Band ( The ) - The night they drove old Dixie down

First performance: 01/09/1971


Coverinfo

Bruce played the song only once:
 
 
With The Bruce Springsteen Band, on 01 Sep 1971 in Long Branch, Very little is known about shows from this early period, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates. The song was played in a slow full-band arrangement.The line-up for this show is Springsteen, Van Zandt, Sancious, Tallent and Lopez.
 
 
 

Songinfo

"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is a song written by Robbie Robertson and originally recorded by the Canadian-American group the Band in 1969 and released on their second album. Levon Helm provided the lead vocals. The song is a first-person narrative relating the economic and social distress experienced by the protagonist, a poor white Southerner, during the last year of the American Civil War. Frequently appearing on lists of the best rock songs of all time.
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

Bruce on Levon Helm from "The Band " :
 
After the passing of Levon Helm, Bruce did tribute to Helm by covering " the weight " telling how he influenced him, joking that when he auditioned drummer Max Weinberg that he made him sing. "He was one of the greatest, greatest voices in country, rockabilly and rock & roll," Bruce said of Helm. "Levon's voice and drumming was so incredibly versatile. He had a feel on the drums ... it comes out of a certain place in the past and you can't replicate it."

Lyrics

Virgil Kane is the name and I served on the Danville train
'Til 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 la-la-la la-na, la-la na-la-la la-la-la 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 la-la-la la-na, la-la na-la-la la-la-la 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 la-la-la la-na, la-la na-la-la la-la-la 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 la-la-la la-na, la-la na-la-la la-la-la la"