‘Dixie”

Ludwig von Gress

When Georgia [Fog of Chaos – American War] is on our minds, we might as well reminisce over the famous “Dixie”, the unofficial anthem of the defeated South. Defeated militarily and economically, I hasten to add, but not spiritually to this very day. “Dixie” was first performed by minstrels in New York in April 1859, two years before the Fort Sumter shooting incident, which is considered a beginning of the Civil War. Apparently the New Yorkers “became wild with delight and seven encores were demanded”. Of course, the New Yorkers were always strange. When the war started, for the South it was a toss between “The Bonnie Blue Flag”, also known as “We Are a Band of Brothers”, a song inspired by St Crispin in Shakespeare’s Henry V; and “Dixie”. “Dixie” won.

Many myths of Southern slavery were created in order to assuage the memories of the North’s sordid slave history. For example, when a slave revolt on Manhattan Island in 1712 resulted in the deaths of six whites, at least eighteen blacks were sentenced to death. Most were hanged, some were broken into pieces and some were roasted over an open fire for eight hours. In 1741, following an attempted revolt, seventeen slaves were hanged and thirteen burned at stake.

Harriet Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel depicting a fictional slave master’s cruelty on a Southern plantation, had never been to the South and never seen a plantation. The third-largest slave-holder in South Carolina was a man named William Ellison. He and his family were staunch supporters of the Confederate cause, and one of his sons left the plantation to join an artillery unit. William Ellison was black, a former slave. The 1860 census had only 25% of white Southerners owning any slaves, with 0.7% owning more than fifty slaves and 0.1% owning more than two hundred slaves. Only 2.5% of the four million slaves in the South worked and lived on large cotton plantations.

It seems that public playing of this song is not politically correct. No, wonder, considering the racist lyrics:-

I wish I was in the land of cotton

Old times there are not forgotten

Look away, look away, look away,

Dixie land.

In Dixie land where I was born in,

Early on one frosty mornin’

Look away, look away, look away,

Dixie land.

I wish I was in Dixie, hooray, hooray!

In Dixie land I’ll take my stand to live and die in Dixie,

Away, away, away down south in Dixie,

Away, away, away down south in Dixie!

It was Lincoln’s favourite song. In Obama’s America, Abraham Lincoln is not politically correct either.

 

About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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One Response to ‘Dixie”

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