"Tornadoes" as written by and Jason Isbell Shonna Tucker....
The clouds started forming at five o'clock pm
The funnel clouds touched down
Five miles north of Russellville
Sirens were blowing, clouds spat rain
And as the things came threw, it sounded like a train

"It came without no warning" said Bobbi Jo McLean
She and husband Nolen always loved to watch the rain
It sucked him out the window, he ain't come home again
All she can remember is "It sounded like a train"

Pieces of that truck stop, litter up the highway, I been told
And I hear that missing trucker ended up in Kansas
(or maybe it was Oz).

The Nightmare Tour ended for my band and me
The night all the shit went down
A homecoming concert, the night the tornadoes hit my hometown.
The few who braved the weather were sucked out of the auditorium
I can still remember the sound of their applause in the rain
As it echoed through them storm clouds, I swear, It sounded like a train.

Lyrics submitted by TonyRo2

"Tornadoes" as written by Patterson Hood


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Tornadoes song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentDown here in Alabama, we have the deadliest tornadoes in America...they usually come late at night or very early in the morning...you cant see the damn things comming.....
    walther1on April 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI grew up in Savannah, GA, so tornadoes were never much of a concern. I remember we were visiting my grandparents in Iowa and we had to get in the basement; nothing much came of it. My dad attended school at Cumberland and lived in the mountains in Birmingham. He says he remembers seeing tornadoes below. I'm a student at UA; I've been there so long it feels like home. On April 27 I was at my place on Meador Drive, which is right by 15th street. I had heard the sirens before so I wasn't worried at first but I heard a tornado approaching. I went outside. It was black as night and the scariest thing about it were flashes of light I guess it was hitting power lines. There were police sirens in all directions. I wanted to run towards Botttom Feeders/Off Campus Bookstore but there was no time. I went back in my flimsy efficiency and the noise thankfully faded. Walking around 15th street after that time was surreal. Seeing people in shock, people that had lost everything, injured, muddy. I've read student accounts on the crimson white. People whose apartments were destroyed or worse. I was lucky, but my luck was others misfortune. Tornadoes are a very real part of Alabama. The cleanup is going to take a lot of time and a lot of work. The Drive By Truckers are very representative of Alabama and the south in general. I hope to hear them play soon.
    bkabbotton May 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's so scary knowing a tornando could tear apart everything your home and memories! I hope everyone stays safe!
    gaitherhomecomingon April 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm going to document everything about that day that I remember because I'm already getting older. I wasn't a hero just one of the normal people in Tuscaloosa that day.

    I was writing a paper. I smoked some weed to make myself paranoid so when I read my writing it would look like someone else's.

    The sirens had been going off but we were all nonchalant about it. Earlier in the day a blind student told me to stay home but I didn't take him seriously. I was a senior and sirens were commonplace.

    I wasn't watching TV I was focused on my paper when I suddenly heard a rumbling sound in the distance. It increased in intensity and I went outside.

    It was either so close, or so big all I saw was black. It was terrifying. I wanted to run but I remembered what they said so I went inside.

    I had been on the phone with my dad so I called my mom to tell her I loved her. Then the phone cut off everyone had the same idea.

    It got quieter and I walked to the end of the street with a neighbor. I later looked at the path and the tornado turned away from my street and also away from the heart of campus.

    At the end of my street the initial word was that DCH was obliterated. Nobody could make cell phone calls.

    As soon as I walked onto 15th street it was obvious that DCH was fine. What was amazing was the fact that I could see it because everything between it looked like it had been bombed.

    I walked down 15th and I remember two encounters. One was with two other students. I'll never forget he said "I hate to say it but I think a lot of people died". In retrospect not as many died as it looked. We got lucky. The other was a woman who told me, anyone the tornado took everything they had. Her daughter was bawling in panic and they put her on national TV later which is unfortunate.

    After the shock I decided to check on friends. Even though they were in the path they all were fine. I ran into a girl I knew at a gas station - they had a grill I had food so we decided to grill. Everything was cash of course. I bought beer everyone was buying beer.

    Cooking entailed me riding their bicycle back to my place. As soon as I left intense rain and winds came. The National Guard was here at this point directing refugees. Rumors were flying. I asked a refugee if another tornado was on the way and she said she didn't know. I hauled ass got the food changed into dry clothes and got back.

    Here is the worst part of my story. As I was lying on a couch thinking about everyone I thought about texting one friend to see if he was OK. I assumed he was. I later found out that his girl friend (now wife)'s house had been obliterated and her roommates were killed. She was spared because she was at the library.

    Maybe it's better I didn't call or text that night. I don't even think I called him for three months after the tornado. At his bachelor's party I didn't even get drunk because some old neighbor was feeding me AA bullshit. Really stupid.

    I guess if there's one thing you can pull from that know who your true friends are and be true to them.
    bkabbotton December 19, 2013   Link

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