I was watching CMT's "20 Greatest Southern Rock Classics" -- and guess what #1 was? Betcha can't guess. Oh, come on! You know the song.... that classic opening. Those lyrics that we ALL know.
If you said "Freebird"...... you'd be wrong.
I know. It shocked the hell outta me too. I mean, COME ON! Granted, Skynyrd still grabbed the top spot, with "Sweet Home Alabama." But the ultimate, quintessential, everybody-from-W-to-a-skid-row-bum-knows-it Southern rock song is "Freebird."
I have two reactions to "Freebird," and it is completely dependent upon my mood. If I'm having a crappy day, I'm sick of people and the world, and I hear it come on my radio, I'm apt to grunt loudly (maybe even growl, "Sweet Jesus, UGH!") and change the station. If I'm feeling pretty good, things are nice and mellow or they're excited and happy, and it comes on, then I crank it up and release my inner redneck.
Don't get me wrong, "Sweet Home Alabama" is a classic. But "Freebird" is the classic.