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This song refers to The Wake Forest "Demon Deacons," whose football team struggled for much of the '70s, winning just 7 games from 1972-1975. At the same time, the University Of Alabama was a football powerhouse, winning the National Championship in 1973 and losing just one game in each of their next two seasons under the direction of their famous coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Alabama is known as "The Crimson Tide":
"They got a name for the winners in the world
And I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues"
(thanks, Ben - Savannah, GA)
The Scottish rock group Deacon Blue, who enjoyed 7 Top 20 UK hits between 1988 and 1994, took their name from this song. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
When asked about the line, "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, they call me Deacon Blues," Donald Fagen told Rolling Stone magazine: "Walter and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line, and he said, 'You mean it's like, 'They call these cracker a--holes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I'm this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?' and I said 'Yeah!' He said, 'Cool, let's finish it.'"