December 13, 2004

*And I Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie

This last election season, there was some press about various singers and songwriters upset about their songs being used politically. This sort of thing was nothing new, as Daniel Emmett could attest.

Emmett wrote three songs you might recognize: "Jimmy Crack Corn", "Old Dan Tucker", and "Dixie's Land".

Emmett wrote "Dixie" in 1859 in New York City. The song quickly became a hit and spread throughout the country. Two years later, it was played at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis and became a Confederate Army marching song.

Emmett--a Union loyalist--was horrified that the South had appropriated his song: "If I'd known to what use they were going to put my song, I'll be damned if I'd have written it."

After General Lee surrendered, President Lincoln asked a band to play one of his favorite songs. Guess which one.

Posted by Jennifer at December 13, 2004 04:42 PM


I love the song Dixie. When I was at Georgia, the Dixie Red Coat Band came on the football field playing Dixie at every home and away game, until the middle 70's. Fuckem, I love and wish they still played it, Go Dawg's, Cat.

Posted by: Catfish at December 13, 2004 06:59 PM

There are times I wonder how the universe is large enough to contain all the irony I find in it...

Posted by: Jack at December 13, 2004 07:04 PM

I'd always heard Lincoln's "Let the band play Dixie" was a gesture of goodwill toward reuniting the that just one of those feel-good spins?

Posted by: nic at December 14, 2004 06:10 AM