Here is the actual post.
So there's this great song by Neil Young called Southern Man - here's a link to it on Amazon if you're so inclined to listen to a 30-second sample and/or purchase the whole thing. Anyway it's a wonderful piece of rock music. Every now and then when there's a guitar solo the song will morph from a steady 4/4 beat to this pounding, badass 2/4 beat that just chugs along. And don't get me started on the solo itself. Young has a tendency when playing lead guitar to seemingly go "screw this" and just start playing really dissonant notes, and while those notes don't exactly sound pretty on their own, they work perfectly given the context of the song.
As for the song itself, it's not the most prideful southern anthem. You can look up the lyrics here if you'd like, but they basically amount to, "Hey, the South. What's with this slavery thing you guys used to have? And you guys don't like black people. I mean, you guys really don't like black people. You're kind of cruel to them sometimes. Cut it out."
I mean, I'm paraphrasing of course. But with the dissonant guitar solo and the minor chords and the less than happy rhythm, one gets a less than optimistic picture of the south. And this is where Lynyrd Skynyrd comes into play. Apparently they heard Young's song and, being the south-lovers they are, they were kind of pissed. So they wrote and recorded a song in retaliation. It became much more popular than Southern Man. You may have heard of it. It's called Sweet Home Alabama.
If a song's popularity determines its merit, one could say without reservations that Lynyrd Skynyrd won this contest hands down. But it doesn't take much reflection to realize that popularity isn't necessarily the best indicator of any sort of merit to a piece of art, save for it's economic merit. Case in point: the most popular song in the nation right now is a little ditty called Party In The U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus. While it may be (barely) tolerable, it's by no means musical genius.
Lyrically speaking, though, Sweet Home Alabama doesn't work that well as a rebuttal to Young's 5 minute 32 second tirade against racism in the south. Just look at the only lyric to mention Neil Young:
Well, I heard Mister Young sing about herWell, I heard ol' Neil put her downWell, I hope Neil Young will rememberA southern man don't need him around anyhow.
And then they go on to say, as we all know:
Sweet home AlabamaWhere the skies are so blueSweet home AlabamaLord, I'm coming home to you.
There's a passing and somewhat veiled reference to Watergate - maybe suggesting that the north has its own things to be guilty about? - but it's a little too cryptic to decode in depth. Besides, all things considered, as far as things to be guilty about, racism and its accompanying violence in the south is a little more abhorrent than the actions of a corrupt politician.
Anyway, my point is that the song makes no reference to what Southern Man is even about: racism. Instead of countering Young's thoughts about racism, Lynyrd Skynyrd opts to discuss how beautiful the skies are in Alabama.
So LS's lyrical prowess isn't so impressive compared to Neil Young's. But hey, a hardcore Lynyrd Skynyrd fan might ask, did Neil Young ever get his music featured on a commercial for KFC?