In between “Roll Tides,” winning or losing, the 1983 Alabama classic “Dixieland Delight” can be heard blaring in the fourth quarter and shouted from a sea of crimson at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It’s a tradition that has endured for what feels like the dawn of college football. But how did a country song about the state of Tennessee become a tradition among the Crimson Tide? The answer: No one really knows. It just makes sense.
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Alabama, the country trio, and Alabama, the college football team, have more than a name in common. They both have pride: in where they came from and in being the best.
The Fort Payne, Alabama-formed band – consisting of cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and the late Jeff Cook – are one of the most successful acts in country music with an influence that reaches beyond the South. The band also embodies a mentality that never strays far from home.
Alabama, the team, takes pride in winning. With 28 Southeastern Conference championships and 18 national championships under their belts, they are a team to be reckoned with. Soundtracking their games with a song from an equally prolific band just made sense.
“Dixieland Delight” caught on like “the wave” and became a staple at their home football games. Then Alabama’s student population, an equally proud bunch, got ahold of the lyrics. Soon, the student body gave the song a PG-13 slant and changed the song for games to come.
Listen for the colorful add-libbing, below.
In case you didn’t catch it, fans are singing:
Spend my dollar
Parked in a holler
‘Neath the mountain moonlight
Hold her up tight
“AGAINST THE WALL”
Make a little lovin’
A little turtle dovin’ on a Mason-Dixon night
Fits my life,
Oh so right,
“AND TENNESSEE TOO”
My Dixieland Delight.
The new lyrics were met with plenty of controversy, and in 2015, the tune was removed from the game day experience for vulgarity. It eventually made its return to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2018 under the condition that the modified version not be sung.
Photo by Rick Diamond