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» One Touch Football - Archive » Music » Lynnyrd Skynnyrd (sp?) (Page 1)

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macocha europy
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How racist are/were they, if at all?
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Duncan Gardner
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Lynyrd Skynyrd.

No more so than Neil Young I imagine.

Southern Man don't need him around, anyhow...

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macocha europy
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Let me go into some detail:

- any racist content in their lyrics
- any distancing themselves from the Dixie flag waving in their crowds?
- any other political remarks of any kind?

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what's his name, the number 10....
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Lots of people don't see Dixie flags as racist.
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G-Man
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The litmus test for Lynryred Skynyrd really would be whether they made anti-racism statements or gestures in their music or in interviews. Else their flying of the Confederate flag might well be seen as acceptance of the way it is interpreted by most people: as a symbol of white supremacy.
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and I am the life
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Lots of people don't see Dixie flags as racist.

At gaa matches in parc ui caoimh perhaps, but not in georgia. There it has a very different context.

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jason voorhees
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The rebel flag issue is a little more complicated than "it's a symbol of racism."

Yes, it was the flag of a short-lived government that supported slavery.

And it is used as a "F You" to blacks, like "life was much better when this flag was flying."

And white supremicists use it and it has no business of still being flown in state houses (like the state that hosted the 1996 Olympics.)

But again, most Southerners fought for that flag because they were being "invaded" by other (mostly Northern) states. They didn't fight for the Confederacy because they liked slavery, but because Northern states were marching through their neighborhoods and towns. It's a flag that Southerners take to mean the South, as it's the only flag that's ever represented the South. Tell someone that it represents the enslavement of a people because of the color of their skin, they'll turn around and say "it's the symbol of my grandparents who fought bravely for their country and protected the rights of our state." The slavery thing is a non-issue.

If that sounds maddening and confusing, well, what do you think we have to deal with every friggin' election. When you're dealing with people who see the world with blinders on, it's always complicated.

But I've never heard of Lynyrd Skynyrd (only one Y per usage) using actual racist lyrics.

*** The other major usage of the rebel flag is at Ole Miss Rebels college football games. Only recently, as in after 2000, did they ban it from their games. Lynyrd Skynyrd had its heydey during the 70's, when the rebel flag was more prevalent than the American one. The issue is also a relatively new one. I can recall the first instance of it in the 80's. It was always a symbol of the South, until someone put 2+2 together and figured out that it was the flag flying the last time slavery was legalized.***

Anyway, paging Inca...

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Sussex Canary
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there was bass player called Artemis Pyle
No, he was the drummer, after Bob Burns left in 1974/5. The bass player was (the late) Leon Wilkeson.
Politics in 'Skynyrd songs? "Saturday Night Special" was anti-guns; "All I Can Do Is Write A Song" was against urban expansion and of course "Watergate don't bother me" is a quote from "Sweet Home Alabama".
The Confederate flag thing was at the behest of MCA, their record label (listen to "Workin' For MCA" to hear what Ronnie thought of THEM!)
As sad as this may be, I've got all their LPs and I don't recall one racist lyric: indeed, check out "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" on "Second Helping", where van Zant acknowledges the influence of "a black man, with white, curly hair".
Imagine, me listening to "redneck" music: whatever next?

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macocha europy
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Found this , which concludes there really wasn't that much of a feud between van Zandt and Young.
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what's his name, the number 10....
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The lyric

Well I heard Neil Young sing about her,
I heard old Neil put her down
Well I hope Neil Young will remember,
The southern man don't need him round anyhow

The other is the confusing

Watergate does not bother me,
Does your conscience bother you?

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jason voorhees
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"Saturday Night-ta Special" is shockingly anti-gun; especially for the South.

Two feets they come a creepin
like a black cat do
and two bodies are layin' naked.
Creeper think he got nothin' to lose.
So he creeps into this house, yeah
and unlocks the door
and as a man's reaching for his trousers
shoots him full of thirty-eight holes.

It's the Saturday night special
got a barrel that's blue and cold
ain't good for nothin
but put a man six feet in a hole

Big Jim's been drinkin' whiskey
and playin' poker on a losin' night
and pretty soon ol' Jim starts a thinkin
somebody been cheatin' and lyin'.
So big Jim commence to fightin',
I wouldn't tell you no lie.
Big Jim done pulled his pistol,
shot his friend right between the eyes.

It's the Saturday night special
got a barrel that's blue and cold
ain't good for nothin
but put a man six feet in a hole

Hand guns are made for killin',
they 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 ol' fool come around here,
wanna shoot either you or me.

It's the Saturday night special
got a barrel that's blue and cold
ain't good for nothin
but put a man six feet in a hole

It's the saturday night special
and I'd like to tell you what you could do with it too


Like that link said, about the only potentially racist lyric is the Sweet Home Alabama lyric "in Birmingham they love the Governor," which was George Wallace. As in "Segregation now, Segreagation forever" George Wallace.

Wallace had run for the Presidency in 1972, only to get shot in the gut and through the spine, turning him into a paraplegic segregationist. Was the lyric out of pride for a popular man who had run for the Presidency ? Who knows.

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Matej
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(I'm sure another of the US otfers can be more revealing than me, but isn't it generally thought that the rebel flag was pretty much a non-issue until it was unburied and used by segregationists in the 40s and 50s?)

(Amusingly, doing a quick memory-refresher internet search, the first site that pops up is one that compares the flag of dixie to the union jack, and whose major point is "Everything derogatory which is said about the Confederate flag also applies to the Union Jack". Huh, hard to argue with that, wait, this is a page to keep the flag?)

[ 04.01.2005, 16:26: Message edited by: AttJ ]

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Soccer Scrimmage
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While I won't say that the Confederate flag is only used in an explicitly, purely racist manner, I will say that everyone who does use it is fully cognizant of its racist overtones. This discussion reminds me of the racist chanting at the recent Spain-England friendly. Though it was a racist act, the motivation may not have been racism per se, but the desire to wind-up England and the English team. I think something similar goes on with the Confederate flag.

[ 04.01.2005, 16:57: Message edited by: Soccer Scrimmage ]

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Inca
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Thanks for thinking of me, JV, but I don't have much to add.

No doubt there are plenty of people that are proud of the flag as a purely Southern object, just as they are proud of their Confederate ancestors--the fact that slavery is involved is a side issue to them.

But I think a lot of other people like the flag in a sort of "nobody likes us, we don't care" sort of thing--they like the flag because it pisses other people off (they probably don't mean it as a taunt to blacks, but Nothern white liberals).

There are also no doubt plenty of racists that like the flag also.

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G-Man
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quote:
As sad as this may be, I've got all their LPs and I don't recall one racist lyric
But is there any evidence that they were not racist? Normally one need not ask that question, but Lynyrd Skynyrd identified themselves with a symbol they surely knew was tainted by its association with racism. I would be glad to learn of some kind of statement by the band's members that would put to rest any speculation about their attitudes on race issues.
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