Few tunes catch the in its entirety sound of the iconic country music groupAlabamalike "Song the the South," a No. 1 hit in 1988.

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The country song (and accompanying music video) captures the plight that the negative American farmer native the destitute days of the an excellent Depression, following a household that eventually sells the farm to the county and moves come the city.


From the flawless harmonies come a pickingbanjo and also lyrics about picking cotton (the band"s Randy Owen frequently talks about their days of choose cotton when they to be younger), "Song the the South" is a true southerly classic. What"s not to love about the lyrics, "Sweet potatopie and I shut my mouth"?


Interestingly enough, Alabama was the 4th noteworthy plot to record the song. Bobby Bare, one artist well-known for recording cut by "Song of the South" writer Bob McDill, videotaped it very first for his 1980 album Drunk & Crazy. A year later, "Act Naturally" songwriter Johnny Russell reached No. 57 top top the country charts--Its greatest placement before ending up being one of Alabama"s all-time best hits. The third and final pre-Alabama version groups Tom T. Hall through Earl Scruggs and also appears top top the 1982 album Storyteller and The Banjo Man.

Notice that the 3 versions the predate Alabama"s encompass an extra verse around a agriculture family"s struggles that ends v "Mama she to be old in ~ 35."

In a 2008 attribute by CMT, McDill stated he didn"t psychic Alabama skipping a verse because "I was really pliable" and he suspect the skip verse to be "too brutal" because that an Alabama hit.


Six year after Hall and also Scruggs" version stalled at No. 72, Alabama determined to release "Song of the South" as the lead solitary to their monstrously effective 12th studio albumSouthern Star.

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The music video clip was equally impactful, featuring classic footage the Dust bowl farmers and also out of work-related Southerners juxtaposed v the few wealthy who could still regulate to smile throughout the nation"s toughest economic times. It also adds a few words indigenous FDR"s renowned "The only thing we have actually to are afraid is fear itself" speech to amplify recommendations to the Tennessee sink Authority and other new Deal programs.

Ultimately, it"s a nation music tune honoring the resilience the the American spirit without sugar-coating the challenging truth so plenty of Americans confronted while structure the country we love today.

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This story initially ran in 2018 and also was composed by Jeremy Burchard. It was edited in July 2020 by Bobby Moore to encompass information on previously recordings the the song.

"Song the the South" Lyrics

Song, tune of the SouthSweet potato pie and also I shut mine mouthGone, gone with the windThere ain"t no body looking earlier again


Cotton top top roadside, cotton on the ditchWe every picked the cotton yet we never got richDaddy to be a veteran, a southerly DemocratThey oughta get rich male to vote choose that

Singing: song song the the SouthSweet potato pie, and I shut mine mouthGone gone with the windThere ain"t no body looking ago again

Well somebody told us wall Street fellBut we were so poor that us couldn"t tellThe cotton was short, and the weeds to be tallBut Mr. Roosevelt"s a" gonna conserve us all


Well momma acquired sick, and daddy got downThe county obtained the farm, and also we moved to townPoppa obtained a project with the TVAWe bought a washing machine, and also then a Chevrolet

Singing: track song that the SouthSweet potato pie and also I shut mine mouthGone, gone through the windThere ain"t nobody looking back again