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Songs About Southern Pride

Updated on August 27, 2013
MagicMan007 profile image

Bill Watson has authored 3 books and many articles online and for print publications such as Sports Afield, Income Opportunties and more.

Are Southerners Extra Proud of Their Heritage?

Hmm....it seems all the good "I'm proud of my roots" songs are songs about Southern pride.

Is there no Northern pride?

The original intension for this lens was to list "Northern pride songs" and contrast them with "Southern pride" songs. But nearly all the songs I can think of are about the southern United States. Nearly every song that mentions a state mentions a Southern state such as Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia...

Hey, did you hear that great song about Illinois? I didn't think so, lol.

Hopefully I'm overlooking some great songs about the North but think about it: In 1980 the country band Alabama released a song with a hook line that went, "My home's In Alabama...Southern born and Southern bred" and it became a huge hit on country radio. Had it been, "My home's In Pennsylvania...Northern born and Northern bred" I'm thinking it wouldn't have received any radio airplay and might have got the writer slapped a few times. Southerners can wear their pride on their sleeve and get away with it but perhaps Northern pride is viewed as arrogance? Is that a stubborn remnant of the Civil War? Hmm...

I'm Northern by birth, Southern by time served, so I have a foot on both sides but I don't know, it's just kind of weird.

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Top 10 Country Songs About Southern Pride

1. Sweet Home Alabama- Lynyrd Skynyrd

2. Georgia On My Mind- Ray Charles

3. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down- The Band

4. The South's Gonna Do It Again- C. D. B.

5. Song of the South- Alabama

6. If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie- Hank Williams Jr.

7. Sweet Southern Comfort- Buddy Jewell

8. Southern Voice- Tim McGraw

9. Brothers of the Southland- Blackhawk

10. Dixie- Traditional

The songs above may not be the definitive list and if you'd like to recommend a song in the comments section below, please do. Many of the songs above are in the country category but a song from any genre can be recommended.

Note that this lens is about songs that show pride in Southern culture so a song like Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights" qualifies. Whereas Neil Young's "Southern Man" doesn't because it disses that culture, in fact, I'm with Skynyrd: I don't need Neil Young around either.

Okay, maybe I do need Neil around occasionally but just for "You Are Like A Hurricane" and maybe "Old Man" but that's about it. And I really mean it, lol.

What about a song like "Midnight Train To Georgia"? Love the song, heck I wanted to be a Pip when I grew up and if I wasn't so white it just might have worked out.. But "Midnight Train To Georgia" mentions a southern place, it does not celebrate the South as a whole.

Eat A Peach [Remastered]
Eat A Peach [Remastered]

Released only a few months after brother Duane's death by motorcycle. Melissa, Mountain Jam, One Way Out, Blue Sky it's one awesome album...this is a must have.

 
The Band Greatest Hits
The Band Greatest Hits

The Band.. their greatest hits even, featuring The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Up On Cripple Creek and more. If you've never heard of this group or heard these songs, you need to. Really.

 
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What Came First, the Chicken, the Egg or Southern Pride?

I have to wonder...was it losing the Civil War that forged and hardened the resolve of Southerners into a defiance that festered over the decades leading to songs like "The South's Gonna Do It Again" as well as lyrics such as "I hope Neil Young will remember, this Southern man don't need him around anyhow"?

Or was it Southern pride already birthed and possibly in full bloom that caused the southern states to attempt succession in the first place?

One thing's for sure, The War Between The States played a role. We've all felt the pain of our favorite sports team losing a hard fought game to a rival.

It hurts. It sometimes makes grown men cry. That over a four hour game where the loss is only about bragging rights and maybe a playoff spot.

Imagine a four year contest where lives are lost, livelihoods and property are destroyed and an entire way of life is forever gone with the wind. What would that feel like?

The Southern boys put up an amazing fight against extremely long odds and nearly pulled it out. But it just wasn't quite doeable.

The Civil War Defined The Nation But The South Was Crushed

The Civil War Defined The Nation But The South Was Crushed
The Civil War Defined The Nation But The South Was Crushed
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So What Are Southerners So Proud Of?

A list of things unique to southern culture

1. The Confederate Flag

2. Graceland

3. Southern Rock

4. Sweet Potato Pie

5. Grits

6. Sweet Tea

7. Stone Mountain, Ga

8. Nashville, Tn

9. Country Music

10. The Rebel Yell

11. Robert E. Lee

12. The Southern Accent

13. The Bible Belt

14. Jack Daniels Whiskey

15. The Allman Brothers

16. Lookout Mountain

17. The Mississippi River

18. Mark Twain

19. Mint Julip

20. Alabama Crimson Tide

21. Shilo Battlefield

22. A Mess of Greens

23. Corn Pone

24. William Faulkner

25. Magnolia Trees

Photo: A replica of the carving on Stone Mountain depicting Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. The real carving covers an area of about three acres. All photos on this Lens are of N Scale miniatures. Making things in 160:1 N Scale is a hobby of mine.

Southern Culture On Television

Southerners would say, "Those shows are not about people in the south, they're stereotypes depicting the way outsiders incorrectly view Southerners." And perhaps they have a point.

But the shows were hugely popular in both the North and the South. Hee Haw was the longest running show on television, ever! Way over the top? Absolutely. Yet pick a character from any of these shows and practically everyone has met someone similar.

Hee Haw

The Beverly Hillbillies

Petticoat Junction

Green Acres

Southern Culture In Movies - Top 5 Movies About Southern Culture

There are a lot of movies set in the south but that doesn't necessarily mean they focus on, or revolve around, Southern culture. These do:

Driving Miss Daisy

Deliverance

The Color Purple

Fried Green Tomatoes

Steel Magnolias

Gone With The Wind

Honorable Mention: Song of the South (1946)

The Beverly Hillbillies

My favorite television show of all time was The Beverly Hillbillies. Politically, it was so incorrect on so many levels it was off the hook funny.

In spite of their millions of dollars the Clampetts were just plain simple folk who gave new meaning to the words "unpretentious" and "unaware". I mean the show was birthed in the 1960s but Granny mistakenly thought the Confederacy was still going strong and Jeff Davis was still the president. Hilarious!

Maybe we could all use a dose of that Hillbilly humility and political incorrectness about now?

Jefferson Davis was charged with treason against the United States in 1865 and died in 1989 by the way.

It May Be Hard To Believe But...

... On northern General Sherman's "March To The Sea" which destroyed the heart of the South with his "scorched earth" campaign, his personal escort was the 1st Alabama Calvary. Mustered at Huntsville, Al, and Memphis, TN. The unit was made up entirely of Southerners who were loyal to the Union.

Driving Miss Daisy

One of my favorite movies ever. Definitely a must see.

Slavery In Africa, China, Japan and Other Cultures

Fact: No more than 5% of Southern whites owned slaves.

Fact: American Indians enslaved other Indians, blacks and whites.

Fact: Mexicans have a long history of enslaving people of many races.

Fact: China, Japan and nearly all oriental countries have a substantial slaving history.

Fact: Africans have been enslaving other Africans as well as whites and others for centuries,

Fact: Nearly every country, race and culture has some history of enslaving others,

Fact: Over 300,000 Irish people- men, women and children- were sold as white slaves in the early days of the colonization of America**.

None of this is an attempt to excuse white Southern slaveholders for the inexcusable. It's simply to show that the history being taught on this subject is incomplete and provides false moral authority to some who use it as a weapon to bash Southerners in general. When the complete history of slavery in many cultures is studied, it gets harder to start pointing fingers.

Few white Southerners alive today have any family link to slavery and almost every culture on earth does. So I'm hoping this information pulls blacks and whites closer together, it does not excuse the inexcusable. And the inexcusable occurred in all skin colors on this earth somewhere, sometime.

Having suspected for at least ten years I have at least some Cherokee blood, and researching this subject, I went to the local library and found a book on the history of the American Indian Cherokee Tribe. It included details of the long history of the Cherokee Nation capturing about anyone they could, to turn them into slaves or sell them to others as slaves, even prior to whites arriving on the continent. Until 1864, Blacks, Whites, Mexicans, American Indians and others were systematically used by the Cherokee as slave labor*.

* Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866 by Theda Perdue.

** Sometimes referred to as "indentured servants" these Irish whites were actually slaves with no rights and little hope of freedom, considered by their masters to be "human cattle" and treated accordingly. Families were ripped apart. Forced breeding was rampant. Legal punishments for attempting escape or even for minor infractions included hanging them upside down while burning hands and feet; burning them alive; and beheading them then displaying their heads on a pike publicly to deter others.

Slavery in the Twentieth Century: The Evolution of a Global Problem
Slavery in the Twentieth Century: The Evolution of a Global Problem

The past can't be changed but if you are truly against slavery, focus on helping free those enslaved now!

 

Southern Style Breakfast Is Served!

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Charlie Daniels Band - The C. D. B.

The devil goes down to Georgia and gets his butt whooped!

Pickett's Charge, the Civil War and Didn't The North Win? What Is the South So Proud Of, Losing? - by Magicman007

Although some dispute it, the South nearly won the war.

The case for that statement may be argued by those who clinically compile facts and analyze data such as troop strength, Northern industrial capability and such.

But it is made by what happened on a July day in 1863 near a small town in Pennsylvania:

The South had won the first two days of battle at Gettysburg. The great Southern general, Robert E. Lee, was in command and believed his campaign to take the war to the heart of the North, win, and thus force a political compromise ending the war, was about to be realized.

On day three, with both armies facing each other in a long array several miles long, Lee decided the middle of the Northern line was the weakest spot and intended to crush it. Once the center was compromised it would be easy to overpower the right and left flank with wave after wave of reserves. If this were a chess game and Lee's plan succeeded, it would be checkmate, South.

On July 3rd. 1863 at approximately 2:30 p.m. some 12.500 Southern troops started marching slowly in nine orderly brigades toward the Northern center, almost a full mile distant. Advancing through a steady barrage of artillery, canister and musket fire, the Southern troops maintained formation in spite of the July blistering weather, in spite of the ungodly noise from the cannon blasts and in spite of huge holes being blown in the lines as fellow troops were killed beside them. The remainder simply closed ranks and marched on, shoulder to shoulder, determined to do their duty to the last.

The opposing fire only worsened as they closed on the target. Within a few hundred yards of the Union lines they had reached a hellish place few have ever known. Death, destruction, heat, humidity, and smoke blanketed them in a ghastly abomination of twisted reality as they accelerated to a full charge. Still the cannon and musket fire came with even more fury, as the Union concentrated it's firepower into a smaller target area.

Now it was every man on his own desperate mission to reach the Union line and deal with whatever horror awaited them there, the only way out of this hellish place lay ahead. But the opposition was just too great. Very few made it and for those that did, the war ended quickly, mostly by way of rifle shot and bayonet.

The action was a disastrous loss with staggering casualties that Lee's Army of Northern Virginia never recovered from. Had Pickett's Charge been successful, the Confederates would likely have been victorious at Gettysburg. The North, weary of losing this battle as well as many previous ones, and sustaining such huge casulties themselves, may well have decided to cut their losses and agree to a compromise with the South.

Prior to Gettysburg many Northerners were exerting great political pressure to do just that. But the Union win changed everything.

It seemed so long ago that women had come to one of the Civil War's opening battles, Bull Run, with picnic baskets to watch the crazy Southerners with their silly notion of secession get their butt's handed to them. Everyone knew this was a war that would quickly be over, they sure didn't want to miss it. That day the women ended up running in fear of their lives as the Southern boys absolutely routed the Northern troops.

Almost three years of brutal, bloody war later, with the South having won far more battles than the North, one thing is certain: there were no women watching with picnic baskets anywhere near Pickett's charge. All notions of there being anything silly about the desire of the South to secede had long ago been buried in thousands of skirmishes and battles; in places like Fredricksburg, Shilo and Antietam.

Is displaying the Confederate flag a racist statement? Or is it pride in how well the Southern soldiers battled bravely against all odds, as courageously as any men who have ever faced battle anywhere, and came within about 100 yards of maybe pulling off victory?

Northern or Southern, black, white, red or yellow, it doesn't matter, Pickett's Charge altered not only U.S. history, but world history as well. The outcome greatly affects the lives we lead today.

I highly recommend you beg or borrow the excellent book on this action posted below. And do visit the Gettysburg battlefield. The battle changed world history. Visiting the place it happened will change you.- magicman007

Home Sweet Home Alabama! - Live on video!

I know you've heard it about a thousand times before but kick back and watch Lynyrd Skynyrd perform Sweet Home Alabama one more time.

Is there any other tune ever written that sums up the subject of this Lens so well?

If you learned anything here or enjoyed the Lens please participate in my poll and please take time post a comment!.

Are you PC? - How Do You Feel About It?

The study of history is important. Why? Because knowledge of the past is the doorway to a better place. Unfortunately children are no longer taught history properly, only a "politically correct" twisted version of it. It's history viewed through the narrow microscope of a duplicitous agenda, rather than through the wide prism of historical context.

Clearly, this country was founded by men who either believed in God or at least respected other's beliefs enough to include the freedom to worship in the U.S. Constitution; to place "In God We Trust" on our money and to mention that "We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights" in the Declaration of Independence. But they also believed in separation of church and state, the founding documents reflect no attempt to impose Christianity or any particular religion on citizens.

There's a huge difference, however, between separation of church and state- the government promoting a particular religion- and squashing the ability of individuals to exercise their constitutional right to worship without government interference. That line is crossed when a small group of students decide to have a voluntary silent group prayer with like-minded students in a lawn area prior to school starting for the day, and are told they can't because the Freedom From Religion Foundation is filing a lawsuit to stop it. And similar things are occurring all over the country. It's far beyond the intent of "separation of church and state." It's political correctness with an atheistic platform gone crazy.

In the same way, Southern heritage is also under attack. Flying the Confederate Flag is called a racist act by some. And in October 2012, due to political pressure, a school in Austin, Texas stopped their long tradition of playing "Dixie" after touchdowns are scored by their football team, due to the song being politically incorrect. That, my friend, is history supressed.

It's easy to extrapolate where all this is likely headed. At some point in the future any expression of pride in being Southern will be labeled "racist".

As completely wrong as Southern slave owners were to engage in owning other human beings and forcing them to work, it wasn't just Southern whites who did so. Everyone has a past, dig far enough and you'll find unsavory portions in every culture and every race. Here's a well-researched article by a Civil War historian regarding the percentage of free blacks living in the United States who owned slaves:

http://americancivilwar.com/authors/black_slaveown...

Google "slavery in Africa". Slavery has existed for centuries and is epidemic in Africa today. It exists widely in Mexico. And slavery exists right here in the United States. Right now. Do the bashers of Southern culture really care about the enslaved? Or do they care more about vilifying a certain group of people, people who never owned slaves from a family that likely never did, for political gain? Would you want to go to prison for the bank your great great grandaddy robbed? Or more aptly, how right would it be for you to go to prison for the bank some guy robbed who happened to live in the same county your great great grandaddy came from?

That's how you right a wrong?

While the horrific practice of slavery was the catalyst for the Civil War, the Union went to war over one issue: the state's right to secede from the Union, and the eventual Union victory settled that issue decisively. The average Confederate soldier was poor and owned no slaves. If you could go back in time and ask them, most would likely say they were fighting for other reasons and other issues such as loyalty to their state, a sense of duty to their buddies beside them, not for the right of rich people to practice slavery.

To say "the Civil War was fought over slavery" is an attempt to simplify and politicize a highly complex event, and is simply not correct. Certainly there was major friction over the issue: The Missouri Compromise and The Kansas-Nebraska Act were manifestations of it. But Lincoln's prevailing over Southern candidates in the presidential election of 1860 was the reason the initial seven Southern states formed the Confederacy. That in spite of Lincoln's pre-election promise that during his administration he would not interfere with the right of states who already practiced slavery to continue it.

Lincoln was against slavery personally. But he made it quite clear in a letter* written well after the war began, specifically about the slavery issue, that his presidency gave him no right to inflict his personal belief on others; and while he hated slavery couldn't see what he could legally do about it at that time. Lincoln himself made it crystal clear the war was about preserving the Union and absolutely nothing else.

Bottom line: When the Confederacy began their attempt to secede, the North was not on the verge of declaring war to abolish slavery, nor was there a law that would abolish it about to be passed by Congress. In fact, even Lincoln's executive order, The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1st, 1863, nearly two years after the war started, only freed some slaves, it did not outlaw slavery, and it even permitted slavery to continue without restriction or time limit in some states. The war actually gained it's full purpose- to end slavery entirely- with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address given Thursday, November 19, 1863, in the third year of the war. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1865 and finally confirmed what the Gettysburg Address promised.

The fact that blacks fought in The Civil War "on the Northern side" has only become widely accepted over the last thirty years or so. That in spite of the fact another Lincoln letter* clearly states the North had 100,000 blacks serving in the Northern army with at least half of those, some 50,000 blacks, serving as armed soldiers. It's known, but still glossed over, as if it were a minor inconvenient footnote.

But here's a puported historical fact that never makes it into the history books: According to Harvard Professor John Stauffer between 3,000 to 10,000 blacks served on the Confederate side as gun-carrying enlisted soldiers and saw action in battle, with some historians claiming numbers as high as 65,000. Those particular numbers are contested, but almost no one disputes that 20,000 to 50,000 blacks served in non-military roles supporting the Confederate troops. There is considerable documentation indicating at least some black soldiers did voluntarily join the Rebel army and it appears that at least some of them were as dedicated to the Southern cause of secession as any other Confederate troops. Regardless, black Americans can be proud of their contributions to the Northern as well as the Southern cause. It's a substantial part of their history, as it is for every American. It's not white history or black history, it's our history.

Are Southerners not entitled to honor their heritage in any way they choose including flying or wearing the Confederate Flag? If you think not, then what about other cultures and races that have equally bad elements in their history? Should they be held to the same standard or do they get a pass for some reason? Since all have sinned, so to speak, should anyone even be able to show pride in any culture, ever?

Tough questions, huh?

*Speeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln, 1832-1865" is available for free download from Amazon.com to your Kindle.

Is the Confederate Flag inherently racist?

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Comments About Southern Culture, Southern History Or Southern Songs - You can recommend a song & artist here. Are there any Northern Pride songs?

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    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      Thank you for the info!

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 4 years ago

      I live in Alabama and this is an awesome page. I'm proud to be from the South.

    • Writingmystory1 profile image

      Writingmystory1 4 years ago

      Great article, something to think about! This made me think of something ... C.D.B. song, The South's Gonna Do It Again ... Do what, lose?!?