Friday Five: Alligator Revenge

Ken Morton, Jr. | July 22nd, 2011

Probably because they’re just plain tired of being turned into boots and handbags, alligators aren’t always so kind in song. They frequently are the culprit in many mysterious tales of the swamp and backwater down in Louisiana. Those old reptiles have been upset ever since the Great Depression ended. When the nation got back on its feet, they got hungry because a lot fewer people had a hand out for help (rimshot).

5. Jerry Reed — “Amos Moses”

Amos Moses is trapping alligators with the one hand he has left when the sheriff gets wind that he’s illegally trapping skins. He goes into the bayou and never comes back again. Crikey.

 

4. Lynyrd Skynyrd — “Floyd”

Floyd is a long-bearded moonshiner and after the G-men who come to arrest him disappear into the swamp, Sheriff Boudreaux comes in to investigate. Floyd’s neighbors say he’s been eaten by a gator. Believe it. Or not.

 

3. Charlie Daniels Band — “Simple Man”

The CDB provides their view of justice on how do deal with folks that abuse their kids: “Just take them rascals out in the swamp/Put ‘em on their knees and tie ‘em to a stump/ Let the rattlers and the bugs and the alligators do the rest.” This performance is from the Opry in 2007.

 

2. Shooter Jennings — “Alligator Chomp”

In this song from his 2007 album, Electric Rodeo, Shooter tells the tale of how alligators, crocodiles, toads and frogs can’t get along in the swamp. When Martin Luther Frog Jr. (see the symbolism?) sees that some trees have fallen and that it’s cutting off water to the swamp, he stands up on a stump to let everyone know we have to work together. That’s right before he’s eaten by the alligator to the cheers of the toads and crocs with his secret knowledge gone forever. That bites.

 

1. Johnny Horton — “Battle of New Orleans”

The Americans battle the British Army using the first real use of “Gatorade.” Well… more like gator aid. While the alligator loses his head after being used as a cannon, he does extract good revenge on those redcoats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsRK3DNoa_Q

  1. Rick
    July 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Has someone been watching “Swamp People” lately? (lol)

    “Amos Moses” is my all time favorite Jerry Reed song and ditto for “Battle of New Orleans” and Johnny Horton. I don’t care about gators one way or the other, but they do turn up in cool songs.

    Another worthy addition would be Tony Joe White’s “Poke Salad Annie” because after all the gators did get her grannie! Yikes!

    Personally I’d love to see an alligator chomp on Shooter Jennings! Sadly the alligator would probably die from a horrible infection of some sort…

  2. Jeremy Dylan
    July 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    There’s an Australian country song called ‘The Crocodile Roll’ which may fit with these.

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