today is saturday night special’s birthday, it’s 42

Greatest song that’s (not-so) secretly about gun control? Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special” — which came out 42 years today.

The tune was co-written by singer Ronnie Van Zant and Glendale’s own Ed King who met Skynyrd when King’s band (the Strawberry Alarm Clock) were on tour with them. Eventually King joined Skynyrd and co-wrote many songs with Van Zant including “Mr. Banker” “Working for MCA” and “Sweet Home Alabama”. He played bass and later when their original bassist returned he played guitar as part of the three guitar attack.

King quit Skynyrd in 1975, a few months after this tune was released. In 1976 he was replaced. In 1977 the band was involved in a tragic airplane crash that killed Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, among others.

“Saturday Night Special”
from the album Nuthin’ Fancy
MCA Records
(Ed King, Ronnie Van Zant)

Two feet they come a creepin’
Like a black cat do
And two bodies are layin’ naked
A creeper think he got nothin’ to lose
So he creeps into this house, yeah
And unlocks the door
And as a man’s reaching for his trousers
Shoots him full of thirty-eight holes

Mr. Saturday night special
Got a barrel that’s blue and cold
Ain’t good for nothin’
But put a man six feet in a hole

Big Jim’s been drinkin’ whiskey
And playin’ poker on a losin’ night
And pretty soon ol’ Jim starts a thinkin’
Somebody been cheatin’ and lyin’
So Big Jim commence to fightin’
I wouldn’t tell you no lie
Big Jim done pulled his pistol
Shot his friend right between the eyes

Mr. Saturday night special
Got a barrel that’s blue and cold
Ain’t good for nothin’
But put a man six feet in a hole

Oh, it’s the Saturday night special, for twenty dollars you can buy yourself one too

Hand guns are made for killin’
They ain’t no good for nothin’ else
And if you like to drink your whiskey
You might even shoot yourself
So why don’t we dump ’em people
To the bottom of the sea
Before some ol’ fool come around here
Wanna shoot either you or me

Mr. Saturday night special
You got a barrel that’s blue and cold
You ain’t good for nothin’
But put a man six feet in a hole

Mr. the Saturday night special
And I’d like to tell you what you could do with it
And that’s the end of the song