Posted in alabama, lyrics, music

That Ain’t My Idea of Free

I not only like to think about songs as what they say but also the coinciding philosophy behind it. “Free Bird” the Lynyrd Skynyrd power ballad is no different in this way. As the most requested Rock song of all time, we all know it. We all love it. Who doesn’t like “Free Bird?”

Let me introduce my view of “Free Bird.” In my opinion it is just like Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” Do you know the meaning of the most recited at graduation poem? I blogged about it three years ago and have been holding this one in for about that long.

Read my article about “The Road Not Taken” here.

Hint: the roads are the same.

Robert Frost The Tricky Devil Genius

In “Free Bird” ohmygosh. Listen to the song. Listen to the music and the whining of the guitar. The actual lyrics. Allen Collins, lead and acoustic guitarists’ girlfriend, Kathy, whom he later married, asked him, “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?” Collins noted the question and it eventually became the opening line of “Free Bird.” Then Van Zandt took it and wrote the rest of the song in 4 minutes. That just poured out of him like he personally knew the lamenting.

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me
For I must be travelin’ on now
There’s too many places I got to see

If I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change

Bye and bye baby, it’s been sweet love, yeah yeah
Though this feelin’ I can’t change
Please don’t take it so badly
‘Cause Lord knows, I’m to blame

And if I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t even be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change

Consider this: In the first stanza he’s worried about being forgotten. Says he “must” go, places he’s “got” to see. Not he doesn’t care, wants to go, wants to see…

Second: He’s convinced that things couldn’t be the same if he stayed anyway. Sounds like he’s again worried, like he doubts his ability to make her happy. Then, goes on to say he’s “free” and can’t change-not won’t – and calls upon the Lord, the almighty himself, to back him up.

Third: Tells his love bye. Again, he’s worried about how she is going to taking it. He can’t change and it’s all his fault.

Fourth: “FREE” and you can’t change him.

Really, free means it has to be that way? He can’t change it? She can’t change it? Its sad and lamenting and heartfelt. He’s a slave. “Free” is ironic. Just like in Robert Frost’s poem, its not even understood cause nobody reads.

Jamie Godwin

Firekeeper

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Author:

Writer, artist, store owner, knife maker, film maker, leader, model, singer-songwriter, director, mayor, Some other stuff. jamielynngodwin@gmail.com

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