Sunday, April 29, 2007

Van Zant: Southern Words to Live By

On May 10, 2005 Johnny and Donnie Van Zant released a country album called Get Right With The Man which featured the hit single "Help Somebody". I don't remember when I first heard the tune by the brothers of late Skynyrd vocalist Ronnie, but it was on the radio one morning, and I liked it right away. Its not the best song musically and certainly falls short of classic Lynyrd Skynyrnd, but it maintains the lyrical honesty that I loved Skynyrd for. Along the lines of "Simple Man," "On the Hunt," and "All I Can Do Is Write About It," the song has lyrics that serve as advice coming from someone who has lived long and hard enough to have words to share with the rest of us. I just watched the video on CMT, and listening to the words again, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Jason Isbell-penned tune "Outfit" by the Drive By Truckers, which is another tune with southern words that we all should live by.

Van Zant
Help Somebody
Get Right With the Man

Just some of the advice provided by the lyrics of this song:
1. "You don't need nothin' if you can't make it with your own two hands"
2. "The devil dreams on an idle horse"
3. "Don't get too high on a bottle, and get right with the man."
4. "Stick to your guns if you believe in something, no matter what, cause it's better to be hated for who you are than beloved for who you're not."
5. "Never tell a joke that ain't that funny more than once"

Read the full lyrics here.

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