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"Dixie" still remains topic of controversy

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"Dixie" still remains topic of controversy | Heritage, History, Civil War, Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Battle of Stones River

Dan Emmett wrote Dixie.
Just like many other issues raised by the Civil War, the origins, meaning and intent of the song, "Dixie," remains a topic of debate.

Both Confederate and Union troops had their own favorite songs both patriotic and sentimental.

"The Battle Cry of Freedom" was a Union favorite, but there was a Southern version of the song as well.

The Battle Cry Of Freedom Northern Version

Yes, we'll rally 'round the flag, boys
We'll rally once again
Shouting the battle cry of freedom
We will rally from the hillside
We'll gather from the plain
Shouting the battle cry of freedom.

CHORUS
The Union forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star!
While we rally 'round the flag, boys,
Rally once again
Shouting the battle cry of freedom.

The Battle Cry Of Freedom Southern Version

Our flag is proudly floating on the land and on the main,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Beneath it oft we've conquered, and we'll conquer oft again!
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

CHORUS
Our Dixie forever! She's never at a loss!
Down with the eagle and up with the cross!
We'll rally 'round the bonny flag, we'll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!


"John Brown's Body" was transformed by poet Julia Ward Howe into the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Confederates particularly enjoyed "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and the romantic "Lorena." Both armies shared songs like "Just Before The Battle Mother," "Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground," "The Vacant Chair" and "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!"

Then there was "Dixie," or more properly, "Dixie's Land."

The song was written in 1859 by Daniel Emmett, an Ohio native, who was a member of Bryant's Minstrels. Some believe "Dixie" was really a tune passed on to Emmett by a pair of African-American brothers born to parents who were slaves.

Emmett was a proficient song writer who also penned "Turkey in the Straw," "Old Dan Tucker," and "Blue-Tail Fly."

When Bryant's Minstrels introduced the song in New York City it quickly became a hit with its infectious 4/4 beat. The song wasn't intended to be serious. Its nature was more satirical. But the fact that it was performed by white minstrels in blackface with exaggerated black English vernacular was the first of many reasons the song became so racially charged.

It was the first verse and chorus of the song that caused it to become the unofficial anthem of the Confederate states:

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
Then 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


"Dixie" became a hit in the South when the Rumsey and Newcomb Minstrels performed the song in New Orleans in March 1860. Emmett told a fellow performer that same year, "If I had known to what use they were going to put my song, I will be damned if I'd have written it."

Others, including Gen. Albert Pike, wrote new lyrics for the song, abandoning all of the minstrel verses except for "In Dixie Land, I'll take my stand ... To live and die in Dixie"

There were even Union lyrics for the song:

Away down South in the land of traitors,
Rattlesnakes and alligators,
Right away, come away, right away, come away.
Where cotton's king and men are chattels,
Union boys will win the battles,
Right away, come away, right away, come away.


During the Reconstruction period, rancor continued to grow for the song and its ties to slavery.

However, it didn't truly fall out of favor until the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Some of the earliest protests came from Southern universities where the song was a marching band staple. The fact that segregationists adopted "Dixie" as their answer to songs like "We Shall Overcome" was the death knell for the song which was increasing regarded a as a racist relic.

Generally, if the song is now performed in public it is placed in a historical context and played generally in instrumental form like in Ken Burns' "The Civil War" series on PBS.
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January 01, 2007 at 6:00pm
I am very sad about the censorship of the song "Dixie." It is one of the best pieces of country music ever written. It has been compared to the Marseillaise.

I never thought of the song as racist. For example, I long associated Dixieland Jazz with black musicians like Louis Armstrong. It was only recently that I learned that Dixieland Jazz was introduced by white musicians.
January 01, 2007 at 6:00pm
The Confederate flag represents Limited Constitutional Federal Government, States Rights, Resistance to Tyranny, and Christian Values and Principles. Thus it represents the same principles as the Betsy Ross U.S.flag--the principles America was founded upon. As America experiments with Globalism, Socialism, and Secular Humanism it is important for patriotic American's to fly the Confederate flag as a reminder of these basic principles. America has 2 choices--1.Reclaim our heritage or 2.we will eventually surrender our Constitution and Sovereignty to the New World Order--a Godless Socialist United Nations. Many black Americans have been indoctrinated by Northern Liberal Marxist Socialists to view the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and bigotry. They are being used and manipulated for political purposes to assist in the conversion of America to socialism and secular humanism. The infamous Communist Karl Marx said "A people separated from their heritage are easily persuaded". This is the real reason they want to destroy and ban Confederate heritage and symbols which are 180 degrees diametrically opposed to Socialism and Secular Humanism. The Communist Lenin coined the term "useful idiots". Many white liberals fit this catagory as well as Southern politicians who are helping destroy Confederate principles, heritage, and symbols. White Southern Christians who fly the Confederate flag are not the enemy of black Americans. It is true that KKK and other groups have misused, misrepresented, and abused the Confederate flag but this should not invalidate the true meaning of this honorable flag in the minds of educated knowledgeable Americans.
The song "Dixie" is one of the many Southern-Confederate symbols the Liberal Marxist Socialists are trying to ban and destroy for the aforementioned evil purposes.
January 01, 2007 at 6:00pm
THE 10 CAUSES OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES (Civil War)
PART 1.

Historians have long debated the causes of the war and the Southern
perspective differs greatly from the Northern perspective. Based upon the
study of original documents of theWar Between The States (Civil War) era and facts and information published
by Confederate Veterans, Confederate Chaplains, Southern writers and Southern Historians before, during, and after the war, I present the facts, opinions, and conclusions stated in the following article.

Technically the 10 causes listed are reasons for Southern secession. The
only cause of the war was that the South was invaded and responded to
Northern aggression.

I respectfully disagree with those who claim that the War Between the
States was fought over slavery or that the abolition of slavery in the
Revolutionary Era or early Federal period would have prevented war. It is my
opinion that war was inevitable between the North and South due to complex
political and cultural differences. The famous Englishman Winston Churchill
stated that the war between the North and South was one of the most
unpreventable wars in history. The Cause that the Confederate States of
America fought for (1861-1865) was Southern Independence from the United
States of America. Many parallels exist between the War for American
Independence ( 1775-1783 ) and the War for Southern Independence.

There were 10 political causes of the war (causes of Southern Secession) ---one of which was slavery--
which was a scapegoat for all the differences that existed between the North
and South. The Northern industrialists had wanted a war since about 1830 to
get the South's resources ( land-cotton-coal-timber-minerals ) for pennies
on the dollar. All wars are economic and are always between centralists and
decentralists.The North would have found an excuse to invade the South even
if slavery had never existed.

A war almost occurred during 1828-1832 over the tariff when South
Carolina passed nullification laws. The U.S. congress had increased the
tariff rate on imported products to 40% ( known as the tariff of
abominations in Southern States ). This crisis had nothing to do with
slavery. If slavery had never existed --period--or had been eliminated at
the time the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 or anytime
prior to 1860 it is my opinion that there would still have been a war sooner
or later.

On a human level there were 4 causes of the war--New England Greed--New
England Fanatics--New England Zealots--and New England Hypocrites. During
"So Called Reconstruction" ( 1865-1877 ) the New England Industrialists got
what they had really wanted for 40 years--THE SOUTH'S RESOURCES FOR PENNIES
ON THE DOLLAR. It was a political coalition between the New England economic
interests and the New England fanatics and zealots that caused Southern
secession to be necessary for economic survival and safety of the
population.

1. TARIFF--Prior to the war about 75% of the money to operate the Federal
Government was derived from the Southern States via an unfair sectional
tariff on imported goods and 50% of the total 75% was from just 4 Southern
states--Virginia-North Carolina--South Carolina and Georgia. Only 10%--20%
of this tax money was being returned to the South. The Southern states were
being treated as an agricultural colony of the North and bled dry. John
Randolph of Virginia's remarks in opposition to the tariff of 1820
demonstrates that fact. The North claimed that they fought the war to
preserve the Union but the New England Industrialists who were in control of
the North were actually supporting preservation of the Union to maintain and
increase revenue from the tariff. The industrialists wanted the South to pay
for the industrialization of America at no expense to themselves. Revenue
bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives prior to the War
Between the States were biased, unfair and inflammatory to the South.
Abraham Lincoln had promised the Northern industrialists that he would
increase the tariff rate if he was elected president of the United States.
Lincoln increased the rate to a level that exceeded even the "Tariff of
Abominations" 40% rate that had so infuriated the South during the 1828-1832
era ( between 50 and 51% on iron goods). The election of a president that
was Anti-Southern on all issues and politically associated with the New
England industrialists, fanatics, and zealots brought about the Southern
secession movement.

2. CENTRALIZATION VERSUS STATES RIGHTS---The United States of America was
founded as a Constitutional Federal Republic in 1789 composed of a Limited
Federal Government and Sovereign States. The North wanted to and did alter
the form of Government this nation was founded upon. The Confederate States
of America fought to preserve Constitutional Limited Federal Government as
established by America's founding fathers who were primarily Southern
Gentlemen from Virginia. Thus Confederate soldiers were fighting for rights
that had been paid for in blood by their forefathers upon the battlefields
of the American Revolution. Abraham Lincoln had a blatant disregard for The
Constitution of the United States of America. His War of aggression Against
the South changed America from a Constitutional Federal Republic to a
Democracy ( with Socialist leanings ) and broke the original Constitution.
The infamous Socialist Karl Marx sent Lincoln a letter of congratulations
after his reelection in 1864. A considerable number of European Socialists
came to America and fought for the Union (North).

January 01, 2007 at 6:00pm
THE 10 CAUSES OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
PART 2.

3. CHRISTIANITY VERSUS SECULAR HUMANISM--The South believed in basic
Christianity as presented in the Holy Bible.The North had many Secular
Humanists ( atheists, transcendentalists and non-Christians ). Southerners
were afraid of what kind of country America might become if the North had
its way. Secular Humanism is the belief that there is no God and that
man,science and government can solve all problems. This philosophy advocates
human rather than religious values. Reference : Frank Conner's book "The
South Under Siege 1830-2000."

4. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES--Southerners and Northerners were of different
Genetic Lineages. Southerners were primarily of Western English (original
Britons),Scottish,and Irish linage (Celtic) whereas Northerners tended to be
of Anglo-Saxon and Danish (Viking) extraction. The two cultures had been at
war and at odds for over 1000 years before they arrived in America. Our
ancient ancestors in Western England under King Arthur humbled the Saxon
princes at the battle of Baden Hill ( circa 497 AD --516 AD ). The cultural
differences that contributed to the War Between the States (1861-1865 ) had
existed for 1500 years or more.

5. CONTROL OF WESTERN TERRITORIES--The North wanted to control Western
States and Territories such as Kansas and Nebraska. New England formed
Immigrant Aid Societies and sent settlers to these areas that were
politically attached to the North. They passed laws against slavery that
Southerners considered punitive. These political actions told Southerners
they were not welcome in the new states and territories. It was all about
control--slavery was a scapegoat.

6. NORTHERN INDUSTRIALISTS WANTED THE SOUTH'S RESOURCES. The Northern
Industrialists wanted a war to use as an excuse to get the South's resources
for pennies on the dollar. They began a campaign about 1830 that would
influence the common people of the North and create enmity that would allow
them to go to war against the South. These Northern Industrialists brought
up a morality claim against the South alleging the evils of slavery. The
Northern Hypocrites conveniently neglected to publicize the fact that 5 New
England States ( Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
and New York ) were primarily responsible for the importation of most of the
slaves from Africa to America. These states had both private and state owned
fleets of ships.

7. SLANDER OF THE SOUTH BY NORTHERN NEWSPAPERS. This political cause ties
in to the above listed efforts by New England Industrialists. Beginning
about 1830 the Northern Newspapers began to slander the South. The
Industrialists used this tool to indoctrinate the common people of the
North. They used slavery as a scapegoat and brought the morality claim up to
a feverish pitch. Southerners became tired of reading in the Northern
Newspapers about what bad and evil people they were just because their
neighbor down the road had a few slaves. This propaganda campaign created
hostility between the ordinary citizens of the two regions and created the
animosity necessary for war. The Northern Industrialists worked poor whites
in the factories of the North under terrible conditions for 18 hours a day
( including children ). When the workers became old and infirm they were
fired. It is a historical fact that during this era there were thousands of
old people living homeless on the streets in the cities of the North. In the
South a slave was cared for from birth to death. Also the diet and living
conditions of Southern slaves was superior to that of most white Northern
factory workers. Southerners deeply resented this New England hypocrisy and
slander.

January 01, 2007 at 6:00pm
THE 10 CAUSES OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
Part 3.


8. NEW ENGLANDERS ATTEMPTED TO INSTIGATE MASSIVE SLAVE REBELLIONS IN THE
SOUTH. Abolitionists were a small but vocal and militant group in New
England who demanded instant abolition of slavery in the South. These
fanatics and zealots were calling for massive slave uprisings that would
result in the murder of Southern men, women and children. Southerners were
aware that such an uprising had occurred in Santa Domingo in the 1790 era
and that the French (white) population had been massacred. The abolitionists
published a terrorist manifesto and tried to smuggle 100,000 copies into the
South showing slaves how to murder their masters at night. Then when John
Brown raided Harpers Ferry,Virginia in 1859 the political situation became
inflammatory. Prior to this event there had been more abolition societies in the
South than in the North. Lincoln and most of the
Republican Party ( 64 members of congress ) had adopted a political platform
in support of terrorist acts against the South. Some (allegedly including
Lincoln) had contributed monetarily as supporters of John Browns terrorist
activities.. Again slavery was used as a scapegoat for all differences that
existed between the North and South.

9.. SLAVERY. Indirectly slavery was a cause of the war. Most Southerners
did not own slaves and would not have fought for the protection of slavery.
However they believed that the North had no Constitutional right to free
slaves held by citizens of Sovereign Southern States. Prior to the war there
were five times as many abolition societies in the South as in the North.
Virtually all educated Southerners were in favor of gradual emancipation of
slaves. Gradual emancipation would have allowed the economy and labor system
of the South to gradually adjust to a free paid labor system without
economic collapse. Furthermore, since the New England States were
responsible for the development of slavery in America, Southerners saw the
morality claims by the North as blatant hypocrisy. The first state to
legalize slavery had been Massachusetts in 1641 and this law was directed
primarily at Indians. In colonial times the economic infrastructure of the
port cities of the North was dependent upon the slave trade. The first slave
ship in America, "THE DESIRE", was fitted out in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Further proof that Southerners were not fighting to preserve slavery is
found in the diary of an officer in the Confederate Army of Northern
Virginia. He stated that "he had never met a man in the Army of Northern
Virginia that claimed he was fighting to preserve slavery". If the war had
been over slavery, the composition of the politicians, officers, enlisted
men, and even African Americans would have been different. Confederate
General Robert E. Lee had freed his slaves (Custis estate) prior to 1863
whereas Union General Grant's wife Julia did not free her slaves until after
the war when forced to do so by the 13th amendment to the constitution.
Grant even stated that if the abolitionists claimed he was
fighting to free slaves that he would offer his services to the South.
Mildred Lewis Rutherford ( 1852-1928 ) was for many years the historian for
the United Daughters Of The Confederacy (UDC). In her book Truths Of History
she stated that there were more slaveholders in the Union Army ( 315,000 )
than the Confederate Army ( 200,000 ). Statistics and estimates also show that about
300,000 blacks supported the Confederacy versus about 200,000 for the Union.
Clearly the war would have been fought along different lines if it had been
fought over slavery. The famous English author Charles Dickens stated " the
Northern onslaught upon Southern slavery is a specious piece of humbug
designed to mask their desire for the economic control of the Southern
states."

10, NORTHERN AGGRESSION AGAINST SOUTHERN STATES, Proof that Abraham
Lincoln wanted war may be found in the manner he handled the Fort Sumter
incident. Original correspondence between Lincoln and Naval Captain G.V.Fox
shows proof that Lincoln acted with deceit and willfully provoked South
Carolina into firing on the fort ( A TARIFF COLLECTION FACILITY ). It was
politically important that the South be provoked into firing the first shot
so that Lincoln could claim the Confederacy started the war. Additional
proof that Lincoln wanted war is the fact that Lincoln refused to meet with
a Confederate peace delegation. They remained in Washington for 30 days and
returned to Richmond only after it became apparent that Lincoln wanted war
and refused to meet and discuss a peace agreement. After setting up the Fort
Sumter incident for the purpose of starting a war, Lincoln called for 75,000
troops to put down what he called a rebellion. He intended to march Union
troops across Virginia and North Carolina to attack South Carolina. Virginia
and North Carolina were not going to allow such an unconstitutional and
criminal act of aggression against a sovereign sister Southern State.
Lincoln's act of aggression caused the secession of the upper Southern
States.

On April 17th 1861, Governor Letcher of Virginia sent this message to
Washington DC: " I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be
furnished to the powers of Washington for any such use or purpose as they
have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern states and the
requisition made upon me for such a object-an object in my judgement not
within the purview of the constitution or the act of 1795, will not be
complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; having done so we
will meet you in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited
toward the South."

The WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 1861-1865 occurred due to many complex causes
and factors as enumerated above. Those who make claims that "the war was
over slavery" or that if slavery had been abolished in 1776 when the
Declaration of Independence was signed or in 1789 when The Constitution of
the United States of America was signed, that war would not have occurred
between North and South are being very simplistic in their views and
opinions.

The following conversation between English ship Captain Hillyar and Capt. Raphael Semmes-Confederate Ship CSS Alabama occurred during the war on August 5th, 1861. It is a summary from a well-educated Southerner who is stating his reasons for fighting.
Captain Hillyar expressed surprised at Captain Semme's contention that the people of the South were "defending ourselves against robbers with knives at our throats", and asked for further clarification as to how this was so, the exchange below occurred. I especially was impressed with Semmes' assessment of yankee motives - the creation of "Empire"!
Semmes: "Simply that the machinery of the Federal Government, under which we have lived, and which was designed for the common benefit, has been made the means of despoiling the South, to enrich the North", and I explained to him the workings of the iniquitous tariffs, under the operation of which the South had, in effect, been reduced to a dependent colonial condition, almost as abject as that of the Roman provinces, under their proconsuls; the only difference being, that smooth-faced hypocrisy had been added to robbery, inasmuch as we had been plundered under the forms of law"
Captain Hillyar: "All this is new to me", replied the captain. "I thought that your war had arisen out of the slavery question".
Semmes: "That is the common mistake of foreigners. The enemy has taken pains to impress foreign nations with this false view of the case. With the exception of a few honest zealots, the canting hypocritical Yankee cares as little for our slaves as he does for our draught animals. The war which he has been making upon slavery for the last 40 years is only an interlude, or by-play, to help on the main action of the drama, which is Empire; and it is a curious coincidence that it was commenced about the time the North began to rob the South by means of its tariffs. When a burglar designs to enter a dwelling for the purpose of robbery, he provides himself with the necessary implements. The slavery question was one of the implements employed to help on the robbery of the South. It strengthened the Northern party, and enabled them to get their tariffs through Congress; and when at length, the South, driven to the wall, turned, as even the crushed worm will turn, it was cunningly perceived by the Northern men that 'No slavery' would be a popular war-cry, and hence, they used it.
It is true that we are defending our slave property, but we are defending it no more than any other species of our property - it is all endangered, under a general system of robbery. We are in fact, fighting for independence.

The Union victory in 1865 destroyed the right of secession in
America,which had been so cherished by America's founding fathers as the
principle of their revolution. British historian and political philosopher
Lord Acton, one of the most intellectual figures in Victorian England,
understood the deeper meaning of Southern defeat. In a letter to former
Confederate General Robert E. Lee dated November 4,1866, Lord Acton wrote "
I saw in States Rights the only available check upon the absolutism of the
sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction
but as the redemption of Democracy. I deemed you were fighting the battles
of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization and I mourn for that
which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was
saved at Waterloo (defeat of Napoleon). As Illinois Governor Richard Yates
stated in a message to his state assembly on January 2,1865, the war had "
tended, more than any other event in the history of the country, to militate
against the Jeffersonian Ideal ( Thomas Jefferson ) that the best government
is that which governs least.

Years after the war former Confederate president Jefferson Davis stated " I
Am saddened to Hear Southerners Apologize For Fighting To Preserve Our
Inheritance". Some years later former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt
stated " Those Who Will Not Fight For The Graves Of Their Ancestors Are
Beyond Redemption".



James W. King

Commander Camp 141

Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson

Sons of Confederate Veterans

PO Box 70577 Albany, Georgia 31708

229-436-0397

jkingantiquearms@bellsouth.net

February 06, 2007 at 6:00pm
Larry- I grew up in M'boro and remember when I attended Mitchell Neilson Elementary School (1979-83 so not that long ago),we learned to sing "Dixie" in music class. Ahhh...the good ole days....
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