Alabama Bound

Alabama Bound

billwhite51's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

I never stole anything from bob dylan that he didnt steal from someone else. I stole the title and part of the chorus of this song from Leadbelly. Its written for him and all the good people who traveled with him.I wonder what he would see, think, feel, and sing were he travelling through the world today. Maybe something like this.


Shakespeare, He said it all before
The Bible said it too
But they were talking to someone else
This is me talking to you
There is a high wind rising
It blows from east to west
Blowing all the birds
Back into their nests

Now mama bird said to papa bird
I swear I heard a snake
Papa bird searches every branch
Using his beak like a rake
He combs through each leaf most carefully
No snake can be found found
But down below there is a man in the back of a truck
Singing “Alabama Bound”

“Alabama Bound” “Alabama Bound”
I swear I heard Leadbelly singing, “Alabama Bound”

On the streets of Burmingham
The scene is so much worse
A woman was walking through a no-cop zone
When a pelican stole her purse
The mayor believes that dogs can talk
And elephants can fly
But he doesnt belueve it s such a big deal
When a million honey bees die

Taking a walk to the grocery store
Takes an iron will
What goes up doesnt always go down
Just ask the ghosts on Pork Chop Hill
Some old whore tries to get me to touch her
She is all infected and dirty
She wants us to talk about the good old days
When she was exceptionally pretty

Trying to get to the Carolinas
Driving with Texas plates
But the highway patrol blocking the border
Wouldnt let me into the state
So instead I headed for Florida
Thinking Id slice a little sand
But the beaches were lined with refrigerated trucks
Taking the dead to a better land

The love birds and the hate birds
Are learning new songs every day
All the songs they used to sing
Are being thrown away
Two ears can pick it up in stereo
One ear listens to mono
And the birds that flew out of Frisco
Never made it to Capistrano

Im “Alabama Bound” “Alabama Bound”
Im looking down
And I swear I heard Leadbelly singing, “Alabama Bound”

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Roddy's picture

Great writing and a great performance. There are so many references both musical and lyrical I'm sure I'd never get all of them. 'Surreal' is a good tag for this song. I find it's making me smile. It's got a friendly witty feel, I really enjoyed this.

coolparadiso's picture

great lyric - ha ha dylan stole everything so you have an open palette now for the music. To my taste you are on a hot streak this is such an interesting story and your delivery is very strong, you are even pushing that voice hard and still delivering

Frances Smith's picture

Love the lyrics. Another journey, both metaphorical and physical, where you meet some good, some bad, and some ugly. Sounds great, beautifully written.

Afterthought edit: Allegorical is the word I was searching for, it's an allegorical journey.

crisp1's picture

Super cool lyrics in this one, Bill!

Tim Fatchen's picture

This is so good...all the references and clever metaphors, especially the east wind blowing birds back to the nest. There's a kindness as well as a sadness running right through this. Why doesn't music this good sell these days?

cindyrella's picture

Wonderful story telling Bill. Interesting and good!

Jerry Pettit's picture

Dammit! You're getting too good! How will I ever catch up? You and I were both in a Dylan mood today--I'm currently uploading a Dylanesque "protest song" and ALMOST opted to use my "Dylan voice" and--wisely--opted not to. You've got it going naturally anyway. So not fair... An excellent, excellent song, Bill--possibly moving into a top spot on my Bill Fandom list. Again, nice Dylanesque imagery.

pokerowan's picture

These lyrics are brick-solid - love all these references and throwaway lines. They all come together to make such a firm structure!

Gwyn Jones's picture

Another lyrical masterwork Bill...your ability to conjure such vivid pictures and tell such unique stories is unsurpassed!

Chip Withrow's picture

Totally agree about stealing from Dylan - I do the same!
Such a visual song, deserves a video. Your playing and singing turn this one into performance art - often, I get that from your songs.
The Florida part of this song sure spooks me, as a Floridian.

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

This is a fabulous mix of the real and imagined. Love the imagery of refrigerated trucks on the beach and the pelican stealing a purse. Musically, a pleasure ... I like the talking blues approach and all the little guitar flourishes. There are more ideas in this one song than 100 typical pop songs!

fresh spotless youth's picture

Gosh, this might be the sweetest, most beautiful thing I've heard from you. Fabulous story-telling, and you're talking to me

Kurtis Kanttila's picture

Awesome lyrics, so much imagery and detail. Every line is interesting and delivered so well. I love the chorus here. The addition guitar was great also. I really enjoyed this one.

Ferry Colyer's picture

Who'd tell there'd be days like these? Days of changing definitions to legitimize all kinds of BS. I'm not a Bob Dylan fan (except for the Desire album) but this song is impressive with its strong message and melancholic, crying lead melodies.

writeandwrong's picture

Fantastic story writing and flow. This is very Dylan-ish and I love Dylan! Visually descriptive creating lots of lyrical emotion. I think this is my favorite of yours! Kudos on a superb tune!

wacha's picture

I can see why this is marked as a favorite, there is some really great story telling here. There' a lot of emotion an story going on here. I love the use of the guitar, it works well with your vocals.