Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Bet you're expecting me to extol the merits of a good old Cornish burr, Devonian dipthongs or even just my home county of Sussex and it's own idiosyncratic twang, but, no, they haven't written songs about that (unless you mean this, God help us!) I refer, and you knew really, didn't you, to the 1985 song by Tom Petty. Strangely, as a band of Floridians transplanted to the West Coast, I never really think of them as "Southerners," irrespective of latitude, as "the South", in music at least, seems to reserve itself for the Deep South, the territories of Stax and Capricorn record companies, so Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, plus or minus parts of Texas. (If that's wrong, forgive me, but, just as you guys have quaint visions of Swinging London, so too do I about the seamy side of N'Awlins, with accents as stiff and impenetrable as a burnt hoggroast.)

There's a southern accent, where I come from
The young'uns call it country, the Yankees call it dumb
I got my own way of talkin' but everything is done
With a southern accent where I come from
Now that drunk tank in Atlanta's just a motel room to me
Think I might go work Orlando if them orange groves don't freeze
I got my own way of workin' but everything is run
With a southern accent where I come from
For just a minute there I was dreaming
For just a minute it was all so real
For just a minute she was standing there with me
There's a dream I keep having where my mama comes to me
And kneels down over by the window and says a prayer for me
I got my own way of prayin' but everyone's begun
With a southern accent where I come from
I got my own way of livin' but everything gets done
With a southern accent where I come from

Now I just love the sentiment in those lyrics, the sheer pride in belonging, into having an identity forged and formed in geography, believing the song could hold equivalent credence to other maverick nations, clinging on to their territories. "With a Scottish accent, where I come from" somehow comes instantly to mind. And the tune, too, carries a sedate majesty, tinged with just enough melancholia for the days gone by.

For such a simple song it is certainly my favourite within the Tom Petty canon, and it covers remarkably well.
So, here's Tom:

But don't you think the song was actually made for this guy?

Though, I have to say I am also very keen on this version, by Dawn Landes:

Buy Tom

Buy Johnny

Buy Dawn


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