Things Goin' On

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"Things Goin' On"
Song by Lynyrd Skynyrd from the album
(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
Released August 13, 1973
Recorded Studio One, Doraville, Georgia, April 30, 1973
Genre Southern rock
Length 4:57
Label MCA Records
Writer(s) Ronnie Van Zant
Gary Rossington
Producer(s) Al Kooper

(pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
track listing
"Simple Man"
"Things Goin' On"
"Mississippi Kid"

Things Goin' On was written in 1973 by Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington, the lead vocalist and guitarist from Lynyrd Skynyrd. It appeared on the band's first album (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) and expressed concerns about social and environmental issues, with especial criticism of politicians' role in such issues. The song was distinct from other contemporary protest-songs in that it utilized the sound of Muscle Shoals, Alabama blues licks made popular by both Eric Clapton and Duane Allman's honky tonk melodies, though this was in keeping with Lynyrd Skynyrd's country-rock image.


The first verse, which expressed concern about life in the ghetto is repeated at the end of the song, thereby placing emphasis on this particular issue. It also contains the line that gives the song its title:[1]

Well, have you ever lived down in the ghetto
Have you ever felt that cold wind blow
Well, if you don't know what I mean
Won't you stand up and scream
Cause there's things goin' on that you don't know

The first line of the song is particularly pertinent in that it asks the listener whether he has ever lived down in the ghetto; support for segregation was still widespread in the southern United States at the time and Lynyrd Skynyrd risked alienating a large number of potential fans before the group became an established act.

The thinly veiled criticism of politicians' responsibility mentioned earlier in the song becomes more evident towards the end of the final verse:

I don't think they really care
I think they just sit up there ...


  1. ^ "Things Goin' On - Lyrics". Lyrics Freak. Retrieved November 26, 2015.