By the ’70s, the utopian dreams of revolution were dead and gone. But the romantic, antinomian spirit that hatched those dreams now spread out and permeated the country at large. Thus the “Me Decade” that sought liberation in personal quests rather than social movements; thus, among other strange amalgams, hippie-redneck fusionism (see Jesse Walker’s smart take on that phenomenon here); thus “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
A confession: I hated Skynyrd as a kid. Which, growing up in ’70s north Florida, was something close to heresy. After leaving the South for college, though, I quickly developed the expat’s fondness for folkways left behind.