March 16

Brad Paisley Takes Us Listenin’ to the “Old Alabama”

Brad Paisley Takes Us Listenin' to the "Old Alabama" 1

Brad Paisley/

Co-written and performed by American country music singer Brad Paisley“Old Alabama” features guest vocals from the band Alabama. Released in March 2011, it was Paisley’s second single from his album This Is Country Music.

Old Alabama” incorporates into its lyrics the titles of several of Alabama’s classic songs. This includes “Why Lady Why,” “Tennessee River,” “Feels So Right,” “Love in the First Degree” and “Dixieland Delight.”

A man’s illustration of his idea of spending time with a desirable woman on a Saturday night, the song references the names of Alabama songs that the couple are listening to on their way to an unnamed rendezvous. In the song’s bridge, Owen, Cook and Gentry sing the bridge of “Mountain Music.” In fact, the same parts they did on their original 1982 hit. The song ends with a fiddle-heavy reprisal of “Old Alabama”‘s refrain, which is musically in the vein of “Mountain Music.”

Behind the song

When writing the song, Paisley thought that the bridge to Alabama’s 1982 single “Mountain Music” would fit well with the song. Instead of sampling that song, he asked Alabama band members Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry to join him in the studio and record a piece of it. Paisley wrote the song with Owen, Dave Turnbull, and Chris DuBois.

In an interview, Paisley said  how he got Alabama involved on this cut:

“We were writing a song that mentions a few things and realized that the perfect bridge for the song is the bridge from ‘Mountain Music.’ And so I contacted [Alabama member] Randy Owen and asked if he wanted to write it with us, and then got those guys back together. Instead of sampling a piece of ‘Mountain Music,’ I had those guys come in the studio and record it. It was one of the most mind-blowing experiences of my life.”

Song ratings

Matt Bjorke of Roughstock rated the single three-and-a-half stars out of five. He said that the references to Alabama songs were “cleverly intertwined.” Moreover, the appearance of Alabama gave the song a “nostalgia” factor.

On the other hand, Blake Boldt of Engine 145 thought that the tributes to the band Alabama were “admirable,” but criticized the melody for sounding similar to his 2007 single “Online.” He thought that it “leans heavily […] on song mentions and recycled production.”

To note, “Old Alabama” entered the Hot Country Songs charts at number 44 on the chart dated for the week ending March 26, 2011. It has since become Alabama’s first number one hit since “Reckless” in 1993. Furthermore, it is also the seventeenth number one for Paisley.

Here are the lyrics of this Paisley song that gives tribute to the Alabama band.

She’d rather wear a pair of cut-off jeans
Than a fancy evening dress
And with her windows rolled down
And her hair all blown around
She’s a hot southern mess

She’ll take a beer over white wine
A campfire over candle light
And when it comes to love
Oh her idea of, a romantic night

Listenin’ to old Alabama, drivin’ through Tennessee
A little dixieland delight at the right time of the night
And she can’t keep her hands off of mee!

And now, we’re rollin’ down an old back road
I got the steering wheel in one hand
We’ll find a hideaway where she and I can play
In mother nature’s band

Now, we’re listenin’ to old Alabama
Parked somewhere in Tennessee
A little dixieland delight and it feels so right
And it’s love in the first degree ee ee!

Forget about Sinatra or Coltrane,
Or some ol’ righteous brothers song
And Barry White ain’t gonna work tonight
If you really wanna turn her on
Play some back home come on music
That comes from the heart
Play something with lots of feeling
’cause that’s where music has to start

Now, we’re listenin’ to old Alabama
And we’re drivin’ through Tennessee
A little dixieland delight and it feels so right
And its love in the first degree

Yeah’ you know we’re listenin’ to old Alabama (old Alabama)
Drivin’ through Tennessee (Tennessee)
A little why lady why at the right time of the night
Oh and she can’t keep her hands off of mee

Oh, play me some old Alabama
Won’t you play me some old Alabama
Oh pla ee ay ay, yee haw!

So, the one you loved just left you for another
And your down
Or you lost your job and you need a drink
You look around and start to think
That no one understands what you been through

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Brad Paisley, Old Alabama

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