The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOi0tC00Luc

 

 

The Night they Drove Old Dixie  Down

Virgil Cane is the name

And I served on the Danville train
‘Till Stoneman’s cavalry came
And tore up the tracks again

In the winter of ’65
We were hungry, just barely alive
By May the 10th, Richmond had fell
It’s a time I remember, oh so well

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “Na, na, la, na, na, la”

Back with my wife in Tennessee
When one day she called to me
“Virgil, quick, come see,
There goes Robert E. Lee!”

Now, I don’t mind chopping wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
You take what you need and you leave the rest
But they should never have taken the very best

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And all the people were singing
They went, “Na, na, la, na, na, la”

Like my father before me
I will work the land
And like my brother above me
Who took a rebel stand

He was just 18, proud and brave
But a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the mud below my feet
You can’t raise a Kane back up when he’s in defeat

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And all the people were singing
They went, “Na, na, la, na, na, la”

The night they drove old Dixie down
And all the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “Na, na, la, na, na, la”

                                                         …….Robbie Robertson

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down  By Bill White

“State your name.”

“Hezekiah Cane.”

“Do you swear to tell   the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

“I do.”

“You are accused of flying the confederate flag on your front porch. How do you plead?”

“Not guilty.”

“In your deposition, you admit to raising the flag.”

“I admit to the act, but not the crime.”

“Are you aware that the flying of the confederate flag, even on private property, is a crime?”

“No. I am not aware of that.  I know that the flags have been prohibited in public places, but was not aware that my right to fly my flag on my property had been taken away from me.”

“Mr., Cane, what was your purpose in raising the confederate flag?”

“To remember, and to honor, my ancestors who died behind it.”

“It had nothing to do with a desire to resurrect the glory days of a slave-driven economy?”

“The Canes have never owned slaves.  My father and his father before him and his father before him worked the land by their own hands.”

“So your raising of the flag had nothing to do with nostalgia for an inhumane system of labor that has been outlawed for nearly 200 years.”

“Nothing whatsoever.”

“Are you familiar with the saying, “every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword?????”

“Yes sir.That line was spoken by Abraham Lincoln.”

“What do you think he meant by it?”

“It was his way of declaring war on every southerner for the wrongs that had been committed by just a few.  Now the Cane family was poor, but they weren’t ignorant .And they wrote letters and diaries so I know what they did and what they thought.  One of my ancestors, Virgil Cane, wrote about seeing an auction block one time.  And he described it as a few Yankees coming down and selling slaves to the rich plantation owners.  He said nothing about the regular farmers buying any of them.  They did their own work with their own hands and were proud of the work they did.  But the Yankees came down and slaughtered them and their families, burned their houses and farms, all to make up for what was done by the rich southern folk,   and they weren’t about to touch them, because they did their banking up North.”

“Do you honestly believe that?”

“Hey, history has always been written by the winners.  No matter what I say, there aren’t going to be many who believe me.  You all got it in your heads that us southerners area bunch of racist creeps.  But you know what?  It was the white Southerners who did the most to get the civil rights act of 1965 passed.  You sent down some dumb assed kids who didn’t know what they were doing and they got themselves killed so you had your Yankee martyrs, but the fight  for equality was our fight, and we won that fight, black and white southerners together, not a handful of white Yankees.  You are not the heroes of our history, so why should we raise your flag?”

“It is not mandatory to fly the American flag; but it is against the law to fly the confederate flag.  And that is the law you stand accused of breaking. So far, you have stated nothing in defense of that violation.  I am your attorney, and you are my witness, but sometimes I feel like you are my prosecutor, and I am the one defending someone else’s right to accuse you.”

“Well, that’s Yankee justice for you.”

 

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