The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down Lyrics - The Band

Review The Song (8)

C Am C/G F F/E Dm
Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train,

Am C/G F F/E Dm
'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again.

Am/E F C Dm
In the winter of '65, We were hungry, just barely alive.

Am/E F C Dm D
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember, oh so well,


C/G Fmaj7 C/G Fmaj7
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and all the bells were ringing,

C/G Fmaj7 C/G Fmaj7
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and all the people were singin'. They went

C/G Am Gsus4 F C
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,

Am C F F/E Dm
Back with my wife in Tennessee, When one day she called to me,

Am C F F/E Dm
"Virgil, quick, come see,that can't be Robert E. Lee!"

Am/E F C Dm
Now I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if ma money's no good.

Am/E F
Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest,

C Dm D
But they should never have taken the very best. (Chorus)

Am C F F/E Dm
Like my father before me, I'm a workin' man,

Am C F F/E Dm
Like my brother before me, who took a rebel stand.

Am/E F C Dm
He was just eighteen, proud and brave, But a Yankee laid him in his grave,

Am/E F
I swear by the mud below my feet,

C Dm D
You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat. (Chorus)

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A humble opinion | Reviewer: davidmjackson | 7/23/11

I was also a muso during the 60's, driving up and down the M1 in england in a freezing cold van with no heater, and I would just like to say that the Band were something very special. Their voices were great, especially Levon Helm's,the songs were great, and the standard of musicianship was superb, because they had played together, I understand, for some time,so they gelled as a unit. I miss 'em.

The South Shall Rise Again... | Reviewer: Bert | 9/4/10

The song was inspired by Robinson's reaction to the Southern belief that the South will rise again. Central to this is the lyric "there goes Robert E Lee". REL sightings back then were as common as Elvis sightings 100 years later. Although the war was lost, the rebels were still proud and brave. But what they had lost was "the very best" and "you can't raise a Caine back up when he's in the field". From this rises the incredible feeling of tragic, irreplaceable loss that makes this song so powerful.

Song involving the Civil War. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/31/10

If you read the lyrics closely, it is Virgil's wife that mentions REL. Nowhere is it confirmed or stated as fact that it WAS REL. Kind of a finer point.

It would be as if my wife and I went to the Indianapolis 500 and she thought she saw (but didn't know any better) A.J. Foyt's team and assumed the guy out front was Foyt himself. However, she was wrong and the guy out front was actually Larry Foyt. My wife wouldn't be able to discern things that would be obvious like the age difference etc. IOW, she'd be talking' out her rear end.

I wonder if that was not the message to be conveyed?

Back with my wife in Tennessee | Reviewer: j craig | 1/26/10

history has no record of Robert E Lee being in tennessee in 1865. This is a moving song but i get hung up on a song that deals with the historical record and screws up the real story. well maybe she just thought she saw Mr. Lee.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down | Reviewer: Lee | 9/24/08

The words "I'm a workin man" are not of the original song as recorded by The Band, but instead are the lyrics of the cover sung by a young lady (whom I can not remember her name) by accident because she sand the words by ear without referring to a lyrics sheet. The original lyrics are "I will work the land". See wikipedia, The Band websites, and listen closely to the original song for reference.

The best version of this song belongs to... | Reviewer: Lon | 5/21/08

Dobie Gray...remember the guy that did "Drift Away"? He does a version of this song live on Volunteer Jam Volume 2. (VJ is a series of CD's released by Charlie Daniels) Search them on Amazon. There are several. Absolutely will make you cry it's so damn good.

The Night They Drove Down Dixie Down | Reviewer: Caroline | 6/11/07

I love The Last Waltz and this is my favourite song. It's performed brillantly and The Band!

Beautiful song | Reviewer: Nasty | 1/24/06

What a beautiful song this is; it has heart, it has soul. Truly a great tune to listen to, and a legendary band that is worth giving a listen to. These lyrics, this music will stay with you...truly the mark of a song that transcends the barriers of time :). What a song; ah, i love it! :)

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