Sunday, February 9, 2014

Free Bird :: What's in a Song?

I found many meanings for the song with a wide range of interpretations from people. But most believe the song is about needing to move on because staying where you are is holding you back. The opening line "If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?" was what Kathy (Allan Collins' girlfriend) said during a fight. He wrote it down and it ended up in this classic song. So its origins are literally about leaving someone, but its meaning seems to have grown into so much more. I love the symbol, and couldn't help but pick up a few charms and pendant to design with the iconic free bird.

The song originally started as an instrumental piece written by guitarist Collins. He had been playing around with the melody for about 2 years before Ronnie Van Zant wrote the lyrics to the song. Zant told Skynard that he thought it had too many chords to write lyrics for, but one night he asked Collins to play the melody again and after about 20 minutes the lyrics were flowing "If I leave here tomorrow ..."

The ballad was actually shorter at first (a mere 7 1/2 minutes) without any of the guitar solos at the end. And when they went to record it (1972) the band's record company didn't want to put the song on the album because they thought it was too long and that no radio station would play it. Boy were they wrong. The song is so well known, that even when Skynayrd stopped singing the words to the song in 1977 (after Zant died in a plane crash) the crowd would just sign out the lyrics anyway.

Now the song is a bit of an urban legend for concert goers to shout out "Free Bird" when they just want to hear the song because they don't like the music the band is playing. Every now and then the band will actually play the song. The lyrics are amazing, as is the the classic guitar riff. (From a 1976 concert)

If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling 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. Though this feeling I can't change, but please don't take it so badly. 'Cause the Lord knows I'm to blame. And this bird you cannot change. Lord knows, I can't change.

Won't you fly high free bird?

25 comments:

BeadedTail said...

I'm not even sure I've heard the song and certainly didn't know the history behind it. Your pieces are beautiful!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Nice to have a little background on the song! The jewelry that you show are perfect for the post! Really beautiful -- I love that necklace!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

I'm reading a warning not to try and change others, Cynthia... which is a poor path to follow, IMHO. Love the jewelry :) Who made that focal? I don't recognize the style :)

Karen Williams said...

I've seen references to this song here and there, but never truly understood. Thanks for sharing some beautiful insight into the song and your beautiful reinterpretation into a a wearable art piece.

May our spirits and creativity soar!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,
Thank you now I have that song stuck in my head, but I do not mind that is one of my favorite Lynard Skynard songs along with Sweet Home Alabama (of course) and Simple Man. I love the necklace and earrings very pretty. I can just picture you humming Free Bird the whole time you were bead weaving the spiral rope.
Therese

Patty Woodland said...

Aaaaaah, you've brought me back to high school. The anthem of my youth

Caron Michelle said...

That was fascinating, you learn something new every day! Love your necklace as well, lovely tonings!

Memories for Life said...

I really love those earrings!
Such a great song and one that means a great deal to me!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Free Bird- my ALL TIME favorite song ...EVER! A flood of memories came to me as I read this post - most were good memories, too! Absolutely gorgeous necklace-love the focal piece!

Jacquelineand.... said...

One of my favourite songs, so nice to have a bit of the background to it!

I love birds; those earrings are especially marvelous!

Claudia Aguilar said...

Never heard the song until today but thanks for the background info, I like the earrings :)

Duni said...

I didn't know there was that much history attached to "free bird". I love the bird motif too. The earrings are fantastic!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Wow! I never knew the history of Free Bird. Songs take on a new meaning when you learn something new. The bird earrings are fabulous. :)

Janet Bocciardi said...

Definitely one of my all time favorites and brings back so many memories! lol!

Both of your pieces are sweet as in SWEET!

Great post for those of us of a certain age.

Alice said...

It's one of my favorite songs. Thanks for the history behind this great song.

Christine Altmiller said...

Looks like this post struck a chord with a lot of people. I have always liked it and when someone yelled it at a Jackson Browne concert I attended, he played it! It was awesome!!! LOL
Your jewelry, as always, is beautiful. Your rope is so lovely. I am gonna ask, though I think I know the answer...are the base beads in the rope size 8 or 6?

Lady Lilith said...

I think every song can be interpreted in more then one way. In the end it really all depends on how you feel about it.

Lady Lilith said...

I think every song can be interpreted in more then one way. In the end it really all depends on how you feel about it.

Magic Love Crow said...

I love the history lesson, thank you! Makes you really think about the lyrics! I love what you created!

Liz E said...

The song brings me back to middle school. In that you video I was just as fascinated with the audience as I was with the
band :p

Gorgeous pieces. The necklace is seriously sweet. You made the perfect rope for the focal.

I seem to always learn something from your work. Recently it was regarding your luxurious and perfect fringe. Yes, I have fringe envy. Now today it's about shadows. You take photos with shadows, and it works! Great stuff.

Valerie William said...

Fantastic earrings and necklace. I love birds and your bird charms are pretty cool. That's an interesting story about the "Free Birds" thanks for sharing.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Shaiha said...

Thank you for the history of one of my favorite songs. I just love your jewelry also. It is just perfect.

Jiten Mallik said...

Thanks for writing in such an encouraging post. I had a glimpse of it and couldn’t stop reading till I finished. I have already bookmarked you. Bulk SMS Service Provider in ORISSA

Linda said...

Wondrous work...

Becky Pancake said...

Cynthia the green and cream necklace is wonderful. It looks soft and inviting. Thanx for the history of a favorite song from my youth.

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