Raiford is a prison in Florida. This song is about a Vietnam Vet that could not find work when he returned home and ends up in jail for armed robbery. He believes he was wrongly accused ("Only me and jesus know that I never stole a dime"), but nobody believes him. After serving 2 years in Raiford, he breaks out, knowing that if he is found he will be killed.
Pepieux Rich from FranceI believe it was based on a true story about a black Vietnam war hero who was wrongly accused of armed robbery. Typical Ronnie writing a song about something that touched his heart
Mattnewman from Niagara CanadaYes I shed a tear,the latest DVD which played that song reminded me of Ronnie's brilliance and brought back tons of memories of Ronnie, his lyrics and the best band to me. All you southern boys must know Canada loves Skynyrd.
R from Fulton, NyWhenever he gets to the part "when I die, fly ol' glory over me, and the medals tossed in the grave" (paraphrased), does anyone else shed a tear?
Larry from Chicago, IlMy mother spent 3 years there...accessory to armed robbery 1955-58...I inquired and they sent me her mug shot...#55220....she was just havin' fun I guess
James from Clermont, Flthey probably chose raiford as the setting because its the maximum security pen. with death row and all. theres only 2 of those in fl and the song wouldnt sound as good as the the four walls of union.
Steve from Alexandria, VaRonnie Van Zant once said in an interview that pretty much everyone they grew up with was either dead or in prison. The prison he was referring to was Raiford do to the fact that it is in close proximity to Jacksonville, FL.
Randy from Saint Cloud, MnIt was actually Jeff Carlise from 38 Special that plaid the slide guitar on this song!
John from Welch, WvClassic Skynyrd
Oldpink from New Castle, InAbsolutely destroys me to listen to this song that was actually an unreleased demo until years after the plane crash that claimed Ronny, Steve, and Cassie. Beautiful slide work on this, Ronny's lyrics - which were ALWAYS perfectly clear unlike most other singers - just club you into submission. Ronny's cultural southern tradition of respect for war veterans shows through clearly on this one. btw...I have long thought that this and the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil" have a lot in common lyrically. Certainly both are not the most upbeat tunes ever! btw...was it Allen, Gary, Steve, or Ed who did the slide on this? I will take a shot in the dark and say it was probably Allen.
James Thompson from Gray, GaThe music fact is WRONG!the lyrics are clear that the narrator states that "only me and Jesus know that I never stole a dime". These people need to get their facts straight if they have a website like this.
Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiIs this song based on a true story? What happened to the man after he broke out of Raiford? Did they catch him?
Jenna Madsen from Eureka!, CaIt is a classic, i must agree. the lyrics tell a good story.
Kyle from Ozark, ArOne of Lynyrd Skynyrd's best and least played songs a real classic and must have for any blues fan
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.