The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

IMG_8730.JPG

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
By Robbie Robertson

Virgil Kane 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 wrote this song, which is about the American Civil War – “Dixie” is a term indicating the old American South, and was defeated by the Union army. Robertson came up with the music for this song, and then got the idea for the lyrics when he thought about the saying “The South will rise again,” which he heard the first time he visited the South. This led him to research the Civil War.

The song’s lyric refers to conditions in the Southern states in the winter of early 1865 (“We were hungry / Just barely alive”); the Confederate states are starving and defeated. Reference is made to the date May 10, 1865, by which time the Confederate capital of Richmond had long since fallen (in April); May 10 marked the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the definitive end of the Confederacy.

I decided to choose this song because of the Supreme Court turned away appeals Monday from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions. By refusing to hear the appeals, the Supreme Court is driving Old Dixie down. Yesterday’s decision only effects the southern state of Virginia, plus four northern states (though Oklahoma can be considered either).

The justices on Monday did not comment in rejecting the appeals from Wisconsin, Indiana (both Seventh Circuit), Oklahoma, Utah (both Tenth Circuit), and Virginia (Fourth Circuit). The First, Second, and Third Circuits are made up of states with marriage equality already in force.

The court’s order immediately ends delays on marriage in those states. Couples in six other states — Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming — should be able to get married in short order. Those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings that were put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s review.

That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. No other state cases were currently pending with the high court, but the justices stopped short of resolving for now the question of same-sex marriage nationwide.

Two other appeals courts, in Cincinnati and San Francisco, could issue decisions any time in same-sex marriage cases. Judges in the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit who are weighing pro-gay marriage rulings in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, appeared more likely to rule in favor of state bans than did the Ninth Circuit judges in San Francisco, who are considering Idaho and Nevada restrictions on marriage. This would leave only the Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits without rulings on marriage equality, though cases are making their way through the courts in these Circuits.

Experts and advocates on both sides of the issue believed the justices would step in and decide gay marriage cases this term. However, the justices sidestepped the issue for now. Advocates believe that the justices have an obligation to settle an issue of such national importance, not abdicate that responsibility to lower court judges. Opting out of hearing the cases leaves those lower court rulings in place, but it leaves twenty states in a state of limbo.

It takes just four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case, but it takes a majority of at least five for an eventual ruling. Monday’s opaque order did not indicate how the justices voted on whether to hear the appeals. Of there is a dispute with the Sixth Circuit ruling against marriage equality, then the Supreme Court will likely be forced to hear the case and make a nationwide decision. Only time will tell, but the Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits will likely eventually rule along the lines of what is expected of the Sixth Circuit, which will be further reason for the Court to take the case since their will be conflict in the lower courts. The Fifth and Eleventh Circuits are comprised of the Old Confederacy, a section of the country that is staunchly anti-LGBT rights. Virginia may have been brought down but the fight is not over.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

BosGuy

The life and interests of a gay, urban professional from Boston

myhusband&i

two guys making out & trying to make it

NAKd.life Opus

Real men. Really NAKd.

Jamie Fessenden's Blog

The musings of a gay fiction author

Recked with Finn West

"Your body, naturist & lifestyle blog"

Sex, Love, Xander

The Ins & Outs of Being Out

Stumbling Through Life

the struggles of a Pansexual Christian

jackiperrette

exploring life, writing & alternative romance

gaygeeks.wordpress.com/

Authors, Artists, Geeks, Husbands

A Queens' Queen in Exile

Memoirs on the death of camp

Kade Boehme

Southern boy...hold the charm...extra sass.

The Amazon Iowan

Blog of Author Heidi Cullinan • full website at heidicullinan.com

Lust Spiel Magazine

Gay literature meets gay art meets much more

Mia Kerick

Love is What I See

The Novel Approach Reviews

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

badass theology

very reformed. very christian. very gay.

Get It Write

Perseverance Press authors' blog

Bro Bonding

Making the best of Bro time

%d bloggers like this: