The song ?Sweet Home Alabama? by Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd) is one of the most popular and controversial rock songs in history. The song first appeared on the bands second album, Second Helping in 1974. Sweet Home Alabama was the bands first hit single, reaching the top ten of the US charts in 1974.
Lynyrd Skynyrd?s hit song makes references to the songs ?Southern Man? and ?Alabama? by Neil Young, defending Young?s statements in those song?s lyrics regarding the South?s racism in their historical treatment of black people. Despite popular belief, there was no rivalry or feud between the artist– more so the opposite, in mutual respect for each other.
In addition to the songs defense of the south, the song contains some controversial political references, mainly a verse in the song that possibly references segregationist George Wallace. Whether or not the true intent of the verse by the song?s writers was to support racism has been debated on both sides of the argument. The National Review ranked the song number four on its list of 50 greatest conservative rock songs in May of 2006.
Sweet Home Alabama remains a staple on Classic rock radio stations as well as other forms of media and pop culture. Movies that included the song on its sound track include 2003?s remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Con Air ? starring Nicholas Cage, rapper Eminem?s movie 8 Mile, Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks, the Paramount Pictures action movie Sahara, comedy Joe Dirt, and The Girl Next Door starring Elisha Cuthbert. The song name was even used for the title of a movie starring Reece Witherspoon.
Sweet home Alabama Ringtone