Was I Right Or Wrong

Album: Skynyrd's First And... Last (1978)
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Songfacts®:

  • When Lynyrd Skynyrd started out, they recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama, where they recorded an album in 1972 that contained this song. According to Roger Hawkins and David Hood, who were part of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, no record company would pick up the album because the demo reel with the album somehow got flipped when it left the studio, and when Skynyd's manager played it for record executives, it sounded muffled. The band ended up recording a new version of their album in Georgia with Al Kooper, which became their 1973 debut Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. "Was I Right Or Wrong" didn't appear until 1978 when the album Skynyrd's First and... Last, which contained their original Muscle Shoals recordings.
  • When the album Second Helping was re-released, this was added to the album.
  • The song is about leaving home to follow your dreams only to return to a family that is deceased. It is not a reference to Ronnie's father, Lacy Van Zant, who is often referred to as the "Father of Southern Rock." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Aaron - Twin Cities, MN

Comments: 7

  • Joe from OhioI’ve been a skynyrd fan for a while but this song was always kind of hidden and lesser known. It might have become my favorite skynyrd song and one of my favorites period.

    “First I got lost, then I got found / But the ones that I loved were in the ground / somebody tell me please was I right or wrong?”

    There is so much emotional pain and heartache in this line it’s amazing. Listened to this after my grandmother’s funeral. The line relates to me in tying to get your life back on track but realizing years have gone by and things will never be the same. You can never regain the lost years and sometimes the ones you love the most you lose when you throw away time.

    This song also deals with a difficult relationship with one’s parents, but still loving them deep down and seeking their approval. “Papa used to say I was a useless fool.” Yet later he wishes he could see his father again. Partly out of vindication, but also I believe partly because his parents would be proud of him, and he wishes they could see his success. “Papa I never meant to do you wrong.”

    A song about a fading youth, and longing to make things right when it’s too late. It haunts me but also comforts me.
  • Tracy Douglas from AlabamaThis is my favorite song. Love it
  • Billy from CaDefinitely one of my favorites...
  • Kelsey from Lincoln, NeThe demo version of this song is the best. Love it!!
  • Alan from Rochester, NyHauntingly beautiful.
    The interpolation of an instrumental from "Gimme Three Steps" (at least that's what it sounded like) was interesting.
    I wonder, why did Van Zandt's character end up being surprised by / unaware of his parents' passing?
  • Jeanette from Mcgrady, NcThis is a funky tune, and I mean that in the absolute greatest possible way. Skynyrd had such a wide variety of sounds, it is mind blowing.
  • Brandon from Morristown, TnThis song is beatiful but deep.Its one of my favorite Skynyrd songs.
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