Fly Away


Welcome to the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday….. or as it will one day be known as, Black Friday!  But for now it’s still a hump day, so The Nest is free to serve up another way overdone turkey that we’re going to pitch out back for the possums to scavenge off of.  Yes, it’s the Top 30 Iconic Songs That I Can’t Stand countdown!  We’re almost a third of the way through the series, and nobody has killed me yet, which is good!  But the songs are just gonna keep getting worse and worse, while still somehow being more and more revered.  Oh, the timer has popped up!  And here comes Chef Scratchy out of the kitchen right now to give us the bird!  Literally….

#22. “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Among the many things the South does differently than most of the rest of the country is good ol’ rock and roll.  And the band that put Southern rock on the map back in the 70’s are those long haired freaky people who hated their gym teacher so much that they named the group after him, Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The real Mr. Skinner wasn’t a fan of wild eyed southern boys who’d rather crank up their guitars than do one hundred pushups, but you can get plenty of arm exercise playing power chords all night long, especially when your guitar solos are nearly as long as the average Top 40 hit…

Sorry, we weren’t talking about you musical mothers from Nashville.

Southern rock is fine in moderation.  But there are people out there……… dreadful, awful, tone deaf people out there, who wanna hear some funky Dixieland until the cows came home.  Not that the cows ever would come home if you were blasting nothing but music created by a Van Zant or an Allman.  Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote a song that is so wretchedly awful, that the band’s fans can’t get enough of it and spend entire concerts begging the band to play it between tokes and shots.  Here is nine minutes and seven seconds of your life you will never get back…

Free Bird is the worst of both classic rock worlds…. half power ballad, half never ending guitar solo.  Lynyrd Skynyrd is not a bad band at all…. I like a number of their songs.  One is even on my future Dusty Vinyl Archive list.  But the fact that they have the horrifically overplayed “Sweet Home Alabama” and this complete waste of a blank cassette as their signature songs really brings down my opinion of the boys.

Does your conscience bother you, ES? Tell the truth….

The only thing saving “Free Bird” from a guaranteed spot in my Top 10 is the fact that the song is SOOOOOOOOO fucking long, that most radio stations won’t play it anymore so I rarely have to endure listening to it.  Thank Dog for small favors.  Say what you will about those pre-manufactured pop stars of today and their cookie cutter songs with voices by Autotune, but at least you only have to put up with their lack of musical talent for a few minutes before the station plays it again.  The 70’s was rife with radio songs that could be timed by a sundial, while also being as fun to listen to as watching that shadow creep ever closer to XII o’clock…

Hurry up, Don McLean! The sun’s almost setting…

Turn it up?  How about turn it off, instead?  I’ll return next Wednesday with another annoying song that should leave here tomorrow…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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33 Responses to Fly Away

  1. Oh that is “ear assaulting” to the max. I’m sure this is an unpopular stance to take but I honestly am not a big fan of Lynyrd Skynrd although I do remember when I heard “Sweet Home Alabama” the FIRST time I liked it – but just the one time (haha). Yep – “Free Bird” is a true turkey alright!


    • They’re not all that. For some reason, I always mix them up with Led Zeppelin (Probably the stupid spelling and that they were both from the same era), and I genuinely think that both bands are highly overrated. Stairway to Heaven came oh so close to making my countdown…

  2. not my thing, although the band was great ;o) I hope the bieber kid and all this talentless ear-killers will produce only veeery long songs… then we are safe forever… do you know if an ultra extended version of last christmas exists? if I would offer it to the radio stations they wouldn’t play it…and I could enjoy the christmas time too…

  3. I’ve never been drunk enough to enjoy that song. You’re right…it definitely needs to be reviled as 30 of the Absolute Worst. Listening to the long version is torture as if you’re smack dab in the middle of some particular kind of hell ear worm. Happy Black November!

  4. THANK YOU for including this song – the ultimate trailer trash anthem. I hate this song so much. I hate it almost as much as I hate “Imagine.”

  5. Merbear74 says:

    Bravo, I also hate this song!!!

  6. Trisha says:

    So, listening to a southern rock/blues rock playlist on Youtube once in awhile makes me an awful, dreadful, tone-deaf person? I knew I was guilty of a great many things that make me an awful, dreadful person but I didn’t realize this was one of them. Oh well. I’ll add it to the ever-growing list.

    Does agreeing with you about this song make me a little less awful and dreadful? That guitar solo is absolute torture! Not only is it way too long, it’s way too noisy. Although I like a few of their songs, Lynryd Skynyrd had way too many band members making noise at one time for my liking.

    Being former trailer trash, I feel like I should like this song but whenever it comes on my playlist I fast forward it.

    • I will always feel like I failed in the selection process if someone doesn’t come forward to at least kind of defend the song… though you only stood up for the genre, which is fine! That was more of a poke at the white trash around here who won’t tolerate listening to anything but the big classic rock station… and they play a LOT of Skynyrd! They probably all love this song too, for which I stand by my adjectives!

      Thank goodness cassettes went out of style, or that would be a LOT of fast forwarding to get past this epic piece of crap!

      • Trisha says:

        I am going to backpedal a little. I don’t know music well enough to defend the whole genre. I do really like a few songs in that genre. Apparently to some readers that makes me deserving of the name Trashi. Nice.

        As usual, you have given me an unintended ear worm! Do you remember that song in the late 80’s that was a blend of Peter Frampton’s Baby I love Your Way and Free Bird? It was by…hmmm. Something To Power. Earth? Will? I’m going to have to look it up.

      • Oh, damn! I didn’t even think of that Will To Power medley! I’d rather listen to it than the Skynyrd original, but it isn’t that much better!

        Fran can be a bit blunt in her comments sometimes, but I don’t think she meant any disrespect. Trashi would be a great name for one of my critters….. heck, I had a Skanki in my comic series! Maybe Mitzi needs a new BFF….

      • Trisha says:

        Yes, I think Mitzi should have a sidekick named Trashi. She needs someone to teach the ways of the Bimbocorn!

    • I love the line “way too many band members making noise at one time”! Too funny!

      • Trisha says:

        Maybe it would have been a great guitar solo if they fired three band members and cut it down to 30 seconds! 😀

  7. franhunne4u says:

    Well, good that Trashi – oops, Trisha outed herself as the defender for this song, it sounds … boring … and I do not recognize it – at all – and I am nearly 50 years in existence on this planet!

  8. ody N biskit….we troo lee due knot noe wear we stand on de fence on thiz one….thiz bearz sum thought ~~~~~

    anyway ~~~~~~ de bass turd gobblerz in town…we R off ta pre pear weaponz……happee pie N spudz day….see ya next week ♥♥

  9. crimsonowl63 says:

    This is a TERRIBLE song. This song is still played occaisionally on the classic rock station. One maybe two notes (and I can name that song!) & it is turned off. I love long guitar jams, but this is crap. CRAP I SAY!

  10. All the local DJs used to LOVE long songs. If they ran like MAD they could get to the toilet and back before the next song. If they missed, uh oh.

    • Yep, I think this is why the Prog Rock genre was so popular with DJ’s in the 70’s. Now the music is chosen by a computer and they have little input over the song selection, so they can work even with a bad case of diarrhea…

  11. Never liked this one either and never liked the band. I had no idea how they got their name either – thanks for that piece of trivia. I guess I never cared enough to look it up. My husband (and his lousy taste in music) is a big southern rock fan. He really likes Marshall Tucker. Every once in a while he plays them for me, thinking I’ll enjoy it. Ugh. I don’t like them either!

  12. Thomas Bonafede says:

    There is an additional level of hatred for this song felt by pretty much everyone who has been in a bar band. Rare was the night you could escape without some jackass yelling out those 3 blood curdling words…”Play ‘Free Bird’!”..Didn’t matter if every other song you played that night should’ve clued the musical morons in to the fact that they were not listening to a Southern Rock Band. Nope, these yahoos would’ve requested “Free Bird” from a Polka band. If there is a special hell for musicians, it is one where they are forced to play “Free Bird” and “Cocaine” 5 times a night for all of eternity.

    I did, however, very much enjoy doing songs by The Cars, but I resisted the urge to respond to your dis of them in a past entry lol…

    • I guess it wouldn’t have been considered polite to respond to those requests with three different blood curdling words…. something about what the drunk yahoo could go do with himself….

      The Cars to me are Heartbeat City and a bunch of meh songs. I love almost everything they did on that album, but their earlier stuff just isn’t anything special to me…

  13. draliman says:

    Mr Squirrel, you have gone too far! And I can’t believe I’m in the minority here. It’s actually on the USB stick in my car. I didn’t bother playing your embedded version as I know the song so well, but the instrumental of the live version – basically the second half of the song – is amazing (the studio version is not as good).

    • It’s always fun to see who’s going to be on which side, and I don’t think I’d have ever guessed you’d have been the champion for “Free Bird.” I wasn’t even sure Lynyrd Skynyrd was a thing outside of the US, with them being a redneck band and all. But thank you for saving this song from being an almost universal turkey!

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