Skip to comments.100 Best Songs of the South
Posted on 11/12/2006 8:25:07 PM PST by stainlessbanner
1. "Strange Fruit" -- Billie Holiday (1939). Atrocity becomes bitter poetry in this anti-lynching song written by a Jewish schoolteacher and union activist from New York named Abel Meeropol (aka Lewis Allan). When Billie Holiday took it on, it became one of the most powerful pieces of popular music ever recorded. The chilling images are made even more horrifying by Holiday's reportorial, matter-of-fact delivery.
2. "Summertime" -- written by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward (1935). Our favorite version is by jazz goddess Sarah Vaughan, who sings smooth and slow, capturing the pace of life in a land where time is marked by jumping fish and tall cotton.
3. "A Change Is Gonna Come" -- Sam Cooke (1964). At once fearful and hopeful, this posthumously released song captures the long-standing Southern tension between running away and standing your ground.
4. "Mississippi Goddam" -- Nina Simone (1964). A civil rights polemic fueled by generations' worth of anger.
5. "We Shall Overcome" -- Originally titled "I Shall Overcome" by Charles A. Tindley (1900); later rewritten by Guy Carawan. Its simple lyrics hardly leap from the page. But seeing and hearing a group of people sing those words -- arms crossed over their chests, hands linked together -- it becomes an enduring source of strength.
6. "Dixie" -- written by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1859). A minstrel song written by a Northerner that was later adopted by soldiers and supporters of the Confederacy. It has a past fraught with racial tension that assures continuing controversy, but the lyrics themselves are largely free of such baggage. It's all in the context.
7. "Rocky Top" -- The Osborne Brothers (1968). It sounds like a traditional bluegrass tune, but it was written by pop and country songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the married team behind many Everly Brothers' hits. Boudleaux, a classically trained violinist, once played with the Atlanta Symphony.
8. "Rosa Parks" -- OutKast (1998). New York-spawned hip-hop takes a seat on the front porch as its country cousins Dre and Big Boi spin a wickedly melodic tale over an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and a knee slap.
9. "Georgia on My Mind" -- Ray Charles (1960). Thanks to the late, great Albany, Ga., native's wonderfully earnest delivery, this old, sweet song -- like Charles -- will forever stay on our minds.
10. "Coat of Many Colors" -- Dolly Parton (1971). A poignant tale of Parton's dirt-poor but love-rich upbringing in the East Tennessee mountains. It would have sounded weepy coming from anyone else, but Parton turns sadness into sublime beauty.
11. "Coal Miner's Daughter" -- Loretta Lynn (1971). An expression of pride, a tribute to her hard-working father and a tough-edged piece of country history.
12. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" -- The Band (1969). Told from the perspective of a sympathetic Confederate man named Virgil, the song gives defeated Southerners dignity.
13. "Grandma's Hands" -- Bill Withers (1971). Withers' weathered story about a wise elder makes us all wish we had this kind of grandma -- especially one who would scold our parents for wrongly spanking us.
14. "Sweet Home Alabama" -- Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974). Like "Dixie," this song is beloved and reviled in equal measure. For every person claiming this song defends a racist legacy, there's someone to point out the "boo, boo, boo" that shadows "in Birmingham they love the governor" and a loving tribute to an African-American bluesman ("The Ballad of Curtis Loew") that comes four songs later on the band's sophomore album, "Second Helping."
15. "Ramblin' Man" -- The Allman Brothers Band (1973). Chugging drums, classic guitar licks and lyrics about a Georgia gambler who "wound up on the wrong end of a gun."
16. "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" -- Otis Redding (1967). What new whistler doesn't attempt the bridge of this wistful classic from the soulful Dawson, Ga., native?
17. "Midnight Train to Georgia" -- Gladys Knight and the Pips (1973). Never mind that it was originally titled "Midnight Plane to Houston," that it was first recorded by Cissy Houston and it begins "Mmmmm, L.A. ...," there's simply no denying this song, from these Atlanta natives, for this list.
18. "Carolina in My Mind" -- James Taylor (1968). Not just the name of an exhibit in a Chapel Hill, N.C., museum -- after all, the singer/songwriter is one of its native sons -- this makes you "see the sunshine ... feel the moonshine ... just like a friend of mine."
19. "The Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)" -- Stephen Foster (1851). Who says Florida's not part of the South?
20. "Rainy Night in Georgia" -- Brook Benton/Tony Joe White. This White-penned tune is one of the most perfect musical expressions of melancholy, with the protagonist so down he feels like it's raining all over the world.
21. "Tennessee" -- Arrested Development (1992). The same year most of the hip-hop world fell under the spell of Dr. Dre's gangster rap classic "The Chronic," this Atlanta-based group in overalls conjured a thoughtful, rickety antidote from the other coast.
22. "Love Shack" -- The B-52's (1989). A bouncy trip down the Atlanta Highway that leads to a hopping house party beneath a rusted tin roof.
23. "Nutbush City Limits" -- Ike and Tina Turner (1973). The sound of a woman determined to pave her golden avenue of dreams out of the red dirt roads of her beginning.
24. "Outfit" -- Drive-By Truckers (2003). A poignant bit of father-to-son advice: "Don't call what you're wearing an outfit/Don't ever say your car is broke/Don't worry 'bout losing your accent/A Southern man tells better jokes."
25. "Don't It Make You Want to Go Home?" -- Joe South (1969). You could probably fill this list with tunes about exiled Southerners longing for home, but few capture that lonesome homesickness with the potency packed into a single line of this one: "All God's children get weary when they roam."
26. "Hey Porter" -- Johnny Cash (1951). A man traveling on a Southbound train is just about dying to cross the Mason-Dixon Line.
27. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" -- Hank Williams (1949). If you've ever been way out in the rural South, especially late at night, you know just how the man feels.
28. "Back Water Blues" -- Bessie Smith (1927). This flood story is so vivid, you can practically feel the water rising up to your waist.
29. "I Can't Stand the Rain" -- Ann Peebles (1971). Smoky and deeply Southern Memphis soul from a woman who has been called the female Al Green.
30. "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" -- The Charlie Daniels Band (1979). Southern music is rife with characters beating (or occasionally joining) Satan. This time, the fiddler triumphs.
31. "Rednecks" -- Randy Newman (1974). A scathing anti-racism satire and the lead track on "Good Old Boys," a superb concept album about the South.
32. "Get Low" -- Lil' Jon and the East Side Boyz featuring the Ying Yang Twins (2002). As embarrassing as it is easy to sing along to, this naughty nursery rhyme firmly established the hip-hop subgenre now known as crunk music.
33. "Seminole Wind" -- John Anderson (1992). A heartfelt paean to the damaged Florida wetlands by one of the countriest of country artists.
34. "Elevators (Me and You)" -- OutKast (1996). The best song ever to mention riding MARTA.
35. "Blue Yodel No. 1" -- Jimmie Rodgers (1927). One of country music's earliest million-sellers captures the mixture of honky-tonk and holiness that runs through all of the music of the first inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
36. "My Home Is in the Delta" -- Muddy Waters (1964). The blues master's voice is so booming that it seems to have been recorded in a boxcar.
37. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" -- Bill Monroe (1947). A timeless piece of Americana, sung with a voice sharp enough to cut glass.
38. "Crossroad Blues" -- Robert Johnson (1936). As if the story of the father of the blues selling his soul on the crossroads to be a better guitarist weren't haunting enough, there's this.
39. "My Clinch Mountain Home" -- Carter Family (1929). The Clinch Mountains of southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee are the cradle of country music, the home territory of both the Carter Family and the Stanley Brothers.
40. "Love and Happiness" -- Al Green (1972). That opening stomp on what sounds like a shack floor, that wailing organ, that bluesy strum of the rhythm guitar, that bone-shaking moan -- that's Southern.
41. "Comin' From Where I'm From" -- Anthony Hamilton (2003). Stick-to-your-ribs soul from the North Carolina native who gave us "Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens."
42. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" -- Bob Dylan (1966). A seven-minute tear of Southern surrealism featuring railroad gin, a senator's wedding, a pushy dancer and a cursing preacher.
43. "In the Pines" -- Leadbelly (1944). A haunting tale from a folk-blues legend, sometimes known as "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" or "Black Girl." Its origins are unclear, but most sources trace it to the Southern Appalachians as far back as the 1870s.
44. "Ode to Billie Joe" -- Bobbie Gentry (1967). The sound is as hazy and humid as a Delta summer, and folks still puzzle over what the narrator and Billie Joe McAllister were tossing into the muddy water beneath the Tallahatchie Bridge and why Billie Joe soon followed.
45. "Southern Hospitality" -- Ludacris (2000). A "mouth full of platinum" eating "dirty South bread ... Catfish fried up/Dirty South fed!" Come on now -- you can almost smell the region.
46. "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" -- Vicki Lawrence (1973). Carol Burnett's sidekick came into her own with this lone hit. But talk about dim -- shortly after her husband wrote this curiously bouncy murder tale, they divorced.
47. "Harper Valley PTA" -- Jeannie C. Riley (1968). The story song and gossip are both Southern staples, and this Tom T. Hall song tosses some well-aimed boulders at busybodies who live in very fragile glass houses.
48. "Goin' Down South" -- R.L. Burnside (1968). Recorded by Atlanta folklorist George Mitchell, a young Burnside heads toward a place where "chilly wind don't blow."
49. "Come on in My Kitchen" -- Robert Johnson (1936-37). Though originally composed and performed by blues giant Johnson, he never made the title's five words sound as sensuous as Cassandra Wilson managed on her 1993 album "Blue Light 'Til Dawn.'"
50. "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" -- Flatt and Scruggs (1949). Not only a bluegrass landmark, but the theme to the epic gangster flick "Bonnie and Clyde."
51. "Moon River" -- Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini (1961). It's forever identified as the theme from the Audrey Hepburn film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but it was written by Savannah native Mercer (with Henry Mancini) and inspired by the river that ran behind his house on Burnside Island. It's now called Moon River.
52. "Graceland" -- Paul Simon (1986). A New Yorker gets road trip fever, heading through the Delta and up to Elvis' house.
53. "Statesboro Blues" -- Blind Willie McTell (1928). Some recite prayers, but at Duane Allman's funeral, his fellow Allman band members performed this Blind Willie McTell original -- with Dickey Betts playing Duane's guitar. (After all, it was the song Duane played over and over again when he was teaching himself how to play the bottleneck slide guitar.)
54. "Po Folks" -- Nappy Roots (2002). Underrated Kentucky hip-hop on a favorite Southern theme: poverty.
55. "Hickory Wind" -- The Byrds/Gram Parsons (1968). A wistful ode by the Waycross-raised godfather of alt-country that begins with the simple yet evocative, "In South Carolina, there are many tall pines." Recorded during his short tenure with the Byrds, which produced the seminal country-rock classic "Sweetheart of the Rodeo."
56. "My Window Faces the South" -- Bob Wills (1946). Another jaunty tale of an exile longing for the South, but he's "never frownin' or down in the mouth" because at least his window faces south.
57. "Alabama" -- Neil Young (1972). An outspoken Canadian tries to save a U.S. state.
58. "Greenville" -- Lucinda Williams (1998). Williams' distinctive twang sounds both strong and regretful as she dismisses a lover with anger issues. Fed up, she tells him to "just go on back to Greenville."
59. "Free Bird" -- Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973). It might be an overplayed piece of Southern rock history, but it's still a bonafide classic.
60. "Southern Nights" -- Glen Campbell (1977). Alright jokester, get that wicked mug shot out of your head a minute, and picture "Sou-thern skies/Have you eee-ver noticed Sou-thern skies?/It's precious beauty lies just beyond the eye/It goes running through your soul?"
61. "Orange Blossom Special," written by Ervin T. Rouse (1938-1939). A fella named Chubby Wise sometimes gets co-credit for this support beam in the house of Americana. For those inclined to learn the whole story, there's a book called "Orange Blossom Boys: The Untold Story of Ervin T. Rouse, Chubby Wise And The World's Most Famous Fiddle Tune."
62. "Down in the Boondocks" -- Billy Joe Royal/Joe South (1965). Billy Joe Royal took it into the Top 10, but this starcrossed-lovers-gone-country tale was written by under-heralded Atlantan Joe South.
63. "On and On" -- Erykah Badu (1997). Badu's voice here reminds us of Billie Holiday's muddy, weary twang.
64. "Sweet Southern Comfort" -- Buddy Jewell (2003). Well lookee here, the "Nashville Star" winner done sung himself a minor classic.
65. "South of Cincinnati" -- Dwight Yoakam (1986). A mournful country lament from Yoakam's debut album, "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc.," about lovers divided by the Ohio River, pride and 14 long, lonely years.
66. "Blue Sky" -- Allman Brothers (1972). As much a calming meditation as it is a Southern rock melody, this tune was written by Dickie Betts for his then-girlfriend, Sandy "Bluesky" Wabegijig. It was also the first Allmans' song that Betts sang lead on.
67. "Ugly" -- Bubba Sparxxx (2001). Undeniable "Bubba chatter" over beat king Timbaland's percussion equaled Athens' first major entry onto the hip-hop scene.
68. "Welcome to Atlanta" -- Jermaine Dupri featuring Ludacris (2001). Not a great song out of context, but ever since this anthem announced ATL as the place to be, the city's hip-hop scene has never looked back.
69. "Oh, Atlanta" -- Alison Krauss (1995). Originally recorded by British rockers Bad Company and written by guitarist Mick Ralphs, this song was resuscitated by Krauss' crystalline soprano and her strangely twisted pronunciation of "Georgia."
70. "Deep Down in Florida" -- Muddy Waters (1977). You can almost feel the humidity.
71. "That's What I Like About the South" -- Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (1942). A rhyming dictionary gone wonderfully haywire, where "Alabamy" goes with "mammy" and "hammy," and "shakey" with "mistakey."
72. "Dixie Chicken" -- Little Feat (1973). A woman who's been around the block several times takes our narrator for a ride. He's suckered in by her seductive refrain: "If you'll be my Dixie Chicken, I'll be your Tennessee Lamb." Bandleader Lowell George was born and raised in Southern California, but you'd never know it from Southern-fried tunes like this.
73. "Tennessee Waltz" -- Patti Page (1950). Now 78, Oklahoman Page was the best-selling female artist of the 1950s, and this sweet and simple tune, penned by Country Music Hall of Famer Pee Wee King and Tennessee native Redd Stewart, was her biggest hit.
74. "Southern Accents" -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1985). Sure, Petty became a national star. But this song takes you back to his countrified roots.
75. "Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya" -- Poison Clan (1992). A strip club classic -- surprise, surprise.
76. "Patches" -- Clarence Carter (1970). One of those weepers about being poor that's measured not by grades, not by stars, but by the number of handkerchiefs you use while listening to it.
77. "Cell Therapy" -- Goodie Mob (1995). Among the first Southern hip-hop songs to insist that this region's artists know just as much about storytelling as booty-shaking.
78. "Betty Lonely" -- Vic Chesnutt (1995). Critically beloved Athens singer-songwriter Chesnutt's sad account of a woman living "in a duplex of stucco on the north bank of a brackish river" who "will always think in Spanish" is so Floridian that you can feel the heat and humidity and see the Spanish moss.
79. "No Depression" --Uncle Tupelo (1990). An Illinois trio messes with an A.P. Carter song, and in the process helps create the punk-roots sub-genre known as alternative country.
80. "Nann" -- Trick Daddy (1998). The title is a generations-old slang word ("You don't know nann about great Southern songs!"), and the song an unofficial introduction to sassy pin-up Trina, who conducts a hilariously bitter exchange with underappreciated Miami rapper Trick Daddy.
81. "Return of the Grievous Angel" -- Gram Parsons (1973). The Grievous Angel -- aka late Waycross-reared alt-country godfather Parsons -- heads west to grow up with the country, but the 20,000 roads he travels all lead right back home.
82. "Birmingham" -- Randy Newman (1974). An ode to "the greatest city in Alabam'," featuring factory work, a wife named Marie and a big black dog named Dan.
83. "Blackbird" -- Dionne Farris (1994). With just a countrified acoustic guitar backing her, this outstanding Atlanta vocalist transforms the original -- by four white British guys better known as the Beatles -- into a full symphony of inspiration for black women everywhere.
84. "Evangeline" -- Emmylou Harris (1981). The Band's Robbie Robertson wrote this tale of a wronged woman standing "on the banks of the mighty Mississippi," but Harris infused it with such epic grandeur that it became hers.
85. "High Water (for Charley Patton)" -- Bob Dylan (2001). An apocalyptic, banjo-driven companion piece to Bessie Smith's flood lament "Back Water Blues."
86. "Just Kickin' It" -- Xscape (1993). The loping "Let's Do It Again" sample and the harmonies this foursome generate sound like Sunday mornings in church and Sunday afternoons in the rocking chair all at the same time.
87. "Georgia Rhythm" -- Atlanta Rhythm Section (1976). The "band-on-the-road" genre gets a Southern twist as the hometown boys pass around the bottle, crank up their trusty Gibsons and tear up another town.
88. "If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie" -- Hank Williams Jr. (1982). Sample lyric: "If they don't have a Grand Ole Opry, like they do in Tennessee/Just send me to Hell or New York City, it'd be about the same to me."
89. "Wait" -- Ying Yang Twins (2005). Down-South lasciviousness from two wild, gold-toothed guys who -- with this song -- finally earned applause from serious hip-hop critics.
90. "Knoxville Girl" -- The Louvin Brothers (1956). It doesn't get much more Southern than a murder ballad delivered by the goosebump-raising harmonies of these Alabama siblings.
91. "Red Clay Halo" -- Gillian Welch (2001). A country girl damns the dirt that stains her clothes and cakes under her nails.
92. "In Da Wind" -- Trick Daddy, Cee-Lo and Big Boi (2002). Try as they might to deny it, can self-professed "sneaky ol' freaky ol' geechee ? collard green, neckbone-eatin" guys be anything other than Southern?
93. "Memphis" -- Chuck Berry (1959). Rock 'n' roll was born in the South, and Chuck Berry is one of its daddies. In this song, he's 6-year-old Marie's daddy, trying to phone his little girl who lives "just a half a mile from the Mississippi Bridge."
94. "Stars Fell on Alabama" -- written by Mitchell Parish and Frank Perkins (1934). Lazy and luxurious, like a night spent lying in the grass, gazing skyward. Billie Holiday gave us one of the best versions.
95. "People Everyday" -- Arrested Development (1992). One of hip-hop's most eloquent discussions on some of the ignorance in hip-hop culture.
96. "Can't You See" -- Marshall Tucker Band (1973). The best Southern rock tune of the early '70s that wasn't an Allman Brothers Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd track. An unforgettable acoustic guitar riff, the bracing sting of electric guitar and a forlorn flute send this mean-woman blues song soaring into the mountains.
97. "Chattahoochee" -- Alan Jackson (1992). Proudly corny country.
98. "Git Up, Git Out" -- OutKast with Goodie Mob (1994). Before it was sampled in Macy Gray's first single, "Do Something," this was an underground hip-hop favorite -- your mama's admonitions set to music.
99. "Maps and Legends" -- R.E.M. (1985). The Athens quartet's first few albums are as saturated with Southern imagery as the kudzu-draped cover of the band's full-length debut, "Murmur." This sweetly swaying tune, dedicated to Summerville artist the Rev. Howard Finster, is from album No. 3, "Fables of the Reconstruction."
100. "Mistress" -- Caroline Herring (2003). A heart-wrenching song told from the perspective of a slave whose master -- and lover-- is dying.
These 10 tunes barely scratch the surface of the Lone Star state's whopping contribution to popular music, but they're definitely some of our favorites.
"Amarillo by Morning" -- George Strait. Texas has given us more than its fair share of great country artists -- George Jones, Ernest Tubb, Willie Nelson, Hank Thompson, for starters. This lovely travelogue, narrated by a rodeo cowboy yearning for home, just barely wins out over Tubb's "Waltz Across Texas" for a spot on the list.
"The Yellow Rose of Texas" -- Gene Autry. A 19th-century beauty that's been recorded by a wide range of artists, but Texas-born singing cowboy Autry's always good for a classic take.
"San Antonio Rose" -- Bob Wills/Patsy Cline. Wills' original version is one of western swing's genuine classics, but Cline's voice did wonderful things to an already beautiful tune.
"Deep in the Heart of Texas" -- Gene Autry. We're suckers for hand claps. Why Autry's version? See "The Yellow Rose of Texas."
"That's Right (You're Not From Texas)" -- Lyle Lovett. Lyle's Georgia girl is foolish enough to ask why he's always going on about Texas. By the time the next verse rolls around, our view of that girl is in the rear view mirror as Mr. Lovett speeds away.
"My Mind Playing Tricks on Me" -- Geto Boys. Before the South was officially the "Dirty South," Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill proved that hip-hop wasn't all about New York and Los Angeles with this leisurely paced tale of urban paranoia.
"Como la Flor" -- Selena. Tejano is a singularly Texan blend of Mexican folk and American country. The late queen of the form, gunned down in 1995 as she was on a spectacular rise to stardom, is at her best on this tune.
"Texas Me" -- Sir Douglas Quintet. When our protagonist roams, he begins to wonder what happened to "that man inside, the real old Texas me."
"She Never Spoke Spanish to Me" --Butch Hancock/Joe Ely. Spanish is a loving tongue, as the old song goes, but in this Mexican-flavored heart-tugger, our hero is never addressed by his beloved in her native tongue.
"Texas Flood" -- Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan revived this fiery blues tune from the '50s by one of his lesser-known influences, Larry Davis, and made it the title cut of his 1993 debut album.
You could come up with a list of 100 great songs from Louisiana , but here are 10 favorites we couldn't live without.
"Big Chief" -- Professor Longhair. A piano groove that could go on forever.
"Do Whatcha Wanna" -- the Rebirth Brass Band. A delightful reminder of New Orleans as we'd like to remember it.
"Great Balls of Fire" -- Jerry Lee Lewis. The barrelhouse rocker that shook nerves and rattled brains.
"Hot Tamale Baby" -- Clifton Chenier. There are so many dance-inducing songs by the king of zydeco that it was tough to choose. This fast-paced scorcher was written by Chenier, but is probably better known from versions by Marcia Ball and Buckwheat Zydeco.
"Iko Iko" -- the Dixie Cups. Among the world's most perfect two-minute songs, it sounds like schoolgirls messing around on the playground, captured on tape by accident.
"Lady Marmalade" -- LaBelle. We meet 'Marmalade' down in ole New Orleans, strutting herself on the scene. But it's LaBelle's tart and tangy description of the lady of the evening that really impresses the itchy, gitchy, ya-ya out of us.
"Johnny B. Goode" -- Chuck Berry. Actually, Chuck B. Goode -- great even -- on the guitar on this one.
"Potato Head Blues" -- Louis Armstrong. Woody Allen's character in "Manhattan" cited this song as one reason life's worth living. He wasn't wrong.
"Walking to New Orleans" -- Fats Domino. The deliberate stride of this '50s classic -- and the big man's distinctive accent -- would tell you where it originated even if the title was "Walking to New York."
"When The Saints Go Marching In" -- widely credited to Katherine Purvis and James Black. The rare song that has been recorded by Louis Armstrong, James Brown, Pete Fountain, Mahalia Jackson, Earl Scruggs and Tiny Tim.
Missing from the list: "Are you from Dixie?", "T for Texas", "Bonnie Blue", "Mountain Dew", Doc Watson, Bellamy Bros, and others.
Feel Free to add to or correct the list.
bumped and marked
My vote for the top song has to be Mrs. Reb's favorite - Bonnie Blue Flag. However, I believe Maryland, My Maryland deserves at least an honorable mention.
"Rank Strangers" by Stanley Brothers.... should be something from Flatt and Scruggs in there too.
they've got Flatt and Scruggs at #50 with Foggy mountain Breakdown. Pretty good list, although Randy Newman should never be on any best of list.
Civil Rights songs are trashing the South? Not really, I think.
Four of the top five, racialist anthems trashing the South. Three of which, including #1 about lynching I never heard of.
Typical Multicultural garbage.
Missing perhaps the single greatest southern song ever recorded, performed, or even possible.
"Let me go ´way from this Mississippi.
Let me go ´way from the white man boss.
Show me that stream, called the river Jordan.
Thats the old stream that I long to cross.
Old Man River,
that Old Man River,
he must know something
but he dont say nothing.
He just keeps rolling.
He keeps on rolling along.
He dont plant tatoes.
He dont plant cotton.
And them that plants them
is soon forgotten.
But Old Man River,
he just keeps rolling along.
You and me,
we sweat and strained.
Body all achening, racked with pain.
Tote that barge
and lift that bail.
Get a little drunk then well land in jail.
I get weary
And sick of trying.
Im tired of living
and scared of dying,
but Old Man River,
he just keeps rolling along".
I'd love to find an MP3 of that, it sends a chill up my spine every time.
"ZIP A DEE DOO DAH", "MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA" [Flame (no pun intended)away].
Where is Jine the Cavalry?
Could I be put on your list please.
Love Rocky Top. My all time favorite.
Song of the South by Alabama.
bumped and marked
How about "If You're Gonna Play in Texas"? (Also by Alabama)
Nice list of songs, but I had to laugh at number 22, "Love Shack" by The B-52's.
How in the world is that a southern song?
Furthermore, the fact that not one Ronnie Milsap song is on this list makes me question it even more. "Smoky Mountain Rain" is the first that comes to mind...
Bellamy Brothers, "You Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie"
I love their harmonies; swamp-rock heirs to the Louvin Brothers
Don Williams, "Good Ole Boys Like Me"
Sawyer Brown, "Another Side"
Marty Robbins, "Five Brothers"
Charlie Daniels Band, "Legend of the Wooley Swamp"
Want rap? Bellamy Brothers "Country Rap"
"We got yer fatback, and that's a fact!"
I'm a good ol' rebel.
Anything by Steve Earle. (So shoot me ...)
Two songs I'd add:
"Can't You See," Marshall Tucker Band -- maybe my favorite Southern rock song of all time (and yes, that includes "Free Bird," sacreligious as that may be). It's just an amazing song.
And as for Emmylou Harris, I'd switch out "Evangeline" with "Boulder to Birmingham," the song she wrote about Gram Parsons.
Other than that, a little too much rap and not enough Southern rock, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Access Atlanta/the AJC, a paper that's done more than its part to make Atlanta into the Detroit of the South (but with better weather).
D'OH! Never mind, I just saw that they had "Can't You See" on there at #96. About sixty spots too low IMO. Certainly it should be ahead of all that cRAP that's smelling up the list.
And yeah, I couldn't help but notice the "civil rights anthems" leading the list. The AJC, keepin' dem white folks guilty since 1964.
One of my favorite movies was the John Phillip Sousa Story when they were going to cancel his show in the south. The band came marching into town. Sousa announced the show with ever other song being Dixie. The southerns went wild.
Johnny Horton does a version of it but it was written by Major Innes Randolph, C.S.A. and it's actually titled "Good Ol Rebel Soldier."
"Missing from the list: "Are you from Dixie?", "T for Texas", "Bonnie Blue", "Mountain Dew", Doc Watson, Bellamy Bros, and others."
I do believe that "Blue Yodel #1" - 35th on the list - is "T for Texas."
Correct me if I'm wrong!
Salty Dog - Morris Brothers (Flatt & Scruggs version)
Gimme Three Steps - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Bluegrass Rules - Ricky Skaggs
Dooley - The Dillards
Uneasy Rider - Charlie Daniels
Mississippi Queen - Mountain
Wild Eyed Southern Boys - 38 Special
Flirtin With Disaster - Molly Hatchet
Fox On The Run - T Hazzard
The Essential Earl Scruggs - all 40 songs
Well, let's see ... in random order, as they come to me:
.Tara's Theme from Gone with the Wind - "The Hills of Home"
.Sweet Lorena - * ... I dream a dream of Sweet Loray-ay-ayna ... *
.Deep River - * ... deeeep river ... my home is over Jordan ...*
.Shenandoah - * ... oh, oh Shenando', I love your daughter ... come away, please come away ... rollin' cross the wide Missouri ...*
.Is it True What They Say About Dixie? - * ... does the sun really shine all the time? ... do they laugh, do they love like they say in ev'ry song? ... if it's true, then that's where I belong!*
.Down Yonder - * ... down yonder, someone beckons to me ... down yonder, someone reckons on me ... I seem to see a race in memory ... between the Natchez and the Robert E. Lee ... down yonder, when the folks get the news ... don't wonder at the hullabaloo ... there's Daddy and Mammy .. there's Ephram and Sammy ... waitin' down yonder for me!*
.Waiting for the Robert E. Lee - * ... watch them shuffle along ... see them shuffle along ... oh take your best gal, your real pal ... go down to the levee, I said to the levee ... join the shuffling throng ... hear the music and song ... it's simply great, mate, waiting on the levee ... waiting for the Robert E. Lee!*
.Blues in the Night - * ... from Natchez to Mobile ... from Memphis to St. Joe ... wherever the four winds blow ... I've seen me some big things ... heard me some big talk ... but there's one thing I know ... a man is a two-faced, a worrisome thing that'll leave you to sing ... the blues in the night.*
.Birth of the Blues - * ... from a whippoorwill high on a hill, they took a new note ... pushed it through a horn, til it was worn into a blue note ... and then they nursed it, rehearsed it ... and gave out the news ... that the Southland gave birth to the blues!*
.Mammy - * ... Mammy, how I love ya, how I love ya, my dear old Mammy ... I'd give the world to be ... among the folks in D - I - X - I - E ... they know my mammy's waitin' for me, prayin' for me, down by the Suwanee ... the folks up north will see me no more, when I get to that Suwanee shore!*
.Cotton Fields - * ... way down yonder in Louisiana, just about a mile from Texarkana ... in them old cotton fields back home ...*
.The South's Gonna Do It Again - * ... gather 'round, gather 'round chillun' ... get down, well, just get down, chillun' ... get loud, well, you can be loud and be proud ... well, you can be proud, hear now ... be proud you're a rebel ... 'cause the South's gonna do it again ... and again!*
.Christmas in Dixie - * ... and it's snowing in the pines ... and from Fort Payne, Alabama ... Merry Christmas from Dixie to everyone tonight!*
.Ballad of the Boll Weevil - * ... just lookin' for a home, lookin' for a home ...*
.Goober Peas - *... peas, peas, peas, peas, eatin' goober peas ... sumthin sumthin ... the Georgia militia ... eatin' goober peas!*
.Deacon Blues - * ... they call Alabama the Crimson Tide ... call me Deacon Blues ...*
.Song of the South - * ... well, momma got sick and daddy got down ... the county got the farm and they moved to town ... papa got a job with the TVA ... he bought a washing machine and then a chevrolet ...*
.Shortnin' Bread - * ... mammy's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin' ... mammy's little baby loves shortnin' bread ...*
.If it Ain't Dixie - * ... if it ain't Dixie, it won't do ... it won't do ... if it ain't Dixie ... it don't feel quite like home ... my Southern blood runs deep and true ... if it ain't Dixie, it won't do.*
.Goin' to Jackson - * ... we got married in a fever ... hotter than a pepper sprout ... we been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out ... goin' to Jackson ... you turn loose-a my coat ...*
.Opening TV theme to the Andy Griffith Show - no words, just whistlin'
.Mississippi Queen - * ... if you know what I mean ...*
.Walking in Memphis - * ... walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale ...*
.Chattanooga Choo-Choo - * ... pardon me boys, is that the cat that ate your new shoes? ... track 29, boy, you can give me a shine ... dinner in the diner ... nothing could be finer ... than to have your ham & eggs in Carolina ... when you hear the whistle blowin' eight to the bar ... then you know that Tennessee is not very far ...*
.Nothin' Could be Finer than to be in Carolina - *... in the moooornin' ... nothin' could be sweeter than my sweetie when I meet her in the moooornin' ...*
.My Tennessee Mountain Home - * ... in my Tennessee mountain home ... life is as peaceful as a baby's sigh ... in my Tennessee mountain home ... crickets sing in the fields near by ...*
.My Old Kentucky Home (Go Barbaro Go!)
.Kentucky Woman - * ... she gets to know you ... she goes to own you (or "goes to OU," if you're a Sooner) ...*
.Kentucky Rain - * ... keeps fallin' down ...*
.Jolie Blon' - don't know why this wasn't #1 in the Louisiana section
.Jambalaya - * ... goodbye, Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh ... me gotta go for me pirogue dans la bayou ... pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gayeaux ... sonofagun we'll have big fun ... on the bayou!*
.Shrimp Boats - * ... shrimp boats are a-comin', their sails are in sight ... shrimp boats "is" a-comin' ... there's dancin' tonight .. won't you hurry, hurry home ...*
.Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - * ... in the land of those dreamy scenes ... stop! ... you bet your life you'll linger there ... a little while ... there's a heaven right here on earth, with those beautiful queens ... way down yonder in New ... Orleans ...*
.House of the Rising Sun - * ... there is a house in New Orleans ... they call the rising sun ... and it's been the ruin of many a poor boy ... God, I know I'm one ...*
.Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? - * ...
.Blue Bayou - * ... and those fishing boats with their sails afloat, if I could only see ... a familiar sunrise, through sleepy eyes, how happy I'd be ... I'd never be blue, my dreams come true ... on blue bay-ooooo!*
.Stars on the Water - * ... Down in Louisiana bayous by and by ... pirogue pole or your natural soul ... Keeps you tied to a tree high tide ... Beaumont to Biloxi ... sea breeze at your door ... When it's midnight down in Mobile ... shinin' moonbeams on the bay ... it looks just like stars on the water ... like stars on the water ... feels like stars on the water ... let it rain ...*
.Walkin' to New Orleans - * ... got no time for talkin' ... gotta keep on walkin' ... walkin' to New Orleans ...*
.You Never Can Tell - * ... it was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well ... you could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle ... They bought a souped-up jitney ... 'twas a cherry red '53 ... they drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary ... it was there that Pierre was married to the lovely mademoiselle ... "C'est la vie" say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell!*
.City of New Orleans - * ... riding on the City of New Orleans ... Illinois Central, Monday morning rail ... Good Morning America, how are ya? ... Nighttime on The City of New Orleans ... changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee ... half way home, we'll be there by morning ... through the Mississippi darkness rolling down to the sea ...*
.Me and Bobby McGee - * ... busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train ... feeling near as faded as my jeans ... Bobby thumbed a diesel down ... drove us all the way to New Orleans ...*
.The Battle of New Orleans - * ... In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip ... we took a little bacon and we took a little beans ... and we fought the bloody British near a town named New Orleans ...*
(on to TX and OK in my next post)
He Went to Sleep - the Hogs Ate Him
cho: Oh! he went to sleep and the hogs eat 'im
Hogs eat 'im, Hogs eat 'im
He went to sleep and the hogs eat 'im
Now pa's gone forever
Forever, Forever, Forever, Forever
Now pa's gone forever.
He never worked a day in his life
Left that for his lovin' wife
The way my paw did it was a shame
At harvest time he'd stay in the shade
Find a spot and down he laid
But we all loved 'im just the same.
He loved to spin big tall yarns
Pa would tell 'em from dusk to dawn
He would only stop awhile to eat
About that civil war he'd tell
Then let out a rebel yell
Then pa'd get tired and go to sleep.
He watched us work from where he set
He watched so hard he'd work up a sweat
At this my pa was hard to beat
He couldn't work, he got too fat
He supervised from where he sat
Then pa'd get tired and go to sleep.
Recorded: Folk Concert-Stanley Brothers/1976 Gusto SK-834
.Waltz Across Texas - * ... like a storybook ending, I'm lost in your charms ... and I could waltz across Texas with you ...*
.Red River Valley - * ... from this valley they say you are going ... do not hasten to bid me adieu ... just remember the Red River Valley ... and the cowboy who loves you so true ...*
.Ballad of the Alamo - * ... in the southern part of Texas in the town of San Antone ... lies a fortress all in ruins that the weeds have overgrown ... he takes his hat off slowly to the men of Alamo ... to the 13 days of glory at the Siege of Alamo ...*
.Miles and Miles of Texas - * ... I was born in Lousiana down on the ol bayou ... raised on shrimps and catfish and mammy's good gumbo ... I got the ramblin' fever, said goodbye to ma and pa ... crossed that ol' Red River and this is what I saw: I saw miles and miles of Texas ... all the stars up in the sky ... I saw miles and miles of Texas ... gonna live here till I die ...*
.Texas State of Mind - * ... I'm in a Texussss staaate of mind ... it's so good to hear your voice on the line ... California's too damn far, from you and that old Lone Star ... I'm in a Texas staaaate of miiiinnnd.*
.Texas When I Die - * ... when I die, I may not go to heaven ... 'cause I don't know if they let cowboys in ... but if they don't, then let me go to Texas ... 'cause Texas is as close as I've been ...*
.All My Exes Live in Texas - * ... All my exes live in Texas ... and Texas is a place I'd dearly love to be ... but all my exes live in Texas ... that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee ...*
.Luckenbach - * ... let's go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys ... this successful life we're livin's got us feudin' like the Hatfields and McCoys ...*
.Streets of Laredo - * ... as I walked out in the streets of Laredo ... as I walked out in Laredo one day ... I spied a young cowboy dressed up in white linen ... dressed up in white linen as cold as the clay ... be ... beat the drum slo-o-owly, lay the sod o'er me ... play the fife lowly ... I know I done wrong ...*
.Home with the Armadillo (London Homesick Blues) - * ... I wanna go home with the armadillo ... to good country music from Amarillo and Abilene ... to the friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever seen ...*
.Bob Wills is Still the King - * ... you can see the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee ... it's the home of country music, on that we all agree ... but when you cross that ole Red River, hoss, that just don't mean a thing ... 'cause once you're down in Texas ... Bob Wills is still the King ...*
.Cotton-Eyed Joe - only words you need to know after you lead right, scoot, scoot, scoot, then lead left, scoot, scoot, scoot are *bull* and *chit!* scoot scoot scoot ...
.Houston - * ... Houuuuston ... Houston means that I'm one day closer to you ...*
.Goin' Back to Houston - * ...Houston, Houston, Houston ... well it's lonesome in this old town, everybody puts me down ... just a face without a name, walking in the rain ... goin' back to Houston ...*
.Galveston - * ... Galveston, oh Galveston ... I can hear your voices calling ...*
.Opening TV theme from "Dallas" - it has words, but I don't know what they are - you can hum a few bars to yourself!
.Big D - * ... why, I'm from Big D, my oh yes ... Big D, little a, double-l, a, s ...
.Here I Am in Dallas - * .. honey, where in the hell are you? ...*
.Does Foat Wuth Ever Cross Your Mind? - * ... you're in someone else's arms in Dallas ... does Fort Worth ever cross your mind? ...*
.Abilene - *Aaabi..lene...Abilene...prettiest town I've ever seen ... people there don't treat you mean ... in Abilene, my Abilene ...*
.Mockingbird Hill - * .. tweedle-aye, tweedle-dee-dum, it gives me a thrill ... to wake up in the morning to the mockingbird's trill ...*
.Across the Alley from the Alamo - * ... lived a pinto pony and a Navajo ...*
.T for Texas (Blue Yodel #1) - * .. well, T is for Texas, T's for Tennessee ... and T is for Thelma, the gal that made a wreck outta me ... I'm going where the water tastes like cherry wine ... yeah, I'm going where the water tastes like cherry wine ... 'cause the water down here in Georgia tastes like turpentine ... *
.Let's Go to Garner State Park - * ... let's go to Garner State Park ...* (lol - y'all don't know that one?)
.Do the Tighten Up . * ... we're Archie Bell and the Drells, from Houston, Texas ... learned how to dance before we could walk ...*
.Don't Ask Me Why [I'm Going To Texas] - * ... from Austin up to Dallas, Amarillo to El Paso ... you can hear Bob Wills, Bill Mack, and me, on your radio ...* [Asleep at the Wheel]
.Boogie Back to Texas - * ... gonna boogie back to Texas 'cross the US of A ... boogie back to Texas ... eight beats to the mile ...*
.Cowboy Lovin' Night - * ... they're tuning those twin Texas fiddles ... it's been so long since Dallas ... Faded Love is playing ... shuffle with me, Houston stranger ... it's a cowboy-lovin' night!*
.Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone? - * ... or Tucson, Arizona ... anyplace is all right as long as I .. can forget I've ever know her ...*
.San Antonio Stroll - * ... there ain't a thing in this world to make you fall in love, girl ... like that old San Antonio Stroll ...*
.El Paso - * ... out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl ... nighttime would find me in Rosa's cantina ... music would play and Felina would whirl ...*
.Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas - * ... I'm a ding-dong daddy from Dumas, you oughta see me do my stuff ...*
.China Grove - * ... oh, oh ... China Grove ...*
.Long Tall Texan - * ... Well, I'm a long, tall Texan ... I enforce justice by the law ... (he rides from Texas to enforce the law) ... people look at me and say, 'oh Roy, oh Roy, is you the law'? ...*
.LaGrange - * ... haw haw haw haw ...*
.At the Crossroads - * ... You can teach me lots of lessons ... you can bring me lots of gold ... but you just can't live in Texas if you don't have a lotta soul ...*
.Pecos Promenade - * ... when God made them west Texas cowboys, he gave the Pecos Promenade ... lead off with the Cotton-Eyed Joe, buck and wing, heel and toe ... hold me close for the Pecos Promenade ...*
.If You're Gonna Play in Texas - * ... you gotta have a fiddle in the band ...*
.Texas Has a Whorehouse in it - * ... Lord have mercy on our souls! ... Texas has a whorehouse in it ... Lord have mercy on our souls! ...* (Melvin P. Thorpe, WatchDog, and the Doggettes)
.OooooOh!Klahoma! - * ... where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain ...*
.You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma - * ... Santa Monica Freeway sometimes makes a country girl bluuuue ... you're the reason God made Oklahoma .... you're the reason God made Oklahoma ... and I'm sure missin' you ...*
.Oklahoma Hills - * .. way down yonder on the Indian Nation, ride my pony on the reservation ... in the Oklahoma Hills where I was born ... now as I turn life a page from the land of the great Osage ...*
.Take Me Back to Tulsa - * ... I'm too young to marry ... take me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry ... take me back to Tulsa ... I'm .. too .. young .. to .. wed thee!*
.Livin' on Tulsa Time - * ... livin' on Tulsa time ... gonna set my watch back to it, cuz you know that I've been through it ... livin' on Tulsa time.*
.Okie from Muskogee - * ... a place where even squares can have a ball ... we still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse ... and white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all ... in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA ... (boomer sooner, boomer sooner) ... in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USAAA!* (And, of course, the rebuttal ... *Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother* ... which also ends "in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USAAAA!")
.I've Never Been to Spain - * ... Well I've never been to Spain ... but I've been to Oklahoma ... they tell me I was born there ... but I really don't remember ... in Oklahoma, not Arizona ... what does it matter .. what does it matter? ...*
Murder on Music Row
(Larry Cordle/Larry Shell)
Nobody saw him runnin' from sixteenth avenue
They never found a fingerprint or the weapon that was used
But someone killed country music. Cut out its heart and soul
They got away with murder down on music row
The almighty dollar and the lust for world-wide fame
Slowly killed tradition and for that someone should hang
They all say not guilty but the evidence will show
That murder was committed down on music row
For the steel guitars no longer cry
And fiddles barely play
But drums and rock & roll guitars
Are mixed up in your face
Ol' Hank wouldn't have a chance
On today's radio
Since they committed murder down on music row
They thought no one would miss it once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them old drinkin' and cheatin' songs
Well there ain't no justice in it and the hard facts are cold
Murder's been committed down on music row
For the steel guitars no longer cry
And you can't hear fiddles play
With drums and rock & roll guitars
Mixed right up in your face
The Hag wouldn't have a chance
On today's radio
Since they've committed murder down on music row
Tag: Why they'd even tell the Possum
To pack up and go back home
There's been an awful murder down on music row
This song is about damaged wetlands??
Would also add Dwigh Yokam's "I Sang Dixie" and Rhett Akins "Friday Night in Dixie"
Here's the video: Seminole Wind [YouTube]
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am,
And for this yankee nation, I do not give a damn!
I'm glad I fought agin her, I only wish we'd won,
I aint asked any pardon for anything I done.
I hates the yankee nation and everything they do,
I hates the Declaration of Independence too,
I hates the "glorious union," 'tis drippin' with our blood,
I hates their striped banner, I fit it all I could.
I rode with Robert E. Lee for three years, thereabout,
Got wounded in four places, and I starved at Point Lookout;
I cotched the "roomatism" a 'campin' in the snow,
But I killed the chancy yankees, and I'd like to kill some more.
Three hundred thousand yankees is stiff in Southern dust.
We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever and Southern steel and shot,
I wish there were three million instead of what we got.
I can't take up my musket and fight 'em now no more,
But I ain't gonna love 'em, now that is certain sure;
And I don't want no pardon for what I was and am,
I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am,
For this yankee nation, I do not give a damn.
I'm glad I fought agin her, I only wish we'd won,
I ain't asked any pardon for anything I done.
I ain't asked any pardon for anything I done.
--Major Innes Randolph, C.S.A. a former member of J.E.B. Stuarts staff, written around the end of the 19th century.
Bonnie Blue Flag should be in the top ten. It's right up there with Dixie.
I'd love to find an MP3 of that, it sends a chill up my spine every time.
You would have to ask a banjo picker that. Here's the Johnny Horton version for you.
It stands right alongside The North Carolina War Song
"Georgia, On My Mind" isn't about the state. Hoagy Carmichael's sister's name was Georgia.
Make that "Georgia On My Mind."
It's pretty sad when the list begins as it does. Not much of interest, except to say that #30 and #46 have Sherman and his nasty adventures written all over them. And this listmaker does nothing but play, "Hail To The Chief" for the likes of the scoundrel or pigface, whichever is preferred...
Bonnie Blue Flag should be #1, Dixie#2...
OK. "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" The Steve Goodman/Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns arrangement for a preference.
Other than having the word "Georgia" in the title, what do a song about a fiddling contest with the devil and a song about a man being falsely convicted and executed for killing his wife have to do with Sherman?