"Sweet Home Alabama" is a song by Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyd that first appeared in 1974 on their second album, Second Helping. Despite some controversy, it reached #8 on the US charts in 1974, and was the band’s second hit single record. It has a kind of unofficial "rock" state song and is proudly played at University of Alabama football home games.
Each fall I go to Tuscaloosa and always enjoy singing this song with 94,000 screaming fans in red. It is a blast. It is pure Southern and very fun.
Many of you know I have roots in Alabama, having attended the university and also both my parents are laid to rest in the red clay of that state. My one brother also lives in Huntsville. So I know Alabama, to some extent at least. But I have never heard "Sweet Home Alabama" the way I heard it today.
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Red Army had an official choir composed of male soldiers and musicians. It still exists. The Red Army Choir performs throughout Russia to this day.
Now consider the Finnish rock band called The Leningrad Cowboys. A little while ago, they held a concert in Russia, in which—to the screaming applause of Russkie teen-agers—they got the Red Army Choir to join them on stage for a performance of "Sweet Home Alabama." In English. You couldn’t make this up. You have to see and hear this to really believe it. Check it out. If you do not find this humorous I will be surprised.