The Band essays - Track 3 Side 1 - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
This idea sprang from here.
I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. I now request the band to favor me with its performance…
—Abraham Lincoln (less than a week before he was assassinated)
It's time to write about The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and I really don't know how this is gonna end up. So here goes nothing.
It's a great song that's also become some sort of paean to the odious lost-cause narrative, the south will rise again and all that bullshit, which I suppose most folks didn't really think much about until people started scaling the walls of the US Capitol and spearing cops with confederate flags on live TV. There's no telling how many of these guys fired up this song at dollar beer Karaoke night and wailed away at the "na na na na na na" part. So surely some reckoning is in order. But don’t get mad at me until you read this entire thing, because there are lots of moving pieces here.