Singing “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” in an Aug. 4 live-streamed tribute to The Band’s “The Last Waltz” made Alabama-based singer-songwriter Early James a little uneasy. In this national moment when statues of Confederate war heroes are being removed amidst Black Lives Matter protests, he wanted to be clear he had no sympathy to the causes of the Old South. So he reworked some of the song’s lyrics. The title line, for example, became “Tonight, we drive old Dixie down.”
You can read more about his rewrite here. He certainly did a credible job, but did he still come up a little short of capturing the current sensibility? Early, what would you think about something more like this:
Photo at the top of the page by Infrogmation (talk), CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25402681.