Tom Petty

About Rebels

"Rebels" is a song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It appeared on the 1985 album Southern Accents and was released as a single in the same year. Although it only reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, it fared much better on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart, where it peaked at #5.


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Honey don't walk out I'm too drunk to follow 
You know you won't feel this way tomorrow 
Well, maybe I'm a little rough around the edges 
Inside a little hollow 
I get faced with some things sometimes 
That are so hard to swallow 
Hey hey hey! 

I was born a rebel 
Down in Dixie on a Sunday morning 
Yeah with one foot in the grave 
And one foot on the pedal 
I was born a rebel 

Well she picked me up in the morning 
And she paid all my tickets 
Yeah she screamed in the car 
And threw me out in the thicket 
Well I never would've dreamed 
That her heart was so wicked 
Oh but I keep coming back 
Cause it's so hard to kick it 

I was born a rebel 
Down in Dixie on a Sunday morning 
Yeah with one foot in the grave 
And on e foot on the pedal 
I was born a rebel 

Even before my father's fathers 
They called us all rebels 
Burned our cornfields 
And left our cities leveled 
I can still see the eyes 
Of those blue bellied devils 
When I'm walking round tonight 
Through the concrete and metal 

I was born a rebel 
Down in Dixie on a Sunday morning 
Yeah with one foot in the grave 
And one foot on the pedal 
I was born a rebel

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Tom Petty

Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty (born October 20, 1950) was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He was the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and was a founding member of the late 1980s supergroup Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch. He had also performed under the pseudonyms of Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury. more »

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Written by: Tom Petty

Lyrics © Gone Gator Music

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Band & Artist
"Rebels" is a song by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Petty served as the band's lead singer and also played rhythm guitar.
It is included on the band's album "Southern Accents," which was released in 1985.
Origin of Song
"Rebels" was written by Petty and is about the legacy of being a Southern American.
Petty lyrically drew from his own Southern background and ancestry for this song. His relatives in Florida were working-class people, and their experiences had a profound impact on his songwriting.
While recording the album "Southern Accents," Petty became so frustrated and obsessed with "Rebels” that he punched a wall and severely injured his left hand, necessitating several surgeries.
Live Performances
"Rebels" was often performed by Petty and the band during live shows. A live version of the song was included on the 1985 album "Pack Up the Plantation: Live!"
Recurring Themes
The song explores recurring themes present in much of Petty's work, including detestation of bigotry and injustice.
Musical Composition
The song is built around a traditional rock and roll riff, with Petty's distinctive vocals echoing the confessions of a modern Southern rebel.
Impact and Legacy
Despite the difficulties Petty experienced during its recording, "Rebels" has since become a beloved song among his fans.
Although the song may not have been as commercially successful as some of Petty's other hits, it has been praised for its raw emotional power and poignant exploration of Southern identity.

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    3,872     187

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1985

    Billboard #74



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