Free Bird, Part 1
At the beginning of Southern Rock Opera, the Drive-by Truckers’ magnificent concept album about Lynyrd Skynyrd and their fans, there is a deadly car crash involving the narrators best friend and his “best girl”, who had abandoned him at night-before-graduation party to go for a joy ride and listen to some Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The car crash kills the best friend, and the and the girl is left alive, pinned to her seat, screaming into the night, waiting for for the ambulance. And as the story was passed from kid to kid at their graduation, “Free Bird” is competing with her screams and the sound of the ambulance’s “si-reeens.”
Because, as Patterson Hood wryly noted: “it’s a very very long song.”