Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird

"Free Bird" is a rock anthem by the American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Starting out as a slow piano ballad, it features gospel-flavored organ, chirping slide guitar, and an approximately four and a quarter minute long guitar solo in the form of an up-tempo guitar duel. It made the charts on numerous occasions in both the U.S. and UK but only reached #19 in the U.S. Billboard charts. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988 when it was mixed with Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" by the band Will to Power. The original version of the song was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The live version is also Lynyrd Skynyrd's longest song.
The song was written early in the group's history. Roadie Billy Powell was unknown as a piano player to the band but was discovered when he played the intro piece to "Free Bird" at a high school musical. Powell became a member after Ronnie Van Zant noticed his talent and invited him to join.
The lyrics came about when Allen Collins' steady girlfriend, who realized that the music always came first with Allen, asked him the question: "If I leave here tomorrow would you still remember me?" Allen jotted the line down for future use. This question became the opening line of "Free Bird".
When Allen first showed the song to Ronnie Van Zant, he scoffed at it, saying it "had too many words." Later Van Zant had an idea for a melody, asked Allen to play him the song again, and "Free Bird" was born.

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be travelling on, now,
'Cause there's too many places I've got to see.
But, if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn't be the same.
'Cause I'm as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I can't change.

Bye, bye, its been a sweet love.
Though this feeling I can't change.
But please don't take it badly,
'Cause Lord knows I'm to blame.
But, if I stayed here with you girl,
Things just couldn't be the same.
Cause I'm as free as a bird now,
And this bird you'll never change.
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I can't change.
Lord help me, I can't change.


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