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.)
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: