Things the Devil Should Have Done Besides Go Down to Georgia

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." The song, which climbed all the way to No. 3 on the


Hot 100 and lives on today as a "boss battle" in

Guitar Hero 3

, made its first appearance on the group's 1979 album

Million Mile Reflections

. It's actually hard for us to believe that the song is 30 years old, since it always seemed way older. Daniels and his band - who appear at the

"Sean Hannity Freedom Concert"

August 1 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, alongside Lee Greenwood, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael W. Smith and the song stylings of Lt. Col. Oliver North - performed the song during a scene in the Pasadena-shot classic film

Urban Cowboy

, forever cementing it the Houston pantheon. We don't know a world without the story of the Satan trying to out-fiddle some poor dude for his soul. But earthly folk fighting the Devil for their souls isn't a new thing. In Suicidal Tendencies' 1983 track "Suicide's An Alternative/You'll Be Sorry" the protagonist just brushes off Ol' Pitch with the line "Fuck you, you little red-assed goblined-breathed horned-head motherfucker!" That seems much easier than entering into a duel with the guy to win a golden fiddle. Gold is overrated anyhow. But let's take a look at the song's content. The Devil goes down to Georgia, which could imply a myriad of things. Satan is based in the North possibly, meaning that he may live on the East Coast or maybe even share a ZIP code with Santa Claus at the North Pole. Or maybe Georgia is even lower than Hell itself, an unsettling thought for the population of the "Peach State." As diehard Astros fans, we have sometimes though the Atlanta Braves were sent straight from Hell to destroy us on any number of occasions. But why would the Devil come down to Georgia specifically to play the fiddle with a mere mortal? What was so good about Johnny's playing that would some the Prince of Darkness? There are about a million other things the Devil could have done besides appear before some random dude to have a good old-fashioned country hoedown. Such as:

  • Appear in Canada before a young impressionable Chad Kroeger and persuade him to not play guitar and instead take up acting...
  • Changed the outcome of that year's Super Bowl XIII so the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys, saving thousands of televisions all over Texas from beer-bottle damage...
  • Stop the premiere of the long-running disco cash-in Solid Gold from hitting the airwaves...
  • Prevent Michael Schenker from leaving the Scorpions...
  • Prevent Joe Perry from temporarily leaving Aerosmith, which in turn subjected us to the Joe Perry Project and the 'Smith's awful Perry-less album Rock In a Hard Place...
  • Stop some asshole from throwing a firecracker at Bruce Springsteen during a show in Cleveland...
  • Prevent the members of A Flock of Seagulls from forming, which pulverized '80s music into one big hair joke...
  • Saved Sid Vicious from his fatal heroin overdose. Wait - you know what? That was probably best for everybody. Just ask Gary Oldman...

And lastly, if the devil never went down to Georgia, this wouldn't exist...

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