Surrender Under Protest

Album: American Band (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the fixated Confederate attitude that has lingered in the South ever since the Civil War. According to The Truckers, the South's creaking Dixie attitudes and barely restrained racism, is a kind of spectre holding back progress. Co-frontman Patterson Hood told Uncut: "I love the part of the country I come from, it has its own beauty, and all my family are from there. But at the same time, it is a region that seems to hold onto the wrong things: they're so steeped in their own history they sometimes let it control where they are now, instead of living in the present."
  • This was the first song to be released from American Band. Asked by The Boot why Drive By Truckers decided to introduce the album to the world to with this track, co-frontman Mike Cooley replied laughing:

    "I don't know! You throw that stuff out there... a lot of stuff goes into that. To me, if you were looking for one song that really summarizes everything that's being said, that's a pretty good one - and 'What It Means' by Patterson is a good one, too, and that was the second single. Maybe the folks that work behind the scenes liked the power of that song and that chorus. That's the closest thing to a sing-a-long chorus that I've ever come up with."
  • The music video was directed by Lance Bangs (Nirvana, Sting, the Black Keys) and filmed in Portland, Oregon. The clip combines clips from Black Lives Matter protests with a performance of the song by the Truckers.

    "I've long been a fun of Lance's work and instinctively knew he would know exactly the perfect visual element for this song," Patterson Hood told Pitchfork. "Just like the song encapsulates a period of unrest and change for America, its accompanying video brings that message to life with images of a divided, but still united nation."

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