (but not endorsing) its checkered past, against outside criticism. 'And the governor's true' indicates that the history cannot be ignored - but 'does your conscience bother you?' no one is perfect, least of all Southern leaders at that time. I think the song should be praised for not ignoring the bad history, while still singing about the place they came from with love.

Posted by: ChrisB at May 11, 2005 09:13 PM

Nevermind the meaning of the song. Why does a company with "Kentucky" in its name, advertising a product originating in and named after Buffalo, NY, use Sweet Home Alabama to sell it???

Posted by: Alf S. at May 24, 2005 05:34 PM

Sweet Home Alabama - hey, it's a song, ok?

Posted by: lulu at May 26, 2005 11:11 PM

FROM AN ARTICLE BY ROSS WARNER IN GLIDE MAGAZINE:

Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, the most notable victim of the band?? tragic 1977 plane crash grew up in the Shantytown, a ghetto in on the west side of Jacksonville. This was one of the few parts of town that wasn?? segregated. Lynyrd Skynyrd grew up as ??treet survivors,?a title they would use for their final album before the plane crash. Being street people meant that they had their share of fights, but they also developed a sense of adventure and a love of the characters, both black and white, they met in their travels. They were influenced by both blues and country, but their sound was pure rock and roll. They began their recording career in 1970, in the same Muscle Shoals studio that Aretha Franklin and the Stones worked in. Those demos, containing stripped down renditions of what would become Skynyrd’s most famous material, only saw public release after the plane crash.

Listening now to Skynyrd’s First: The Complete Muscle Shoals Album, it is amazing to hear not only the power of the melodies, but the depth of the lyrics. Al Kooper produced Skynyrd’s first three albums after playing in both Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix’s bands. He took a chance on the band due to Ronnie Van Zant’s songwriting. He penned the tale of a rocker who goes out to follow his dream against his parents’ wishes, strikes it rich and returns only to find them dead in “Was I Right Or Wrong.” It’s staggering to imagine that Van Zant described his bleak vision before the band had even secured a recording contract.

Cameron Crowe’s Rolling Stone piece on the Allmans caught the eye of Ronnie Van Zant when Skynyrd got their first big break opening for The Who. Crowe spent many nights with the band during their three-year climb to the top. It was also during this time that the band’s label, MCA was increasingly marketing Skynyrd’s “southern rebel” image. While they never took shit from anyone or each other, it’s the negative connotations of that image that hurt Skynyrd’s legacy. In a 1998 interview, Crowe recalled, “That’s the heartbreak of it. I’m not sure that in the basic image that came up, people understood how deep they really were. Musically, you can tell they’re deep. They didn’t stumble into those records—they came from their hearts.”

However, the band had serious reservations about the label they were tagged with. Particularly troubling was the Confederate flag that often hung behind the stage. In 1975, Van Zant mused, “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.” The “stars and bars” that eventually began popping up in the band’s crowds became more than embarrassing. It was bad enough to be portrayed as ignorant hayseeds. It was entirely another to be categorized as racist.

Their music and subsequent fame brought pride to the forgotten folks in the South, but Van Zant never condoned discrimination of those who were most forgotten. In fact, when they name-checked George Wallace in “Sweet Home Alabama” it was only meant to take a swipe at his pro-segregation stance. When Van Zant referred to Birmingham loving the governor, the back-up singers sang “Boo! Boo! Boo!” in criticism. However, listeners didn’t notice the criticism among the catchy harmony.

Although the song is perceived as an anthem of southern pride, “Sweet Home Alabama,” was actually intended not only as the band’s fond recollection of their first time in a recording studio but as a reminder to the rest of America that not all southerners were rednecks. 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. “We thought Neil was shooting all the ducks in order to kill one or two,” Van Zant said. “We’re southern rebels, but more than that, we know the difference between right and wrong.” In fact, the band was quite outspoken about their disdain for Wallace’s policies.

As for the supposed feud with Neil Young, it turned out he a huge Skynyrd fan. Young was certainly no stranger to social commentary through cynicism. He always said he was proud to be mentioned in the song and that Skynyrd reminded him of his days with Buffalo Springfield. Van Zant, on the other hand constantly wore a Neil Young shirt on stage during the last two years of his life and not only for a “tongue in cheek” effect. He didn’t mind chiding the Canadian (who also penned the critical tune “Alabama”) in song, but admitted to owning every one of Young’s albums. In 1998, Cameron Crowe recalled Young even offered up eventual Rust Never Sleepsclassics “Sedan Delivery” and “Powderfinger” to Skynyrd for what would be their final album. The tunes didn’t appear on Street Survivors, although Ronnie Van Zant wore his Young shirt for the cover photo and supposedly had it on the day he died

Posted by: I. Saari at May 28, 2005 12:22 PM

You guys are sad. Get a life.

Posted by: The Truth at June 6, 2005 07:30 PM

It's a good song. It was seen as a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man," not parallel to it.

Posted by: Ian at July 6, 2005 12:34 AM

Just got back this evening from a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert and love every bit of it espically when they did "Sweet Home Alabama". I am proud of my southern heritage and that includes the flag. It stands for the south now matter what your race is, so you damn yankees just keep your nose out of it and go back home where you belong and that is not "Alabama!!!"

Posted by: Southern girl at July 10, 2005 01:28 AM

Seriously, most of this has been recycled over the years.

There never was a feud between Young and Skynyrd.

Check out the facts at:

http://www.thrasherswheat.org/jammin/lynyrd.htm

While the link is mainly from a Young angle, Skynyrd fans might want to think twice before lashing out.

A Northern Man

Posted by: neil at July 14, 2005 12:22 PM

I think you're reading too much into the commercial. It's more about fried foods being a southern thing (Kentucky is part of the south). I don't think of any racial overtones when I hear it.

Something that would be a better topic is McDonalds' commercials that clearly, in my opinion, target a racial audience with hip/hop and rap.

Posted by: Wes at July 18, 2005 04:43 PM

Racist? Get a life morons!! Please point us to the articles where you decried rap lyrics!!

Didn't you write anything? Selective indignation from a full time asshole!!

Posted by: Lorish. at July 23, 2005 05:15 PM

Racist? Get a life morons!! Please point us to the articles where you decried rap lyrics!!

Didn't you write anything? Selective indignation from a full time asshole!!

Posted by: Lorish. at July 23, 2005 05:42 PM

Just like an obnoxious yankee to half listen to a song and then publish his opinion based on only the part of the lyrics he wanted to hear. The part of the song that says "boo, boo, boo!" is an example of what you missed, but that has been addressed previously so I'll just move on to what hasn't been addressed yet.

The songwriters' true politics can be found in their support of Jimmy Carter. Skynyrd spent alot of time in Atlanta prior to becoming famous and knew that Carter was the first governor of Georgia to support equality - he basically desegregated the state. They used their popularity to help him get elected president - both financially and otherwise. In "Freebird - the Movie," Van Zant changed the line "Montgomery's got the answer" to "Mr. Carter's got the answer" at a 1977 concert overseas.

Another example of Skynyrd's politics can be found in the lyrics of "Things Goin' On" written years before 'Alabama: "Have you ever been down in the ghetto? Have you ever felt that cold wind blow? If you don't know what I mean won't you stand up and scream 'cause there's things goin' on that you don't know.

You don't know enough about the song or about the artists to express the opinions you express.

Posted by: johnny at August 3, 2005 05:32 PM

You collectively are part of what is now wrong with this country. People today are too sensative, letting even words written long ago bother them. Remember the adage, "sticks and stones will break my bones, but WORDS will never hurt me"? Absolute political correctness is leading to the ruination of this country. The left and right, Democrats and Republican, ideals are diverging at such a high rate that I fear it may be too late to prevent an eventual confrontation between the dividing factions.

States are bickering...States are confronting the Federal Government and the Feds are blinking. The Federal Court System is running amok and losing its legitimacy in many parts of the country and you are worried about a song in the background of a fast food commercial....

Get a Life and don't let the little things bother you so much...

Posted by: chaos at August 17, 2005 11:32 AM

Yeah, it's funny about those little things. Seemingly insignificant "little" things in life are always petty when they don't affect you. Just keep turning the other cheek, huh? It'll mean something to you when someone asks to borrow one of yours because they've run out.

Posted by: Howard at August 19, 2005 03:23 AM

Geeze.

Would you have had such a reaction if KFC chose DETROIT ROCK CITY or any song by a group named BOSTON? Or maybe the Beach Boys CALIFORNIA GIRLS. I seem to recall a couple of little spots of bother in that most progessive town known as the City of Angeles. Oh, wait. I forgot. We don't discuss racial issues unless they happened in Alabama or Mississippi.

I'm proud of my state. The state where the civil rights battle was fought and won, BTW. Lorish makes an outstanding point concerning the lyrics to THINGS GOIN' ON.

Mr. Kiley, may I suggest you buy a dog and name him "Clue"? Apparently, it's the only way you're going to have one.

I will say this much: It's sort of a blessing that folks like you are so ignorant and backwards thinking when it comes to my southern heritage. It will keep you wherever the hell you're at and out of my neighborhood.

Have a wunnerful day.

Posted by: Bama D at August 23, 2005 08:01 PM

It's just shocking to me how people like David Kiley don't do their research before spouting off in ways that hurt not only a business (KFC and their ad company) but a people and even a much loved song.

The composers long ago described clearly that they were backing up Young's thoughts about specific people like the governor George Wallace(thanks to the quote above for demonstrating this). In fact it could be interpreted that their stating Neil's words are "true" not that the governor is true, but that's just my concept. Either way it's public record that they defended civil rights and wrote intelligent and thoughtful words.

Just for the record, the original band was excellent, full of great talent and they were some of the most professional, hard working and best rehearsed musicians of their time. The current incarnation of the band might be a sad shadow of the past, but the originals are legends in the music world.

It IS very sad that some of the world still reads the wrong meaning into songs like Sweet Home Alabama. It's truly a crime that people like David Kiley who are in a position to educate the masses don't bother to get their facts straight.

Posted by: Don Kelley at September 2, 2005 12:37 PM

Wow. I think someone has already mentioned this, but it's just a song, and it was written 30 years ago. I wish I had the sort of free time to use a box of tissue over a commercial's use of a song.

Posted by: BrettW at September 2, 2005 09:02 PM

Glad to hear others squirm in disgust at this. Feel free to join me in writing to them to point out how offesnive this ad is!

I remember thinking recently that FINALLY after decades of continuing to use the old plantation master imagery in their advertising that KFC had finally learned that they should join the rest of us enlightened people in the new century. I even contemplated eating there...

The other day I saw the new commercial and immediately thought something was wrong. It took a few minutes and then I said "did they just use Lynyrd Skynyrd's song" the especially racist and backwards "Sweet Home Alabama". Yes, I used to listen to that group when I was in Junior High until the day I finally realized what the lyrics meant. I've never listened to them since.

Now I can combine my boycott of KFC as racist insensitive conservative jerks with the band known for being rednecks and flaunting their "heritage" of racism. If only they could have co-branded with the Dukes of Hazard movie we could all feel like we're back in the "good old days" with the "good ol' boys" eating fried chicken and oppression (and/or lynching) people.

Posted by: Kyra Troyan at September 7, 2005 09:14 PM

Here's the REAL story, point blank: A young hip hip group from Montgomery, AL by the name of B.A.M.A. recorded a modern hip hop remake of the southern classic "Sweet Home Alabama". The song became very popular in the region, leading them to sign a contract with Universal Records. The song then gained national exposure and poplarity with the young hip hop crowd, prompting KFC an easy opportunity to reach this generation as well as the older generation who remember the original. NOTICE THE SPEED OF THE MUSIC AS WELL AS THE HIP HOP DRUMS DRIVING THE COMMMERCIAL. THAT IS NOT A CLIP FROM THE ORIGINAL. The remake is now extremely popular within black and white social circles, and is one of the most popular ring tones ever released. THATS THE REAL STORY. Don't over analyze a simple marketing strategy.

--INSIDER---

Posted by: The Industry Insider at September 9, 2005 06:43 PM

Whoever says Lynyrd Synyrd is racist has never heard, "The Ballad of Curtis Leow." In the song he describe a young boy, probably Van Zant, bonding with an old black man over music. Because people continually mistake it as racist only ads fuel to the fire of the gist of the song. The gist of the song is this Neil Young has no right to criticize the whole entire south. That does not mean there are not problems in government (racism, segregation). But there is nothing wrong with being proud of where you came from. It is until many areas of the world recognize this that the un-fair stereo-type will continue. By the way there is no way Lynyrd Synyrd does not belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Posted by: Alexander Robinson at September 14, 2005 12:32 AM

It was obvious from my first listening of sweet home that there was no support from Ronnie and the gang for george wallace - the boo boo boo refrain after the line "in Birmingham they love...."

Peter Burns, York, England

Posted by: Peter Burns at September 23, 2005 08:49 AM

Me personally I love the song and I happen to be African american. It is truly a great song and I don't in anyway feel it is racist. I also agree that the person that started this discussion has too much time on his hands. GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: will at October 2, 2005 08:50 PM

Hey David,

Did anyone every tell you that you look the Tourette's Guy? Check him out at Tourettesguy.com.

This will pretty much sum up everything for you.

Keep on Truckin'!

Posted by: John Kimble at October 3, 2005 02:19 PM

Look, any song with the kind of baggage that sweet home alabama carries, should not be used in an international corporation's ad campaign. Even if the perceived racism is unfounded, it obviously offends enough people to give one second thoughts about the wisdom of it's use. The last thing you want to do is upset ANY portion of your customer base unnecessarily.

Posted by: keith at October 11, 2005 05:53 PM

SKYNYRD IS AMAZING!!! I listen to them all the time and think you suck...enough said

Posted by: FreeBird4Ever at October 13, 2005 09:28 PM

Yes, Wallace was a segregationist...like in 60-something. That was a major part of his platform...along with such racist things like states rights and taking care of the working man (a DEMOCRAT no less). As a matter of fact, he lost the 1958 election to Patterson (who had the support of the KKK) while he had the support of the NAACP. So I view his move to a hardline segregationist stance as a political one to get the white vote. Not to mention that Sweet Home Alabama was released on the album Second Helping in 1974! Wallace hardly had segregation on the top of his platform then!

So Neil Young comes along an paints every southerner with a broad, stereotypical, psuedo-racial paintbush. And Lynard Skynard points out to Neil that he is a hypocrite and that he is the same as the supposed racists he chastises.

When they state they love the governor...keyword THEY...get it? Did they say WE? But if you don't get it, the very next line is "Boo, Boo, Boo". If you still don't get it, they state "We all did what we could do". Not to mention that the "racist" George Wallace then went on to win primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin, and Michigan...all racist states to be sure! Montgomery's got the answer? Might that be a way of saying if you want to beat racism in the south you've got to do it in the heart of Dixie? Maybe something to do with a certain protest march? Maybe voting for a different person for govenor? Or pressuring legislators to pass laws to protect everyones rights (Gee, I guess Montgomery is the capital of Alabama...hun?)? Who knows, but the next line gives a clue "Watergate does not bother me. Does your conscience bother you?"

I heard one person lament on how the band could make a racist comment on one hand and on the other, not take such a scandal seriously. What they were saying was "it's politics, stupid". People run around with their little anti-racist shield of honor, but it's really just a tin badge and all they are doing is hiding behind it. In the end, it's just a political tool all about expanding their power. And most common people just want to live their lives in peace, live and let live, and not have some a-hole hypocrite shaking a finger at them.

For instance, the Confederate flag. Don't you find it interesting that General Lee was against slavery, but Sherman was an avid racist? Seems to me if you want to say a flag represented racism, you'd need to haul the stars and strips down from every government building in America. Yet nobody up north complains how we glorify the racist Sherman by naming forts and tanks after him.

So Sweet Home Alabama is really a version of "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself", along with "I was born here, it's my home, and I'm proud of it". Just like anyone in Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, or Alabama would feel.

Posted by: David at October 14, 2005 07:21 PM

Lynyrd Skynyrd was not racist. It is amazing that an article based on such little research can be posted on a major magazine's website. I recommend performing more conclusive research before you post another article like this one because as seen from above posted evidence, your argument is fundamentally flawed because you were too lazy to listen to more than one song by Skynyrd or even look at their record on the issue of racism. Poor article.

Posted by: Dan at October 15, 2005 05:05 PM

If you want another clue about LS's view on issues, check out this little excerpt from "Saturday Night Special" (which is a dirt-cheap, easy-to-get pistol to this day):

VERSE

"Hand guns are made for killin’

Ain’t no good for nothin’ else

And if you like to drink your whiskey

You might even shoot yourself

So why don’t we dump ’em people

To the bottom of the sea

Before some ole fool come around here

Wanna shoot either you or me"

CHORUS

"It's a saturday night special

Got a barrel that’s blue and cold

Ain’t no good for nothin’

But put a man six feet in a hole"

Gee. Sounds like some redneck NRA members, doesn't it?

Posted by: Brian Mac Ian at October 17, 2005 03:23 AM

I don't think anybody is listening to the same song I hear if they think Sweet Home Alabama is racist!! the song clearly is against Wallace and is telling Neil Young to stop sterotyping all southerners as dumb overall wearing barefoot rednecks. Something we from the south still see in our travels. by the way a couple of qoutes to back up the statement above about civil war generals and slavery.

Ulysses S. Grant: "if I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commision, and offer my sword to the other side"

Abraham Lincoln: "I will say, then, I am not, nor have ever been in favor of bringing about equality of the white and black races... I am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race"

These were the great leaders of the northern forces during the civil war. The south is depicted to this day as racist who fought a war to keep slavery while the anti racist north fought against it.Seems they forgot that even us dumb southners can read!! A hundred years later Neil young was still stereotyping southerners as ignorant backward people and today comments about the song Sweet Home Alabama still do the same. Skynyrd was merely making the point George Santana made years ago: "Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it"!!! YES I consider myself a proud southern man and I am very offended when someone who does not know anything about us insults my heritage

Posted by: D-Clark at October 18, 2005 04:34 PM

The people that mostly seem to be offended

by "Sweet Home Alabama" are whites as far as I can.Blacks don't don't need white people to feel

offended for them.Are there racist overtones to

"sweet home alabama?" I'd say yes.I think the tune is primarily about their love of the state

in general and the experience of recording at Muscle Shoals.

Posted by: artimus van zant at October 26, 2005 02:22 PM

This page came up in a web search I was doing on Southern Rock and I just had to click it because I caught the mention about the KFC commercial using "Sweet Home Alabama"

Well, I have to say reading the artical was pathetic. It's just the tune anyway. It's like, get over it-quit trying to focus on what you find to be negative. It's so lame. Why does this guy need attention so bad? I love Lynyrd Skynyrd-I grew up with Lynyrd Skynyrd and KFC. So, I think it was an excellent choice. I love feeling like I'm at a barbeque, sitting at a picnic table in the summertime listening to LS while eating some extra crispy fried chicken. Don't try and ruin a good thing. Go eat some sushi or something.

Posted by: ctrenholm at November 15, 2005 05:07 AM

Let's face it, most Americans are just too ignorant or too self-focused to understand our own culture. Sweet Home Alabama is perhaps the most blatantly racist "classic rock" song out there. "In Birmingham they love the Guvnah" and "My conscience does not bother me, does your conscience bother you?"

My conscience does bother me about America's racist past and the racism that endures here, particularly in the parts of the South that Neil Young sang about way back when. It's hilarious that Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest masterpiece -- about Alabama -- is now reduced to selling chicken -- from Kentucky. Pathetic. I think if the South were to try that whole secession thing again the rest of us would tell them to not let the door hit them on the way out.

Posted by: robbo at November 18, 2005 08:20 AM

it is only a song, now if they decided to use Puritania(Dimmu Borgir), then I would be kind of worried.

Posted by: robby at November 20, 2005 08:42 PM

it looks like you've had a little, excuse me, a lot, too much of the Colonial.

Posted by: robby at November 20, 2005 08:47 PM

Racist song? Give me a break, Like KFC would deliberately alienate 90% of their customers..

Posted by: whatever at November 29, 2005 08:31 PM

The evident thing here I can conclude is that people think that someone is reading to far into this when in actuality isn't as "dumb" as people think. It's a way of understanding a song and interpreting it. They're band name screams racist but key members deny that. It's also kind of silly to have a song that Edges so close to racism and by doing so having to make people actually look deeper into the issue to realize that it's not. It's a conflicting style of choice and reason while demanding to take pride in something that is so confusing. Either way it just doesn't appeal to me anyway cause it's too broad.

Posted by: Jon Woods at November 30, 2005 08:59 AM

>the lowest of the lowest common denominator type people who still enjoy this crap

ok see this comment is just as bad as being racist. it's extremely classist. yes believe it or not it's possible to discriminate against people who aren't black. i think the racism in the south was absolutely horrible, but there are many other aspects of the south.

secondly, neil young's portrailal of the south in southern man is absolutly absurd. it's supposed to be about the south in the 60s, but it's much closer to the south of the 1840's.

Posted by: J.T. at December 3, 2005 11:28 AM

Jon Woods - did you even read ANY of the postings? It's amazing how people make a pre-conceived decison on someone based on their flawed perceptions and from then on are NEVER willing to admit they could have been wrong.

"it doesn't appeal to me" is the only valid thing you said. Don't try to rationalize the fact that your perceptions were and are wrong by claiming the bands "name is racist" and the song is "borderline racist" (whatever that means).

Its painfully ironic that Van Zandt (who was a southern LIBERAL) is being remembered by the impossibly ignorant masses as a racist. Why is it in the US that people have such a hard time THOROUGHLY researching a topoc and drawing an INTELLIGENT conclusion rather than misinterpreting something due to their own deficiencies in reading comprehension and then setting it in stone.

And to the author... Any follow-up here? Your research was clearly found wanting and now you have forever put into print a horribly unfair characterization (mean spirited too), of a classic band purely because of your own prejudices.

Posted by: QFlux at December 6, 2005 05:19 PM

what is the song from deuce bigalow european gigolo

Posted by: i what to hear racist at December 6, 2005 11:42 PM

Let's get one thing straight...Skynyrd was not racist. At all. Now, as for the lyrics...In Birmingham they love the guv'nuh. THEY. Doesn't mean WE love the Governor, it means THEY love the governor. And if you ever listen to the Ballad of Curtis Loew, you'll realize how stupid it is to characterize Skynyrd as racist.

Posted by: Alabamian at December 8, 2005 11:56 PM

I bet the advertisers were familiar with the song and did some research (and discussed/debated) and came to the belief that the song would be a positive aspect of the commercial.

Personally I think the ad(with the music) is annoying.

Posted by: Timm at December 15, 2005 05:39 AM

I bet the advertisers were familiar with the song and did some research (and discussed/debated) and came to the belief that the song would be a positive aspect of the commercial.

Personally I think the ad(with the music) is annoying.

Posted by: Timm at December 15, 2005 05:52 AM

David Kiley is an ignorant ass

Posted by: Brad Branch at December 15, 2005 01:55 PM

Sorry you got this embarrassingly wrong. SHA is a tongue in cheek song - Skynyrd were huge Neil Young fans. Ronnie van Zant wore a neil Young tshirt on the last album cover he was on, and is rumoured to have died in it

As for the line about the Governor - I noticed you conveniently missed the next line about him - "Boo, boo , boo"

As for Montgomerys got the answer - thats not what the line says - the line says "My, my governors got the answer"....and I got that info straight from the horses mouth - an email from Ed King who co-wrote the song

Posted by: Kieran at December 17, 2005 08:14 AM

Do some more research before you write an article, please.. lynyrd Skynyrd was a great ban with lots of african american ties, if you took enough time to research the band and its history you might have realized that before writing this article. The song is is over 32 years old, and any racial meaning you think it may have had have been long forgotten. the point is its a song don't look so deep and if your going to look all the way back and get the facts.Bo,Bo,Boo

Posted by: curtis lowe at January 4, 2006 05:24 PM

Wow. I just read this article and some of the responses. Could this David Kiley guy be any more wrong? I'm not sure its possible.

Many folks have already pointed out that "boo hoo hoo" follows the line "In Birmingham they love the governor". But that is only the first clue that Skynard is really criticizing Wallace, and trying to exonerate your average Southerner. Because the next line is "well we all did what we could do."

This of course means that while people in Birmingham loved Wallace, that is bad (boo hoo hoo) and many other people in Alabama did not support Wallace and tried to rein him in because he was embarassing the state (well we all did what we could do).

Just a little more evidence that David Kiley not only didn't do any research for his infantile rant, he didn't even listen to the lyrics surrounding the supposed "racist" line.

Bang up job, David. Good journalism.

Posted by: Mike at January 13, 2006 06:36 PM

Thank you INSIDER for explaining that the entire article and subsequent discussions are moot since the tune in the commercial is NOT from Lynyrd Skynyrd in the first place! It is from "Sweet Home" by the group B.A.M.A. Any further comments in this discussion about the song used in the commercial should refer to B.A.M.A. instead of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

And let's not forget the real victims in all of this... the tens of thousands of chickens who lose their lives daily.

Posted by: Carver at January 15, 2006 04:14 AM

I don't know what the last line of the song says, but it sure doesn't sound like "montgomery's got the answer" or "my governor's got the answer." I've listened to it a million times and there's atleast three, maybe four words before "...got the answer."

Posted by: johnny at January 17, 2006 02:16 PM


Tim Cook's Reboot
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus