Song Lyric Sunday – The Night The Lights Went out in Georgia

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing songs involving Clear | Dark | Light for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday.

This week I chose “The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence and Reba McEntire. Vicki Lawrence recorded this Southern Gothic song which was released on November 27, 1972. Written & composed by Bobby Russell, the murder ballad became the only #1 hit Lawrence had in her career.

Twenty years later, in April, 1992, Reba McEntire recorded the song as a cover song, that even with its success, it only reached #12, breaking Reba’s string of 24 consecutive top 10 country single hits.

An awesome interview of Vicki & Reba before they sing the song together. Vicki had a successful career as a comedian, performing on the Carol Burnett Show for many years.

Between those 20 years, a movie by the same name starring Kristy McNichol, Dennis Quaid & Mark Hamill was released in 1981 about a country singer Travis (Dennis Quaid) who wants to go to Nashville, Tennessee with younger sister Amanda (Kristy McNichol) to become a star. He finds himself in some trouble with the law and is sentenced to a work detail at a prison farm. Amanda falls in love with a police officer Conrad (Mark Hamill) who tries to help Travis out of his mess.

For the Tanya Tucker lyrics, click here.

Tanya Tucker recorded this song for the movie soundtrack with a change in the lyrics, because “they didn’t hang an innocent man” in the movie. The storyline was just a bit different than the original morbid lyrics.

SONG FACTS

  • Written by Bobby Russell who passed away at the age of 52 the year Reba released her cover of the song.
  • Vicki Lawrence was married to Bobby Russell at the time he wrote the song and decided to record it herself after Sonny Bono refused it for his wife, Cher, claiming the song was destined to be a hit.
  • Topped the Hot 100 chart in early 1973 & reached #1 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles for Lawrence.
  • Peaked at #18 in New Zealand & #20 in Australia for Lawrence.
  • Reached # 7 on the Canada Country Tracks (RPM) and topped at #12 on the US Hot Country Songs Billboard for McEntire.
“The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia”
He was on his way home from Candletop
Been two weeks gone and he thought he'd stop
At Web's and have him a drink 'fore he went home to her
Andy Wo-Lo said, "Hello"
He said, "Hi, what's new?"
And Wo said, "Sit down, I got some bad news that's gonna hurt"
Said, "I'm your best friend and you know that's right
But your young bride ain't home tonight
Since you've been gone, she's been seeing that Amos boy, Seth"
Now he got mad and he saw red
Andy said, "Boy, don't you lose your head
'Cause to tell you the truth, I've been with her myself"
That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
Well, don't trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands
Andy got scared and left the bar
Walking on home 'cause he didn't live far, you see
Andy didn't have many friends and he just lost him one
Brother thought his wife must have left town
So he went home and finally found
The only thing Daddy had left him, and that was a gun
He went off to Andy's house
Slipping through the backwoods quiet as a mouse
Came upon some tracks too small for Andy to make
He looked through the screen at the back porch door
And he saw Andy lying on the floor
In a puddle of blood, and he started to shake
The Georgia patrol was making their rounds
So he fired a shot, just to flag 'em down
A big-bellied sheriff grabbed his gun and said
"Why'd you do it?"
The judge said "guilty" on a make-believe trial
Slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile
Said, "Supper's waiting at home and I got to get to it"
That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
Well, don't trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands
Well, they hung my brother before I could say
The tracks he saw while on his way
To Andy's house and back that night were mine
And his cheating wife had never left town
That's one body that'll never be found
You see little sister don't miss when she aims her gun
That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
Well, don't trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands
That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night that they hung an innocent man
Well, don't trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Russell Robert L Bobby
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia lyrics Β© Pix Russ Music Ltd.

19 Comments on “Song Lyric Sunday – The Night The Lights Went out in Georgia

  1. I had a listen to each video, I sure do remember this song from those days! I like Vicki Lawrence’ voice much better than Reba. Thanks for the memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It has been a real long time since I last listened to this gem, thanks for adding it today Lisa. I never realized that this song was about an innocent man getting hung, as I guess I never paid all that much attention to the lyrics before. I think I thought this was about a blackout when the lights went out. I liked the Vicky and Reba duet. Reba makes some crazy faces. I am not sure if I ever saw the movie, but it looks good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The title sounded familiar to me but I realized I hadn’t heard the song before. I liked the Vicki Lawrence version and now I want to watch the movie! Great share Lisa β˜ΊοΈπŸ‘β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a oldie! πŸ™‚ I’ve had other ask about whether it is being streamed anywhere. There is a full version on YouTube if you have that type of capability. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Just heard Vicki’s version on Sirius/XM this afternoon. Fun song to sing along with as long as you don’t think about the meaning of the lyrics.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The music video for Reba’s version was so good! Was Reba in it?

    I love Rba’s version the best. Nice choice!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Our Artsy Fartsy Family

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

incomprehensibus

Home of Micropoetry, Literature, art and philosophy.

Marsha Ingrao - Always Write

Promoting Hobby Blogging

Two on a Rant

Rants, humor, sarcasm, and a haiku-like substance? It's hard to know what's going to come out of our minds next.

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

Tina Stewart Brakebill

Writer. Feminist. Historian. Person.

40thousandkm

: around the world :

BirdIn

Birds are in

Runawaywidow

Stories about the challenges and adventures of a traveling, mid-life, unexpected widow

Jinan Daily Photo: The Sequel

A City Daily Photo Blog

Dreams from a Pilgrimage

Now we see through a glass, darkly

AT PATHO

no streetlights, just star light

About the Jez of It

Poetry, stories and strange odds and ends from the desk of a writer

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

Beyond the Sphere

By Tom Merriman

DIARY OF A NEW GARDENER

A journey back to basics, gardening, recipes and sustainable living!

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

take a walk

and discover

lil bit of everything

shout it from the rooftops

Live Love Laugh Learn

Prose, Poems and Perspectives!

Expect

Keeping People Informed

tinytotspoetry

Aspiring to be the best at writing. Poetry lover, haiku and free verse to be precise, I hope to one day master

Continued Reflections from my world.

Nature records, places visited and things seen.

REFLECTIONS FROM MY WORLD

Days out with my camera β€”- LAND SEA & AIR

tanja britton

Lives and writes at the foot of Pikes Peak

%d bloggers like this: