Top 5 songs by Country Music legend Charlie Daniels
On July the sixth of 2020, the world was told of the death of famed music writer, singer and fiddler, Charlie Daniels at the age of 83. Through his many years, he not only gave people hard-rocking county songs that gave people a reason to shake their fists but also told stories that left people as involved as they did with a good book or a well-told movie. To remember an amazing storyteller here are the top 5 songs from Charlie Daniels to give you a little taste of his skill in telling an incredible story through song.
Charlie Daniels – Uneasy Rider
Uneasy Rider is a song released in 1973 and a narrative telling the story of a counter-culture type character who suffers a car breakdown in Mississippi. He ends up starting a fight when a group of big guys enter the bar he is stuck at and start laughing at his car. He starts a fight by kicking a guy right in the knee but flees the scene before too much trouble can be brought down on him. The song originally reached 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts back in 1973. It considered “outlaw country” with Daniels’s counter-cultural attitudes despite not being as “left-wing” as many of his other songs were in the future.
Charlie Daniels – Long Haired Country Boy
Originally this song was released on the 1974 album “Fire on the Mountain” but was again released as a single in 1975 and 1980. Its 1974 release charted 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and the 1980 release charted 27 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks charts. The song talks about how “this long-haired country boy” don’t need nothing that he can’t get himself and also mentions the character “gets high in the morning and drunk by the afternoon”. As the song says he “Ain’t got no money but I damn sure got it made.” With a line like that, Charlie sure knew how to paint himself a pretty picture.
This song was first released in August of 1989 as it is off the album ‘Simple Man’. The song reached 12 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. This song tells a story through an honest man’s eyes that the world around him has gone soft on crime and forsaken the religious law of the Bible. Charlie (or the character he is singing about) talk about his reaffirmation of the death penalty if found guilty of crimes like rape and robbery. Charlie suggests that criminals should be tied up and left in swamps so the animals, the bugs, and the alligators can feed on them.
This Ain’t No Rag It’s A Flag
This song was released in November of 2001 as Charlie’s response to the 9/11 attacks. It ranked 33 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks listings. This song was a bonus track on the Live! album and was later the only song from the album released as a single. It got some media attention when CMT refused to allow Daniels to play it during a concert they were showing on tv to benefit the Salvation Army’s disaster fund. Some think the song is racist towards middle eastern people while others find it more rousing of Americana during a dark time of history for the country,
The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Arguably Charlie’s most famous song, it was released on the album ‘Million Mile Reflections’ in April of 1979. This song tells of a fiddle battle between a full of himself fiddler named Johnnie and the Devil. It is said that the devil in this contest was “way behind and looking to make a deal.” The song ranked number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country listings in its original 1979 release. It has been a big hit ever since. The song actually got a sequel to it in 1993 with “The Devil came back to Georgia.” That song was just as rocking as the original with Charlie, Mark O’Conner, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, and the legendary Johhny Cash on the track.