Jackson Browne – Redneck Friend

Perhaps it is too “on the nose” to use slide guitar and a Southern rock boogie beat, for a song possibly about rednecks.

The term ‘redneck’ comes from farmers getting sunburned. It has come to mean, more pejoratively, a put-down way to describe people with certain political views. These political views tend to be, in the USA, to be small ‘l’ liberalism (classical liberalism, sometimes annoying just called conservatism). Redneck good old boys believe in the ways things have been done in the past, and aren’t open to new ideas. Thus the term is a slander: it paints the redneck as being racist, sexist, homophobic… you name it! Maybe even against dancing suggestively. Browne sings how a redneck has a list of things of which they do not approve.

Or is he not being literal? This 1973 song has been widely interpreted as a double entendre – that the redneck friend is Jackson’s penis. Umm, now this post has become awkward.


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