I have a confession: I’m not an Alabamian. While I’ve lived in several states, I consider myself a Tennessean—a Memphian, to be more precise.
Before moving here in September, everything I knew about this state came from either “Fried Green Tomatoes” or one of the many songs about Alabama. Now that the Yellowhammer State is my home for the foreseeable future, I wanted to get to the bottom of one simple question: What is the greatest song ever written about Alabama?
I have a few thoughts on the matter, and I think being an outsider actually gives me an advantage. A native Alabamian will be plagued by sentimentality; I get to be a cooly detached, unbiased critic. But before this outsider starts spouting off his opinions, I wanted to hear what you think.
Here’s how it’s going to work. With some help from Yellowhammer’s readers, we’ve chosen eight songs about Alabama and set up a tournament style bracket. For the next three weeks we’re going to let you vote on which song should win each match up. Leave comments explaining why you voted for each song, too. After every round of voting, I’ll provide a little bit of analysis and share what I think about the outcomes so far. At the end of three weeks, we’ll crown our winner.
The bracket is below, followed by videos of each song and your opportunity to vote in Round 1.
Let the great debate begin.
“My Home’s in Alabama” vs. “Old Alabama”
“My Home’s in Alabama” by Alabama
“Old Alabama” by Brad Paisley
“Stars Fell on Alabama” vs. “Alabama Getaway”
“Stars Fell on Alabama” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
“Alabama Getaway” by Grateful Dead
“Sweet Home Alabama” vs. “Alabama”
“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Alabama” by Neil Young
“Alabama Pines” vs. “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”
“Alabama Pines” by Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
“Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)” by The Doors
Follow Cort on Twitter @CortGatliff