The Devil Went Down To Georgia

Album: Million Mile Reflections (1979)
Charted: 14 3
  • The devil went down to Georgia
    He was lookin' for a soul to steal
    He was in a bind
    'Cause he was way behind
    And he was willin' to make a deal

    When he came upon this young man
    Sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot
    And the devil jumped
    Up on a hickory stump
    And said, "boy, let me tell you what

    I guess you didn't know it
    But I'm a fiddle player too
    And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you

    Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy
    But give the devil his due
    I'll bet a fiddle of gold
    Against your soul
    'Cause I think I'm better than you."

    The boy said, "my name's Johnny
    And it might be a sin
    But I'll take your bet
    And you're gonna regret
    'Cause I'm the best there's ever been."

    Johnny, rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard
    'Cause hell's broke loose in Georgia, and the devil deals the cards
    And if you win, you get this shiny fiddle made of gold
    But if you lose, the devil gets your soul

    The devil opened up his case
    And he said, "I'll start this show."
    And fire flew from his fingertips
    As he rosined up his bow

    Then he pulled the bow across the strings
    And it made an evil hiss
    And a band of demons joined in
    And it sounded something like this

    When the devil finished
    Johnny said, "well, you're pretty good, old son
    But sit down in that chair right there
    And let me show you how it's done."

    He played Fire on the Mountain run boys, run
    The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
    Chicken in a bread pan pickin' out dough
    Granny, does your dog bite? No child, no

    The devil bowed his head
    Because he knew that he'd been beat
    And he laid that golden fiddle
    On the ground at Johnny's feet

    Johnny said, "Devil, just come on back
    If you ever want to try again
    I done told you once you son of a bitch
    I'm the best that's ever been."

    He played Fire on the Mountain run boys, run
    The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
    Chicken in a bread pan pickin' out dough
    Granny, does your dog bite? No child, no

Comments: 29

  • Treeslayer from PaThe "went DOWN to Georgia" part also strongly implies that Satan is a Yankee.
  • Bruce from San Jose, Calif.This is so classic! When I heard it as a young kid at the end of the song when the devil lays the golden fiddle on the ground in defeat at Johnny’s feet and Johnny taunts him “I told you once you son-of-a-*** I’m the BEST that’s EVER been!” — I was teary-eyed and punching the air with my fist and yelling with pride, “Yeah, way ta go Johnny! You kicked the Devil’s ASS!” —Great Memories!!!
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenRegarding the alternate "son of a gun/son of a bitch" line, I'm sure that was just to accommodate stations in different markets. Earlier examples were Steve Miller's "Big Ol' Jet Airliner," with the line "funky s--t/funky kicks goin' down in the city" or Blondie's "Heart of Glass," which often omitted the verse containing "Once I had a love and it was a gas, soon turned out to be a pain in the ass."
  • Dag from HereDid I miss something? I did not see where Vassar Clements, or his song "Lonesome Fiddle Blues" are mentioned in all this.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 17th 1979, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #81; and on September 9th it peaked at #3 (for 2 weeks) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 7 of those 18 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on August 19th, 1979 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart (also peaked at #1 on the Canadian Country chart)...
    Between 1973 and 1982 the band had eight Top 100 records; with two making the Top 10, their other Top 10 entry was "Uneasy Rider", it peaked at #9 in 1973 (just missed having a third Top 10 record when "In America" peaked at #11 in 1980).
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxJohnny Cash narrated a relatively unheraled sequel song for Daniels, 'The Devil Comes Back to Georgia' in the 9os. Everyone does their best, but it doesn't come close to the original.
  • Terry from Colchester, VtCheck out the Zac Brown Band cover of this that they did at the 2009 CMA's. It is really good.
  • Astrid from Guaynabo, Puerto RicoThe song is also played in "Coyote Ugly" when the bartenders and some other girls dance on top of the bar
  • Paul from Evansville, InI like the original but since I'm a metal head I like the metal version a bit better :)
  • Stan from Dearborn Heights, MiI've seen Blues Travler cover this song in concert at a neck breaking speed as John Popper played the fiddle parts on harmnonica.
  • Stan from Dearborn Heights, MiOkay to markus in houston, there was a small time rapper in the early 90's from Detroit who did make a rap version of this song, he called it The Devil came up to Detroit, it's basically the same song except for the location and instead of a fiddle they both played turn tables.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvThis is an awesome song! I always stop to hear it when ever it's played.
  • Marcus from Houston, TxI might get a lot of flak for saying this but do you think this song could technically be considered a "rap' song? it has a nice drum beat. most of the verses are spoken with a rythmic rhyme.
  • Dylan from Charlotte, NcA student in my 9th grade honors English class observed that "...fire on the mountain, run boys run" might be an allusion to Lord of the Flies (William Golding). It seems to fit!
  • Joshua from La Crosse, WiOne thing I never got about this song: Just who was judging this fiddling contest, that Old Nick was apparently unable to tempt, intimidate or otherwise corrupt?
  • Briar from Hazard, KySimply a great tune
  • Valerie from None Of Ur Buisness!!, Bcomigosh i LOVE this song soooo much! :D
  • Kevin from Memphis , Tnlove the "Southern Baptist" version where the last line is changed from "I done told once you son of a gun/ I'm the best that's ever been" to "I done told you once you son of a bitch/ I'm the that's ever been"
  • Jessie from Dallas, Txgreat song
  • Logan from Troy, MtStephen Colbert and Paul Dinello played their version on stage once.

    It's the Devil Went Down to Georgia with Bassoons.
  • Landon from Winchester, OhEmerson Drive have a cover-up for this song. Hek!
  • Dylan from Bethlehem, PaWhenever the Devil seems to challenge anyone, he always seems to lose miserably. Its kind of sad really...
  • V-starr from ?????????, MiSteve Ouimette did a metal version for Guitar Hero III as the last boss song aganst your band's manager aka the Devil.
  • Jevon from Houston, Txit sounds just like the beezleboss story in the tenacious d movie!!!!!
  • Sandy from Warsaw, InI love this song even if it is old! Good songs never die!!!
  • Greg from Shelbyville, KyAaron says the CDB started as country until "Devil." The actual breakout song was "Uneasy Rider," which hit in 1975 or 1974. I had a buddy at Univ of KY who had played with Charlie, before "Uneasy Rider" hit. He got tired of all the time on the road, not making much money. "Uneasy Rider" was a rather rebellious song for mid-70's radio, including a couple of off color words, and a openly risque situation, but it was FUNNY, and the pot smoking programmers loved it, as well as their audiennces. "I was taking a trip out to LS, tooling along in my Chevrolet, tokin on a number and grooving on the radio."

    Charlie's still the man, he doesn't mind speaking his piece. Google "Charlie Daniels" to check out his website. Greg, Shelbyville, KY
  • Jay from Brooklyn, NyThere is an episode of Furturama in which Fry and Leela travel to Robot Hell to save Bender. The Robot Devil (a.k.a. Beelzebot) tries to make them sign a Fiddle Contest Waver. The Fairness in Hell Act requires him to challenge people to a fiddle contest in order to win back a soul.
  • Jay from Brooklyn, NyBaseball Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean once said "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." If the devil had challenged Dean to a pitching contest, Ol' Diz would have had the arrogance and skill to put Satan in his place.
  • Dustin from Whitehouse, TxAlso, a band called the "Toy Dolls" did a version called "The Devil Went Down To Scrunthorpe." It's a metal version of the song and all the "fiddle" references are replaced by "guitars" instead.
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