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Benjamin Ward
Benjamin Ward

Lynyrd Skynyrd - That Smell


Van Zant's inspiration for the song was the increasing reckless indulgences of the band members culminating in the evening when guitarist Gary Rossington crashed his Ford Torino into an oak tree along Mandarin Road in Jacksonville, Florida,[1] after excessive consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Van Zant was thus inspired to write the song as a warning about the consequences of careless overuse of drugs and alcohol. The song earned Rossington the moniker "Prince Charming" from Van Zant. Later when asked, Van Zant said, "I had a creepy feeling things were going against us, so I thought I'd blow lines, slam some H and write a morbid song."[1] The lyrics cautioned that "tomorrow might not be here for you", and that "the smell of death surrounds you". Three days after the album was released, the band was devastated by a plane crash. The crash killed several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, including Van Zant.




Lynyrd Skynyrd - That Smell



They great thing about lyrics, especially ambiguous ones, is that one can costumize them to their own personal experiences & feelings... Yet one should not confuse &/or confess them to be the truth! True to you may not be true to the writter. After all, everyone is here to hear the writers stories & meanings.That being said, Ronnie clearly states "the smell of death surrounds you". It was and is a statement mentioned for reckless people who could be close to death, or causing death(s) as a result of their actions. Albeit coke is mentioned in the song, so are other substances. There are a lot if smells associated with all of it. Simple fact: just all generalized as a flirt with death!The lyrics tell the story of their band member Gary. Their struggles to keep him clean & the accident he had which led to fining him for missed tour dates & serious ultimatums. Ultimatly leading to writting thensing as a big reminder not only to Gary, but to all that may need to hear it!


Anyone who has used Heroin knows that when you 'cook it up" to inject it there is ALWAYS a familiar smell. When the heroin is heated you could snort that 'smoke' released and get high. A lot of people vomit when they get really high from heroin. When I "smelled that smell" I could almost vomit by the mental connection of the 'smell' with getting high. The song may not have meant that literally but if you ask anyone who's used Heroin regularly, knows that means to them. I know that several of the band members used Heroin and could possibly be referring to THAT smell! I'm sure it could be a metaphor for many different people. 041b061a72


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