Song meanings for everyone to add too!
December 19, 2010 12:43:16 AM UTC Post #1

Okay so I thought it would be cool to start a new thread about song meanings by Skynyrd, even if it is the most obvious, or maybe your own opinion! Just let everyone know or what yah think!


When I was a young'un they used to teach us to play music like this here - RVZ

December 19, 2010 12:44:27 AM UTC Post #1

Ok so i'll start off, 'That Smell' was it not written about when Gary Rossington bought a new car, got pissed or high, or bothand crashed that car straight into an Oak Tree! ;)

When I was a young'un they used to teach us to play music like this here - RVZ

December 19, 2010 3:15:10 AM UTC Post #2

This going to be thorough enough? :P

I forget the name, but Cry For The Bad Man was an attack on the business practices of Skynyrd's manager at the time.
I think I read about how Ronnie said he had come down on the guy too hard in that song.

Simple Man - obvious; passing along the advice given in the song's lyrics
Some make particular political and/or religious points loud and clear. He’s Alive, God And Guns, That Ain’t My America, Gifted Hands, Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye come to mind

Free Bird - freeing yourself mentally from what ties you down, even though there's a pull back towards it.

Gimme Three Steps - When the stuff hits the fan, don't dig yourself a deeper hole; use caution and cleverness it get yourself out of a sticky situation rather than brawn. I also kinda notice this in "I Ain't The One"’

Saturday Night Special – about the perils of impulsive violence from another angle, with improper use and easy availability of firearms as something that could enable and aggravate such things

Gimme Back My Bullets - Get knocked down? Get back up.
Still Unbroken - Keep going through the stuff that could knock you down. “The Last Rebel” sort of precedes Still Unbroken, but more somberly.

Things Goin' On - Politicians not paying attention to the little guy; I don't see this as a particularly 'right' or 'left' song. Sometimes, Skynyrd has aimed similar invective at businessmen – Money Man, Mr. Banker, Cry For The Bad Man, Backstreet Crawler, as well as various decidedly blue-collar songs: Down South Jukin’, Workin’, Outta Hell In My Dodge,, Hillbilly Blues

Poison Whiskey - Moonshine ain't a smart way to go about getting your alcohol. Could be stretched to a warning about alcohol consumption in general.
Devil In The Bottle, Junkie, The Needle And The Spoon and That Smell more directly attack (specific) drug(s) in general.

Workin' For MCA - Understand the business dealings you're getting into to further your profession.

Preacher Man - I try to live a good life, but I ain't perfect.
Rough Around The Edges also discusses a good man underneath a rough surface. A YouTube video I saw cast that as a tribute by Johnny to Ronnie; I can see that.

Am I Losin'?, Don’t Ask Me No Questions, Was I Right Or Wrong? - Meditation on the personal costs of fame, and wanting to avoid such problems, even though fame has its benefits.
On The Hunt, What’s Your Name and a bit of Travelin’ Man seem to refer to getting women as one of those benefits. :P
Tuesday’s Gone, One More Time, Comin’ Back For More, Love Don’t Always Come Easy – pain of love and lost love without fame being particularly involved

Searchin’, I Need You, Comin’ Home, I Never Dreamed – Many songs discuss the primary importance of the people you love; “Was I Right Or Wrong?” in the context of relatives as opposed to lovers.

Trust – even as important as these people are, it’s foolish to blindly trust them.

The Ballad Of Curtis Loew, Railroad Song, Swamp Music, Jacksonville Kid/Honky Tonk Night Time Man, Ain’t No Good Life, Crossroads, T For Texas, When You Got Good Friends, Mississippi Kid, Mad Hatter, Call Me The Breeze, Heartbreak Hotel all seem to have been performed as acknowledgement of and tribute to assorted people important to Skynyrd. [Respect your influences]

We Ain’t Much Different – We have a lot of striking commonalities underneath apparent differences

All I Can Do Is Write About It, I’m A Country Boy, Truck Drivin’ Man, Simple Life, Raining In My Heartland, South Of Heaven, Pure & Simple – praising the world the band members came from. Perhaps this is a category I can fit Sweet Home Alabama into.

What a poet Ronnie was, really; I did find good things to say about a bunch of Johnny’s songs too, a lot of them touching again on the areas the band’s already visited.

Some don’t seem particularly profound, but they are well-played and fun, about things they enjoy. Maybe the enthusiasm is itself part of the point.
Georgia Peaches, Sweet Little Missy, Southern Women [though maybe in the ‘the world the band members came from’ category], Double Trouble, Whiskey-Rock-A-Roller, Down South Jukin’, Rockin’ Little Town, You Got That Right, I Know A Little, Made In The Shade, Floyd, Smokestack Lightning, That’s How I Like It, Pick ‘Em Up, Bang Bang for example


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Free Bird, Gimme Back My Bullets and We Ain’t Much Different have meanings as describe above that particularly resonate with me personally

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Thanks for the tip, Paul - Skynyrd is one of the most underrated classic rock bands. We in Skynyrd Nation know better.

What rock lost in 10/77 was no less than what it lost in 2/59.

“Some people said he was useless – them people are the fools."

December 19, 2010 9:11:58 PM UTC Post #3

Again, how about true storys behind the songs, such as 'Gimmie Three Steps' written when Ronnie was in a club, and some lass started talking to him, and her bloke come up to him, Ronnie said something along the lines of, "You can shoot me in the elbows, or the kneecaps, but just Gimmie Three Steps" cant remember off the top of me head. And Ronnie ran out to the van, as Gary and Allen? - wasn't old enough I think, so yeah. Also, 'Simple Man', written when Gary mother, and Ronnie's Grandmother passed away, and they gets a talking about what they taught them, Gary come up with the chords. Any other true stories behind some songs, I only started it as someone asked what Saturday Night Special was really about. Should have made it slightly clear I suppose! Take care!

When I was a young'un they used to teach us to play music like this here - RVZ

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