“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” — The Band (and a cover by Joan Baez)

The fate of Cain and Abel is still alive and kicking while they themselves are not. The constant war and suffering is taking brothers and sisters all over the world. Beautiful and sad lyrics anyone can appreciate but still not register that what they imply is still relevant today as it was when the words were first written. We just cannot learn from lessons of the past.

Taking Sides

I was listening to The Band this morning, and in particular to “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

It is a song about the suffering of people caught in the crossfire of power elites settling a feud among themselves and that, however it may turn out, will not be of any benefit to ordinary people.

When Robbie Robertson wrote the lyrics to this, he had the American Civil War in mind.  When I listen to this, it evokes for me the absolutely needless destruction and suffering inflicted on people in times of war, and my heart does break (yes, sometimes music, like poetry, will do that to me).

I offer two renditions, both of which are, to my mind, simply beautiful and deeply touching (the lyrics are posted below):

“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

Virgil Caine is the name

And I served on the Danville train


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