Music > Songs

Dixie's Land

<a href="http://balladofamerica.bandcamp.com/track/dixies-land">Dixie's Land by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

About Dixie's Land

Although known as a Southern anthem, Dixie's Land was written for the minstrel stage by Daniel Decatur Emmett in New York City. The song was so popular in the South that it became generally accepted as the rallying song of the Confederacy.

Abraham Lincoln loved the song since he first heard it at a show by the Rumsey and Newcomb Minstrels in Chicago in 1860. According to a fellow attorney who attended the show with him, after Dixie's Land was played, Lincoln clapped and shouted "Let's have it again! Let's have it again!"

With the end to the Civil War, which had lasted four years, seemingly in sight, President Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865. He proclaimed, "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds." With that idea in mind, on April 8, 1865, the day before Confederate commander Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant, Lincoln requested that a military band on board the River Queen play Dixie's Land , the song to which nearly all of the Southern attacks had been conducted. According to a French writer who accompanied him, Lincoln said, "That tune is now Federal property and it is good to show the rebels that, with us in power, they will be free to hear it again."

(see Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln: Ballad of America Volume 3 for additional notes on this song)

Lyrics to Dixie's Land

Dixie's Land

chorus:

Oh, 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

verses:

Oh, 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

(chorus)

Old Missus marry Will, the weaver
William was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

But when he put his arm around her
He smiled as fierce as a forty pounder
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

(chorus)

His face was sharp as a butcher's cleaver
But that did not seem to grieve her
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

Old Missus acted the foolish part
And died for a man that broke her heart
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

(chorus)

Now here's a health to the next old Missus
And all the gals that want to kiss us
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

But if you want to drive away sorrow
Come and hear this song tomorrow
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land

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<a href="http://balladofamerica.bandcamp.com/track/dixies-land">Dixie's Land by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

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Video of Dixie's Land

Compact Disc with Dixie's Land

This song is available on the compact disc:
Ballad of America Volume 3: Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln
Dixie's Land is on the album Ballad of America Volume 3: Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln

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