Sunday, July 22, 2012

Song of the Day: Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Saturday Night Special"

No hard rock band has been more misunderstood than Lynyrd Skynyrd. Much of this is due to the musicians currently using their name, releasing albums like God & Guns and songs like "Red White and Blue (Love it or Leave)" with only one musician who played on "Saturday Night Special."

Poor boys from Florida who recorded their first album with money saved from trading bottles for nickels, Lynyrd Skynyrd rose to fame with hits like "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama." Once they had the world's ear, they defied southern boy stereotypes by speaking out against racism ("The Ballad of Curtis Loew"), drug use ("That Smell") and, on "Saturday Night Special," gun nuts.

Between a couple of stories about trigger-happy loonies, singer Ronnie Van Zandt reminds us that a Saturday night special, slang for a cheap handgun, "Ain't no good for nothin' but puttin' a man six feet in a hole."

"So why don't we dump (guns), people/To the bottom of the sea/Before some fool come around here/Wanna shoot either you or me." Van Zandt concludes. Take that, Ted Nugent.

I'd bet that the real Lynyrd Skynyrd never would have named an album God & Guns.

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