A track that is perceptible in nature, this Reba McEntire’s struggle in 1991 showed that she deserve to channel every solitary song the she performs. “The Night the lights Went out in Georgia”is among Reba’s specifying songs. A track of betrayal, infidelity, murder, and then some, this tune fights for truth, love, and justice. But the inquiry is, what really happened when the night the lights went out in Georgia?

About the song

Written in 1972, “The Night the lights Went the end in Georgia” is aSouthern Gothicsong through songwriterBobby Russelland sung byVicki Lawrence. Lawrence’s version, from her 1973 Bell documents album the the same name, was a number one struggle on theBillboardHot 100after that is release.

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In enhancement to several other renditions, the song was again a fight in 1991 once Reba McEntire tape-recorded it for her album because that My broken Heart. McEntire’s version was a single, together well, getting to number 12 on Hot nation Songs.

Behind the tune is a friend’s betrayal and a wife’s infidelity

Returning home from a two-week pilgrimage to a place referred to as Candletop, a man, established only as “Brother,” stops because that a drink at Webb’s Bar before going house to his wife. If there, the encounters his girlfriend Andy, who notifies him the Brother’s wife has had actually affairs with both Andy and another man, “that Amos boy, Seth.”

Angry and also scared, brothers goes residence to find his gun, presuming his wife’s continued lack was since she had left town. Quietly, he makes his method through the woods come Andy’s house. ~ above the way there, he find a set of footprints leading approximately and earlier from the house, yet they look at too tiny to have actually been do by Andy. Getting here at Andy’s back door, brothers looks v the display screen and, to his horror, find Andy’s dead body.

To obtain the fist of theGeorgia State Patrol, brothers fires a shot in the air; the sheriff ~ above patrol incorrectly assumes that the gunshot to be the one that eliminated Andy and arrests brother for murder. In ashow trial, the referee wastes tiny time heralding Brother guilty the Andy’s murder and also then sentencing him to fatality by hanging, i beg your pardon is brought out in brief order.

The story wraps up together thenarrator, revealing herself as Brother’s younger sister. She confesses the it to be she who had left the footprints the her brother had actually encountered ~ above his method to Andy’s house. And also that she had actually not just shot and killed Andy with her very own gun however the adulterous mam as well, in her case disposing the the body in a means that no one would ever discover it.

In the song’s chorus, little Sister blames the Georgia criminal justice device for Brother’s death, warning the listener,

“Don’t trust your soul to no backwoods southern lawyer, ’cause the referee in the town’s acquired bloodstains on his hands.”

The song’s original version


Although Bobby Russell created both the lyrics and also music for ‘The Night the lamp Went the end in Georgia’, he to be reluctant to record also a demonstration due to the fact that he “didn’t like it.” according to Vicki Lawrence, who was married come Russell at the time, she thought it was destined to be successful and recorded the demo herself. The publishers and also the record label walk not quite know how to pitch the song, as it was no really a country or a pop song. The very first thought to be to sell the track to actress/singer Liza Minnelli, yet eventually, it was offered to singer Cher, however her then-husband and manager Sonny Bono reportedly refused it. That was claimed to be involved that the song can offend Cher’s southerly fans. There is no a singer to document the song, Lawrence entered a studio and recorded it professionally herself.

Reba McEntire’s Version

In 1991, the song was sung as a cover version byReba McEntireon her albumFor My broken Heart. It got to number 12 onBillboard’s Hot country Songs chart. While tho a commercially successful release, this damaged a wire of 24 consecutive height 10 nation singles through McEntire.

In addition, McEntire’s document was a nation hit. In her version of the song, she uses the indigenous “Daddy” rather of “Papa.”

The song additionally had a successful music video. The older brother of the story is provided the name “Raymond Brody”. The video clip for McEntire’s version also contained spoken dialogue that expanded on number of of the song’s plot points. It said that the referee knew that the narrator’s brothers did no commit the crime. Nonetheless, he was anxious to convict him, since he, self (the judge) had likewise been having sex v the wife. The judge was worried the a long, affiliated trial would cause this fact to come to be known. It likewise establishes that the small sister (played by McEntire) recorded Andy in the act through her brother’s wife. And that the unfaithful woman likewise had one affair v the sister’s very own fiancé.

The song’s reception

Released together a single on June 1972, the tune would ultimately end up being a number-one success for Lawrence. The peaked no.1 in the Hot 100 graph in beforehand 1973. In ~ the time, Lawrence to be a constant performer on the ensemble selection comedy tv show, The Carol Burnett Show.

Moreover, the song also scored number 6 on theEasy Listeningchart. That peaked at number 36 onBillboard’s Hot nation Singles chart. In addition, it was number one for two weeks ~ above theBillboardHot 100. Come note,Billboardranked it together theNo. 11 track for 1973.

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On the other hand, in Canada, the solitary version score number one. The topped theRPM100national singles chart on may 5 that the exact same year.On the RPM nation Singles chart, it reached #25.

‘The Night the lamp Went out in Georgia’ Music Video

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