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The Confederacy in Country Music (songs)

Dad Perkins 08 Apr 11 - 02:47 PM
Maryrrf 08 Apr 11 - 03:29 PM
kendall 08 Apr 11 - 04:28 PM
Midchuck 08 Apr 11 - 07:36 PM
kendall 08 Apr 11 - 07:56 PM
Wesley S 08 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM
Wesley S 08 Apr 11 - 08:08 PM
Dad Perkins 08 Apr 11 - 08:39 PM
Dad Perkins 08 Apr 11 - 09:04 PM
J-boy 08 Apr 11 - 10:18 PM
Wesley S 08 Apr 11 - 10:46 PM
Ron Davies 08 Apr 11 - 11:12 PM
Dad Perkins 08 Apr 11 - 11:28 PM
Dad Perkins 08 Apr 11 - 11:34 PM
Ron Davies 08 Apr 11 - 11:47 PM
J-boy 09 Apr 11 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 09 Apr 11 - 05:45 AM
doc.tom 09 Apr 11 - 06:05 AM
kendall 09 Apr 11 - 07:04 AM
Dad Perkins 09 Apr 11 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 11 - 10:27 AM
Stringsinger 09 Apr 11 - 11:53 AM
Stringsinger 09 Apr 11 - 12:00 PM
kendall 09 Apr 11 - 12:24 PM
kendall 09 Apr 11 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 09 Apr 11 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 09 Apr 11 - 04:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Apr 11 - 05:34 PM
kendall 09 Apr 11 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Guest 09 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM
Maryrrf 09 Apr 11 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,Mike Rogers 10 Apr 11 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,kendall 10 Apr 11 - 06:22 AM
Ron Davies 10 Apr 11 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,bankley 10 Apr 11 - 09:28 AM
Stringsinger 10 Apr 11 - 03:45 PM
Stringsinger 10 Apr 11 - 04:02 PM
kendall 10 Apr 11 - 04:06 PM
Bobert 10 Apr 11 - 04:10 PM
pdq 10 Apr 11 - 04:13 PM
Ron Davies 10 Apr 11 - 07:57 PM
Wesley S 10 Apr 11 - 08:17 PM
Hrothgar 10 Apr 11 - 11:03 PM
Ron Davies 10 Apr 11 - 11:06 PM
Jack Campin 11 Apr 11 - 08:21 AM
Dad Perkins 11 Apr 11 - 09:01 AM
Stringsinger 11 Apr 11 - 11:15 AM
Stringsinger 11 Apr 11 - 11:18 AM
kendall 11 Apr 11 - 07:59 PM
J-boy 11 Apr 11 - 11:40 PM
Ron Davies 12 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM
kendall 12 Apr 11 - 12:23 PM
Stringsinger 12 Apr 11 - 03:29 PM
Bonzo3legs 12 Apr 11 - 03:42 PM
kendall 12 Apr 11 - 07:34 PM
Jack Campin 12 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM
J-boy 12 Apr 11 - 11:24 PM
GUEST 13 Apr 11 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 13 Apr 11 - 03:45 AM
doc.tom 13 Apr 11 - 04:02 AM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 11 - 05:40 AM
Ron Davies 13 Apr 11 - 08:43 AM
Stringsinger 13 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM
Stringsinger 13 Apr 11 - 11:19 AM
Lonesome EJ 13 Apr 11 - 12:07 PM
John P 13 Apr 11 - 12:27 PM
Bonzo3legs 13 Apr 11 - 04:21 PM
John P 13 Apr 11 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 11 - 05:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Apr 11 - 06:55 PM
Bonzo3legs 13 Apr 11 - 07:21 PM
Wesley S 13 Apr 11 - 07:24 PM
Lonesome EJ 13 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM
Ron Davies 13 Apr 11 - 08:58 PM
Dad Perkins 13 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Apr 11 - 10:00 PM
Ron Davies 13 Apr 11 - 10:00 PM
Wesley S 13 Apr 11 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,browcari 14 Apr 11 - 02:42 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 11 - 04:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Apr 11 - 04:39 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Apr 11 - 05:35 PM
Ron Davies 14 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM
J-boy 15 Apr 11 - 12:29 AM
Ron Davies 15 Apr 11 - 07:40 AM
Dad Perkins 15 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM
pdq 15 Apr 11 - 11:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Apr 11 - 11:35 AM
Lonesome EJ 15 Apr 11 - 12:55 PM
Dad Perkins 15 Apr 11 - 01:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 11 - 01:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 11 - 01:52 PM
Lonesome EJ 15 Apr 11 - 02:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 11 - 02:35 PM
Dad Perkins 15 Apr 11 - 06:41 PM
Ron Davies 16 Apr 11 - 07:30 AM
Ron Davies 16 Apr 11 - 07:50 AM
Ron Davies 16 Apr 11 - 08:16 AM
Ron Davies 16 Apr 11 - 08:24 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Apr 11 - 12:30 PM
GUEST 16 Apr 11 - 09:34 PM
Dad Perkins 17 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM
Ron Davies 17 Apr 11 - 01:43 PM
Dad Perkins 18 Apr 11 - 12:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Apr 11 - 01:46 PM
wysiwyg 18 Apr 11 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Apr 11 - 02:11 PM
Ron Davies 22 Apr 11 - 07:56 AM
Ron Davies 22 Apr 11 - 07:57 AM
Wesley S 26 Apr 11 - 04:42 PM
J-boy 27 Apr 11 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,JK23 27 Apr 11 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Jayto 27 Apr 11 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,jk23 27 Apr 11 - 11:57 AM
Jack Campin 27 Apr 11 - 01:52 PM
Rex 27 Apr 11 - 03:08 PM
Ron Davies 27 Apr 11 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 Apr 11 - 08:24 AM
Ron Davies 28 Apr 11 - 11:05 AM
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Subject: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 02:47 PM

Hey Mudcatters.

I'm working on a research paper and I'm looking for sentimental Country tunes that mourn the loss of 'Southern Values' and/or the Confederacy after the war. My yardstick is David Allen Coe's 'Grandpa'.

"Grandpa I been thinkin bout you lately....I still sing the old songs that you taught me, and I still pray to Jesus now and then. Just like you I wish that he would save me, to see the day the South will Rise Again...."

The idea is to discover/discuss the possibility that the 'Lost Cause' mentality was funneled into Country music, where songs of greif and loss developed that are analogous to actual Civil War songs of battle field death.

My goodness what have I gotten myself into.

So let's call this game 'Country songs about the Confederacy' - go.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Maryrrf
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 03:29 PM

Here's one: "I Sang Dixie As He Died"


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 04:28 PM

Maybe it's because the South is still stuck in the 19th century?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 07:36 PM

Maybe it's because the South is still stuck in the 19th century?

Living in Maine - especially the last couple weeks - and saying that is calling the kettle black (not that I would accuse you of being a pot, of course...).

P.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 07:56 PM

I like the 19th century. I also like OLD country music.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM

As someone who has lived most of their life in the south - yes there are SOME people who are stuck in the 19th century. But not ALL of us are. To think that would be the height of delusion. Possibly even bigotry? It would be like saying all folksingers have beards.

"The night they drove old Dixie down" needs to be mentioned of course.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 08:08 PM

Y'know there are dozens of songs about wanting to get back home to my "little cabin" in the south. But I doubt they fill the bill for what you are after.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 08:39 PM

Great threads already. Thank you. It's still a touchy subject isn't it?

I've been thinking recently about how country music was set up by the "Lost Cause" idea that pervaded the south and the country at large during Reconstruction. My idea is that elements of country music became the part of the national brain/heart where the mourning and loss of the South was given a forum to work itself out. Almost like a diary. That some entries would be heated, vitriolic, bigoted, hateful should be expected. Others have mediated the loss and grief and as we get further and further away from the War you see a gradual trailing off of those motifs in the music, BUT the song structures dealing with loss, grief, defeat, 'righteous' indignation etc. still pervade the music that was, in my growing opinion, founded on the stories that were constructed by the South about the South after the war.

Keep'm comin'. I appreciate any contribution to this conversation.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 09:04 PM

@ Maryrrf. Perfect. absolutely perfect.
@wesley. Spent a half hour this afternoon musing on that tune. It will figure prominently. thanks for the heads up.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: J-boy
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 10:18 PM

The losing side usually writes the better songs. Just ask the Irish.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 10:46 PM

As I said before there are hundreds of songs that talk about the pride of living in the south or how someone can't wait to get below the Mason-Dixon line again to see their folks on the old homestead. That shouldn't be confused with meaning that there is any agreement or alignment with the values of the Confederacy. Those are two very different issues.

One song you might find useful is the Charlie Daniels song "The Souths gonna do it again". It has a line that says "Be proud you're a rebel cause the Souths gonna do it again". But even that might not qualify as I understand the point of your research.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 11:12 PM

I would disagree that "I Sang Dixie" mourns either the loss of Southern values or the loss of the Confederacy.

If you listen to it carefully with an open mind (which I hope Mudcatters can do)--especially when sung by Dwight Yoakum-, it seems clear it's about the loss of a man who did identify with the South.   But the protagonist mourns the death of that man--dying far from his home--not any "Lost Cause" regrets.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 11:28 PM

Interestingly, I'm beginning to understand that what we conceive of as "alignment with the Confederacy" is a really really complex issue which has to do the way the South re-sculpted the meaning of the war after the fact. "the North won the war, but the South one the peace". What that quote refers to is the way that the South was sucsessful in remaking its own image after the fact as the 'beautiful downtrodden losers' of an unjust tyranny instead of slave holders who enjoyed the lifestyle of owning slaves.

This was undertaken conciously as they tried to, effectively, re-write history with, for instance, the much trumpeted notion of the grateful slave who was perfectly happy and content within the plantation system. This was, obviously, total horse-shit, and all anybody ever had to do was listen to some field hollers to dispel the notion.

But the zeal with which the enterprise was undertaken, and is success in recasting the South as the last vestige of traditional, pre-industrial agricultural America is STILL WITH US IN COUNTRY MUSIC, which is music that I love sort of for that reason. It has (or had at least up to the 60's) some whiff of authenticity. I think the most interesting thing that can be looked into within country music is WHERE that sense of authenticity comes from. Was there ever really a Country music? Or did the advent of radio, highly corporatized music publishing, and cultural NEED for catharsis and continuity demand that country music be developed.

The ballad form, which had 600 years of dealing with death and betrayal already codified, was close at hand.

This is highly simplified I know but I think it's an interesting avenue of inquiry.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 11:34 PM

RE: the grateful slave narrative that was paraded around by groups like the CVU look no further than that ol' standard 'Little Log Cabin on the Lane" by Fiddlin' John Carson


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 11:47 PM

And of course "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny"--written by a black man, James A. Bland.

Was he wrong to pander to the "happy slave" myth---, since that attitude was the difference between success and failure as a composer?

The version I have of that song says in the introduction that he had been "denied a place as a minstrel because of his color".    How's that for irony?

And he took to "writing songs which were eagerly accepted"   by the same managers who had turned him down as a minstrel .

It is perilously easy to oversimplify this topic.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: J-boy
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:01 AM

I think(or hope)it's a very small minority in the south who still hold a grudge after one hundred and fifty years. The rebel cause at this point is little more than an affectation or hobby. Most of the country is well beyond caring. But then again, I'm a Mainer.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 05:45 AM

Howsabout "The Union Mare & The Confederate Gray"? I thought that weas a pretty good song.
Also 'Two Soldiers"?
Also "Blue-Eyed Boston Boy" ( If that's it's real title?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: doc.tom
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 06:05 AM

I think you need to define some time-scales here. Are you looking at songs in 2011, or at the evolution of sentiment into song at the creation of 'country' (however you define that), or are you looking at the entire evolution from the time of the Civil War into the modern era?

As background, I found E. Lawrence Abel's "Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy 1861-1865" (2000, pub.Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA) to be a very good analysis - it also shows how sentiment gets amplified through popular song. Could be a good starting point!

Good luck with it, whichever way you're doing it.

TomB


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:04 AM

I've spent a lot of time in the south, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I have seen so much ignorance, I walk into a book store and all I see is Road&Track, Field & Stream, Guns & Ammo, people who can't discuss anything but the war to resist Northern aggression, and County music.
On the other hand I've known many who are educated, interesting, damn good musicians and just plain nice folks. I have half a dozen close friends in the south.

I guess my point is, people are people no matter where you go.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 10:00 AM

@ Ron Davies:

I think that '...Ol' Virginny' stands out as an exception and should be treated as such. It was/is a highly controversial tune. "Was he wrong to pander to the happy slave myth...?"

Well, if the discussion moves into the territory of making value judgements about compositional standards (which I think is appropriate and am happy to do here) then I'd venture to say Yes, it was wrong. The happy slave myth was a myth. Willfully engaging in promoting that myth within a for profit industry seems pretty gross to me.

I appreciate your assesment that it is perilously easy to oversimplify this topic. That's becoming more and more clear and I am going to be mindful of that as I go forward. It's so damn interesting though, and I hope I can make some of this stuff stick because I think there's a thread of truth to it.

@ doc.tom

For the purposes of my research right now I'll be looking at the Sentimental Songs/Ballads of the CW as representations of 19th values regarding death, loss and mourning. (*Then a miracle occurs*) After that I will posit that the Lost Cause/New South movement that cropped up during Reconstruction laid the ground work for a musical genre into which those values could be funneled to mourn the loss of the War and traditional southern values. ie: Country Music. I will argue that the trend of Confederate ideations expressed within Country Music can be viewed as a process of mourning in line with the 19th century standards of mourning which were popularly expressed in the songs of the period.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 10:27 AM

I would opine that Foster laid a foundation for the notion of the 'happy slave' with some of his material. The displays of the Confederate flag harkens to a dark age: nostalgia, pining for 'the way it was'. Agggh.

Although I'm aware that in the War of the Northern Aggression, aka the Civil War, slavery was only an afterthought for many of the other issues your country faced at the time, racism seems to be a big part of it in the retrospect of and present-day philosophy of the South. The WHITE South.

Of course, mileages will vary on that view.

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. I wish you success with your study. Big job you took on.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 11:53 AM

The South is a two-handed place. On one hand, you have the mythical "South" with Scarlett O'Hara, darkie songs, so-called Southern gentlemen, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and a glorification of the Confederate army and the Confederacy.

The real South has coal miners fighting for their rights and livelihoods, institutions like the Highlander Folk School who were integral to the Civil Rights Movement, many black heroes and musicians as well who gave us the blues and jazz.

I have the same ambivalence that Kendall has about the South. I love the old-time folk music of the early banjo pickers and singers and I have an antipathy for the maudlin sentimentalization of the Civil War and "the South shall rise again-sters". To me, this is phony.

I am uncomfortable with the attitudes of many bluegrass musicians who hang on to these phony "South shall rise again" values and it tends to turn me off to the music. I am uncomfortable with the emphasis on drinking, gambling, fighting and infidelity that is glorified and commericalized in Trashville country songs. On the other hand, I admire the importance of the folk songs that come out of the "hardscrabble" conditions of poor tenant farmers, isolated Appalachian families, Black People who have fought hard for their rights, coal miners (the real heroes of legend, not the cowboy), Southern unions, traditional balladeers and the lively dance music of hoe-downs and set-runnings. It seems to me that the phony nostalgia gets in the way of appreciating the real contributions of Southern music, being a tool for White-Ring propaganda, prejudice, bigotry and racial discrimination.

I would like to see more African-American people in bluegrass music to counter the negative attitudes of some of those white players. Bill Monroe was a complicated character, not admirable in his behavior, a formidable mandolin player though he does give credit to the blues for his style of playing which comes from Black People.

Earl Scruggs on the other hand seemed like a real gentleman and not part of the "tude"
that you get from some bluegrassers.

Alan Lomax told me the story of Hobart Smith and Mississippi John Hurt getting together to play music. Hobart was prejudiced. John was black. But when the two sat down to play music together, they appreciated each other so much that the wall melted away.



The Civil War was fought over slavery, regardless of any propaganda out there. An acknowledgement of this would go a long way to having an appreciation for the real values of the South, not the Senator Claghorn (Leghorn) stereotype or the Scarlett O'Hara phony pure white Southern womanhood. In it's place, we could learn to appreciate the folk music and the honest expression of the Southern people.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:00 PM

I think that The Carolina Chocolate Drops has gone a long way to show that "country" music is just a white thing and that black people can not only do it as well but lead the way in appreciating the history of Southern folk music.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:24 PM

The Civil war started over the plan to take slavery into Kansas and Nebraska. Then it came down to keeping the Union together. That was Lincoln's main goal.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:25 PM

Stringsinger, are you familiar with the Battle of Blair Mountain, or Matewan? That was the real south too.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 03:58 PM

An interesting subject.

There was song a few years back that went

I believe the South will rise again
Not in the old way (it hastened to add!) but the punceline was pretty powerful

Is it fanciful to hear a rejection of Northern values in such chestnuts as Okie from Muskogee and Up Against the Wall, You Rednck Mother?

A modicum of regret that the North won the Civil War.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 04:01 PM

And furthermore a seething resentment at the centre of randy Newman's Rednecks - anger at the way people from his region are stereotyped, by 'smart' yankees.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 05:34 PM

On one hand, you have the mythical 'South' with Scarlett O'Hara, darkie songs, so-called Southern gentlemen, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and a glorification of the Confederate army and the Confederacy.

What's Uncle Tom's Cabin doing in that list? My impression is that the myth of the Golden South does not include old slaves being flogged to death by their owners.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:52 PM

A healthy slave cost thousands of dollars. Beating one to death is just not credible.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM

Maybe Johnny Cash's "Hey Porter"?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Maryrrf
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 10:02 PM

Here's another, but I couldn't find a very good version of it Will My Soul Pass Through the Southland?. I heard it done at a concert and I believe it was recorded in the 30's, but not sure who the singer was.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 04:57 AM

Mention of 'Hey Porter' reminds me that many of the train songs in country music extol the virtues of heading south. Without even breaking sweat I think of
Pan American - Hank Williams
City of New Orleans - Steve Goodman
The Golden Rocket - Hank Snow

Converesly I can't think of one northbound train song.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:22 AM

Every one I have ever heard do this one is done the same way. Why do they have to modulate the key?

It is of course, based on the old Irish song, Kevin Barry.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 08:55 AM

What's more, "Rebel Soldier" is also an Irish song, I believe, called "Will My Soul Pass Through Old Ireland?".    Same plot, even same tune.    Original was "Brixton prison", now it's "Yankee prison".


Note that slavery is not mentioned in "Rebel Soldier" as sung by Country Gentlemen etc.

Note too, that again it is a man dying, and that it is, strictly speaking, bluegrass, not country music.   Finally, though this song is a big hit in the bluegrass community, so too are songs like "Faded Coat of Blue".    The way the issue is finessed sometimes in "Faded Coat", written at the end of the Civil War about a Union soldier dying and sung for instance by the Carter Family (who do want to appeal to a Southern base) is that the Carters transplant it to the Spanish- American War.

There is a very strong tradition in country and bluegrass to honor the dead of various wars.

As I said earlier, country and bluegrass is a very complex subject which does not lend itself to facile generalizations.

Of course it is true they are not about to honor the Union dead--just soldiers from after the Civil War.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 09:28 AM

Steve Earle has a couple of good ones, from the perspective of infantrymen on both sides

Ben McCullough (Texas)
Dixieland (Maine)


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 03:45 PM

Hi Kendall, researched them on Wikipedia. Very much like the Coal Creek Rebellion in the 1880's where the governor called for scab labor from convicts while the Guard tried to oppress the miners. From this, we have Uncle Dave's "Buddy Won't You Roll
Down That Line?"

Do we see a historical pattern here? Then there's Woody's "Ludlow Massacre'.
And there's Woody's "1913 Massacre"

And today we have Massey Energy under Don Blankenship repeating history in the
Upper Branch Mine.


Jean Ritchie's epic "Black Water" about mountaintop removal and "The L.and N. Don't Stop Here Anymore" about what happens when the Company abandons the miners.

Southern history is being made today.   The real heroes are the Southern coal miners, not the yokel Confederate soldiers.

BTW the Re-enactment People have rewritten history too.

Did you know that "Dixie" is not a Southern song? Dan Emmett was a supporter of the Union in the Civil War. A publishing company in New Orleans stole the song and attempted to copyright it. That's how it wound up in the South.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 04:02 PM

Most of the bluegrass songwriting about the Civil War is sentimental drivel.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 04:06 PM

Bluegrass is not known for its lyrics.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 04:10 PM

It's gonna be hard finding much that mourns the loss but plenty of raw anger at the government... Today's country songs are littered with Southern "pride" and "arrogance"...

"A country boy will survive..."...

B~


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Subject: Lyr Add: LEGEND OF THE REBEL SOLDIER (Country Gent
From: pdq
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 04:13 PM

"LEGEND OF THE REBEL SOLDIER" ~ as done by the Country Gentlemen

{aka "Shall My Soul Pass Through the Southland"}


In a dreary Yankee prison
Where a rebel soldier lay
By his side there stood a preacher
Ere his soul should pass away
And he faintly whispered: Parson
As he clutched him by the hand
Oh, parson, tell me quickly
Will my soul pass through the Southland?

Will my soul pass through the Southland
Through old Virginia grants
Will I see the hills of Georgia
And the green fields of Alabam?
Will I see that little church house
Where I pledged my heart and hand
Oh, parson, tell me quickly
Will my soul pass through the Southland?

Was for loving dear old Dixie
In this dreary cell I lie
Was for loving dear old Dixie
In this northern state I die
Will you see my little daughter
Will you make her understand
Oh, parson, tell me quickly
Will my soul pass through the Southland?

Then the Rebel Soldier Died


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 07:57 PM

"Most...is sentimental drivel".

Correction:   Most of what the illustrious poster has heard.

But that has never stopped Mudcatters from smearing a whole genre in the past.

It's also possible that the poster in question has a low tolerance for sentimental songs.

Some people have a higher tolerance.

Country and bluegrass in general has a high level of sentimentality.   Some like it. Some don't.

That's what makes the world go round.


And the poster should count himself lucky he's not living in the 19th century--the real time that sentimental songs ruled popular music.    Now there are lots of alternatives.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 08:17 PM

Agreed Ron. Wasn't it Sturgon's Law that said 75 { or is it 90 } percent of everything is crap? Why pick on bluegrass - if you'll pardon the pun?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Hrothgar
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 11:03 PM

If you play these songs backwards, does it mean that you get your girl, your dpg, your truck, and your slaves back?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 11:06 PM

Some posters who enjoy smug generalizations might think so.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:21 AM

A lot of the rhetoric of southern-nostalgia songs seems to have been borrowed from Scottish Jacobite song (which was still an ongoing industry generating new songs at the time of the American civil war, and given a new lease of life, or at least twitching undead reanimation, by colour printing and the phonograph).

On the other hand, there isn't a tradition of Scottish sentimental song about loss comparable to C&W - Jacobite song didn't mutate in the way you're suggesting, it just fossilized.

Surely a lot of country was influenced by German and Russian Jewish sentimental parlour song and Thomas Moore Oirishry in the same way as Northern "Tin Pan Alley" stuff?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 09:01 AM

@ Jack,

Thanks for some astute observations and historical ideas. I'll look into those. That's good stuff.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 11:15 AM

"But that has never stopped Mudcatters from smearing a whole genre in the past.
It's also possible that the poster in question has a low tolerance for sentimental songs."

It isn't just the sentimental drivel but the propagandistic effects that it has which is used by the Southern White Ring. The pro Southern side of the Civil War is trumped up, and the "South shall rise againsters" belie the honesty of the lyrics.

As to the nature of Bluegrass, it is a Johnny-Come-Lately as of the 1940's.
It isn't fully matured as a genre of music as is say jazz. It is not above criticism as an art form.

As to sentimental songs in the 19th century, they were a mixed bag. Some were jingoistic such as "If you don't like your Uncle Sammy" to forerunners of the German popular song sentimentality that predated the 1920's in Berlin.

It's not the sentimentality I object to per se but the use of it as a racist propaganda tool as was done with the song "Dixie".


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 11:18 AM

Confederacy=racism.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 07:59 PM

Not totally. It is also hatred of being told how to live, and being bullied by the government.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: J-boy
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 11:40 PM

You are quite correct Kendall. But I think you and I can both agree that the "better" side won.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM

Most of the bluegrass songwriting about the Civil War is sentimental drivel".

This is the statement I object to---and I am not alone.

Some is, some isn't.

If you think it's "most" you need to hear more.

That's what I mean about "smearing".

And Mudcatters are not above it.

Though it's about time they at least tried to rein it in.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 12:23 PM

J-Boy, I'm not so sure. Remember that only a small fraction of the southerners were slave holders.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 03:29 PM

I know there are some in bluegrass who are not into the "South shall rise again" attitude and that they have less of the stringent viewpoint that has been called "bluegrass nazi" but there are those who want to make it a cultish identity and those who claim that their music is somehow pure, but a hybrid like any other form of folk music.

This is not smearing because I am not painting all bluegrass musicians with the same brush but I am calling attention to the tendency of some toward racism,
pseudo-Southern jingoism, pseudo-sentimentality of the Confederacy, a big hoax,
and a general intolerance for any music that isn't bluegrass. You can't tell me that these attitudes don't exist. Otherwise there would be no point in saying that people are trying to smear bluegrass or the purpose of this thread.

To be in denial about this does no service to bluegrass music .


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 03:42 PM

I suggest that the US civil war was a result of power and greed - the slave question was but a sideline to suit the media ever since!!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: kendall
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:34 PM

The Civil War, which started on this date, was caused by a number of things. Slave owners wanted to expand into Kansas and Nebraska and there was much opposition to it in the North.

Two major mistakes led to the shooting, the south didn't believe that Lincoln would be elected and the North didn't believe the South would leave the union if he was elected.

In the North the soldiers didn't fight to free slaves, they fought to save the union.

More than enough stupidity to go around.

War, the ultimate failure.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM

This is getting sidetracked a long way from what the OP asked, which was a much less commonly discussed question than the rights and wrongs of the !860s Unpleasantness.

I will suggest a book that takes on a similar kind of cultural investigation, using an amazing range of materials and approaches: Klaus Theweleit's "Male Fantasies" ("Maennerphantasien" in German if you can read that). He's investigating the Freikorps, the right-wing militias that put down the Socialist and Communist insurrections of post-WW1 Germany and went on to form the nucleus of the Nazi movement, the SA in particular. His angle is mainly psychoanalytic, and sometimes out on the doolally fringe of that, but he's doing two things in common with OP's project:

- looking at how the cultural milieu of the time and the experience of war (and defeat) shaped the psyche of the men of that generation

- looking at the cultural products that reflected that psyche and appealed to it.

The range of media he looks at will surprise almost anybody. There are lots of pictures. (He also asks "how can we make sure this never happens again?" which I take to be the main motivation behind Frank's posts here).

Something like this needs a methodology. Theweleit's got one. I'm not suggesting anybody else should follow it, but it does set a coherent example.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: J-boy
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 11:24 PM

Do you really think a psychoanalytic study of proto-nazis has validity in regard to The American Civil War? Not criticizing. Just curious.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 03:16 AM

Looks like Godwin's Law just got another another outing.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 03:45 AM

Whats a proto-nazi?

Heard of protoplasm, but not that. Not sure what you are talking about.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: doc.tom
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 04:02 AM

I agree with Jack , but the digression has thrown up one interesting aspect that is relevant to the original post: 'good' or 'popular' songs don't come out of the side that won - yes, I know this is a huge generalisation, but bear with me a moment. Plenty of 'jingoism' (a word that came out of an Anglo-Russian war song in the first place) DURING conflict, but the sentimental popular song comes out of losing. This applies even centuries later - which is the area Dad Perkins is looking at - e.g. Trelawny: written early 20th Century, but referring to the Cornish Bishop centuries earlier - the song became an anthem to Cornishmen although Cornwall has only been officially recognised as a County ever since. It is only in recent years with an upsurgance of songwriting, another reinvention of celticism, and a genuine local pride that new positive songs are passing into popular currency and even some them still have a historic back reference. Another example of the style of faux-nostalgia time-shift between the original cause and the new song, of course, is Flower of Scotland!

Fascinating subject!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:40 AM

Do you really think a psychoanalytic study of proto-nazis has validity in regard to The American Civil War?

It's the only study I've seen of the impact on popular culture of reactionary macho militarism challenged by catastrophic defeat. It isn't completely parallel - the Freikorps were pretty close in attitudes and actions to the Klan, but the Klan had next to no impact on wider cultural developments like country music, as far as I know, while the Freikorps generated a whole lot of now-forgotten literature, song and imagery.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:43 AM

By the way, Freikorps equals Nazis is also too facile a generalization.   There were lots of right-wing organizations in Germany right after WWI and no assurance the Nazis would be the ones to triumph.

It certainly is true that after a lost war, right-wing groups are likely to have clout--especially with huge numbers of unemployed bitter young men.

But, as has been pointed out, this is a distance from "The Confederacy in Country Music".


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM

Blueegrass music needs to change to reflect the times. It can't just be about fat white men with hats playing fast to impress each other.

The lyrics have to change. Hazel Dickens is on the forefront with lyrics depicting the condition today of exploited coal miners.

In place of the maudlin, sentimentalized, overly hymnal, bland lyrics of the contemporary bluegrass tune, the genre needs a song with teeth in it, telling the real story of the South today where jobs are being taken away by a greedy Republican Party, Federal money being denied to radio stations who broadcast from rural areas,

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/04/12-6

Appalachia being revisited with poverty and no justice for all.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:19 AM

Instead of saying Republican, I'll amend that to say any political party that is in thrall to corporations, Dems that means you too.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 12:07 PM

Listening to NPR yesterday, an author made an interesting point during his interview with Terry Gross. He said that it wasn't just the South who bought into the Lost Cause myth. He said the North also latched onto the concept because it allowed the South a measure of honor in being able to to deny that thousands of its citizens had died in defense of slavery. The mutual acceptance of another more honorable motive, even a romanticized fallacy, smoothed the healing process and made the reabsorption into the Union easier.
This, I believe, has carried forward into the present, where even Northerners romanticize the notion of the Confederacy and the proud rebel soldier.Gone with the Wind was just as popular in Chicago as it was in Atlanta, and if you remember, the opening title read..
There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South... Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow... Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave... Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind...


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: John P
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 12:27 PM

It is not safe . . . to trust $800 million worth of negroes in the hands of a power which says that we do not own the property . . . So we must get out . . .
— The Daily Constitutionalist, Augusta, Ga., Dec. 1, 1860

[Northerners] have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery . . . We, therefore, . . . have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and other States of North America dissolved.
— from Declaration of the Causes of Secession

As long as slavery is looked upon by the North with abhorrence . . . there can be no satisfactory political union between the two sections.
— New Orleans Bee, Dec. 14, 1860

Our new government is founded upon . . . the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.
— Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, March 21, 1861


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 04:21 PM

A good subject no doubt for folks obsessed with needing to discuss things rather than have fun!!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: John P
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 04:50 PM

A good subject no doubt for folks obsessed with needing to discuss things rather than have fun!!

Or for folks willing to reach unfounded conclusions about others . . . and then communicate those conclusions, compounding the foolishness.

Any chance you would just go away?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:21 PM

My wife has been offered good jobs in the southern states a number of times. As a northern Briton they're very tempting, my political sensibilities are with the union, my musical tastes very southern. Any place that spawned Earl Scruggs, The Sacred Harp and the B-52s can't be all bad. As someone said up thread, people are people, god bless them.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 06:55 PM

Tonight, I am having skillet-made cornbread with my bean recipe. Don't need the white gravy as the bean juice is just fine, but we thought about it.
Feelings are complex. My wife's accent always gets a little stronger as she prepares the cornbread, as only a Southerner can do it.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:21 PM

Any chance you would just go away?

Well, as I'm currently in the north of Argentina you could say I am "away"!!!!!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:24 PM

Q - I'm on the way over for dinner. Is there anything I should bring with me? Hog jowls? Turnip greens?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM

Well glueman, Yanks are a curiosity in Alabama just like they are in Northern England, so that part would be consistent.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM

even Northerners romanticize the notion of the Confederacy and the proud rebel soldier

In much the same way as the winning side romanticized the Jacobites.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:58 PM

The earlier quote was :"Most of the bluegrass songwriting about the Civil War is sentimental drivel."

Still not acceptable.

Some now doubt is.   Some is definitely not.

Some: fine

Most: not fine

And "most", as I said, is a smear.

No surprise the poster refuses to acknowledge it.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM

Gang this Thread has been fascinating in its development. Y'all should read back and take a broad look at what's been covered.

Regarding my original question you might like to know the Country Music songs that I've latched onto which refer to concepts of 'Southerness' that both resemble some of the Sentimental ballads of the Civil War, and in some way mourn the loss of Southern values as put forth by the Lost Cause movement:

I Sang Dixie: Yoakam
I Still Sing the Old Songs: DAC
Dixie You're Done: Waylon

I'm also going to discuss Don William's Good Ol' Boys Like Me? as an ameliorative meditation on...well....What do you do with good ol' boys like me?

Still, I could use some more modern country songs that mourn the loss of the war

Help me Obe Wan. You're my only hope.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:00 PM

Worth a look and a thought-

A sort of "Confederate Veterans Wall"

http://www.angelfire.com/ga3/confederaterebels/memoriam.html


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:00 PM

As I said earlier, "I Sang Dixie", the narrator mourns the loss of a man.    The narrator himself sings "Dixie"for the dying man but unless singing a song is proof of racism, it does not mean he himself endorses any nostalgia for the Old South.

I would be disappointed in a scholar who alleged that it did.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:31 PM

"Still, I could use some more modern country songs that mourn the loss of the war".

I'm just not all that sure you're going to find any. I've not run across any. Pride in the south yes. But morning that the South lost the war? None come to mind.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,browcari
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 02:42 PM

I'm actually writing a paper right now on the juxtaposition between the sentiment of the Confederacy/the "Lost Cause" and the patriotism that we find in country music today. Also, there are a lot of interesting names for bands. Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum, Confederate Railroad, etc. How can these names and the music they produce show the lingering sentiment of the Lost Cause and the collective memory that is still shared by those that identify with the South?

There are many examples of songs that portray a loss. Loss of the South--now, as many of you have argued, this could be a loss of life, or a loss of a cause. There is a very real Confederate presence in a lot of country and folk music.

You should look at a book I found. Its called, "Neo-Confederacy" by Euan Hague. Chapter 9 deals with the Confederacy in contemporary music. You can find it on Google books and read an excerpt of Ch. 9.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 04:20 PM

From the singing of the a contemporary "bluegrass" group: Last Letter Home.

I can hear the cannons thundering all night,
And I cannot help but wonder why's the rebel cause so right?
And the morphine seems to do no good at all.
And I would run all the way if I would not fall.

I joined the rebel cavalry for fun.
Must have rode a thousand horses, always had a way with a gun.
Now I'm among the horseless riders lying still.
Covered up by the cause on Hero's Hill.

CHO:
And I dream of a rose in a Spainish garden,
And I kiss you as I place it in your hair,
And if I ever find my feet again I will;
I will run all the way just meet you there.

Through the day I watch them Southern Boys go down,
And they lay like Georgia peaches, bruised and broken on the ground.
Through the night I wonder if it was worth the pain.
And I cry out, not revenge, but I call your name.

CHO:


For even more ambivalence, try the Maryland State song. It was written during the Civil War (by a former Marylander living, I believe in Tennesse). In the first verse, the despot is the US Government and the "patriotic gore" is the blood of those who rioted against Union troops coming into Baltimore. The final verse is the icing on the cake. I don't know about the other references made in the song. It is just a bizarre lyric to carry into the 21st Century.

Maryland was a divided state at the start of the war, quite likely to consider secession. For practical reasons, Lincoln could not allow that to happen. It was Maryland where the writ of Habeas Corpus was abandoned and politicians were locked up for their views. Many Marylanders were not sympathetic to the Southern Cause.

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland my Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland, my Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Hark to an exiled son's appeal,
Maryland! My Maryland!
My Mother State! to thee I kneel,
Maryland! My Maryland!
For life or death, for woe or weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! 'tis the red dawn of the day,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Come with thy panoplied array,
Maryland! My Maryland!
With Ringgold's spirit for the fray,
With Watson's blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Come to thine own anointed throng,
Stalking with Liberty along,
And sing thy dauntless slogan song,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Virginia should not call in vain,
Maryland! My Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain-
Sic semper! 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!


I see the blush upon thy cheek,
Maryland! My Maryland!
For thou wast ever bravely meek,
Maryland! My Maryland!
But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
From hill to hill, from creek to creek,
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Thou wilt not crook to his control,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Better the fire upon thee roll,
Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the Soul,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder-hum,
Maryland! My Maryland!
The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum,
Maryland! My Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! She burns! She'll come! She'll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

Roger in Baltimore (well, formerly of Baltimore and now in Virginia).


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 04:39 PM

"Maryland, My Maryland" appears in Allan's Lone Star Ballads, A Collection of Southern Patriotic Songs Made During Confederate Times, Burt Franklin, New York, 1874 (reprint 1970).
This collection, made just after the War, is an excellent survey of the Confederate songs. It covers the western contingents, e. g. Hood's Texas Brigade, Song of the Texas Rangers, The Santa Fe Volunteer, and others.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 05:35 PM

How about Glen Campbell's Galveston? Though not specifically mentioning the civil war or the confederacy, the fact that the singer is from Galveston Texas, and is watching "the cannons flashing" heavily implies both.

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark eyes glowin'
She was 21 when I left Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

I still see her standing by the water
Standing there lookin' out to sea
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run

Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM

Supposedly "Galveston" was about a soldier in Vietnam dreaming of home.    Don't know where I heard that, though.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: J-boy
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 12:29 AM

It's all too easy to forget that the Confederacy was built upon the slavery of our fellow human beings. The Civil War would never have happened if not for that fact. The South considered blacks to be no more than farm equipmemt or servants. Why do we still argue this point 150 years later?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 07:40 AM

I don't think we are arguing that point.

Only whether "country music" reflects longing for the Confederacy, which of course would include slavery.

I would say that Dad Perkins' citation of Coe's song does fit.    Coe is known to be a racist (only really good song he ever did in my opinion is "You Never Called Me By My Name", which of course Steve Goodman wrote.)

For the rest of the song candidates, I think we are stretching to make the facts fit the theory.    Not exactly good scientific method.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM

@ Ron Davies.

I'd be dissapointed in a grown up who couldn't recognize or admit that Yoakam's song is mourning the good old days of the Old South. If you need to equate that to racism, be my guest. It's early and I'm feeling a little cranky, but I don't mind telling you that your post fails to show any sign of intelligent or critical reasoning. Of course the song is about the Old South you mope.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 11:27 AM

Amazing that two Southern cities, Atlanta GA and Houston TX are rated as the best large cities for Black folks to live.

By contrast, Black-dominated parts of New York, New Jersey, Philidelphia and Chicago are Hell. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 11:35 AM

I sang Dixie about "the Old South"?

Surely it's much more about someone far from home and dying in exile - sort of Southern equivalent of Spancil Hill or The Old Bog Road.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 12:55 PM

Amazing that two Southern cities, Atlanta GA and Houston TX are rated as the best large cities for Black folks to live.

By contrast, Black-dominated parts of New York, New Jersey, Philidelphia and Chicago are Hell. Go figure.


Randy Newman pretty much had it right in Rednecks, pdq. "Free to be put in a cage in Harlem in New York City."


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 01:04 PM

Forgive me for losing my cool earlier. I'm just going to post the lyrics to the song so that everyone has a reference.

In my view you cannot say the word Dixie, let alone make a melodic/lyrical reference to it without intentionally calling up conceptions of "The Old South", and "Southerness". I will be happy to elaborate on those concepts if need be. Additionally, the narrative of the song is highly suggestive of Civil War balladry in which a dying soldier is given space to utter his last words, and relates his love of home and family to a commrade (Think: Just as the Sun Went Down, Brother Greene etc.) These sentimentalist tropes were used extensively during the war and are an outgrowth of 19th century conceptions of the proper stages of death, dying, and grieving.

Just for the record. I've never used the word racism once in all of these threads because i'm not interested in moral valuations right now. While I'm glad of the spirited debate that has occured as a result of my original post, and find it to be very very interesting and indicative of some important truths about where we as a nation stand on our conceptions about the war, I perasonally have been mostly interested in comparing narrative structures of songs and trying to suggest some historical concepts about the developement of Country music.

Here's the song currently in question.


I sang Dixie as he died
The people just walked on by as I cried
The bottle had robbed him of all his rebel pride
So I sang Dixie as he died

He said way down yonder in the land of cotton
Old times there ain't near as rotten as they are
On this damned old L.A. street
Then he drew a dying breath
And laid his head against my chest
Please Lord take his soul back home to Dixie

Chorus

He said listen to me son while you still can
Run back home to that Southern land
Don't you see what life here has done to me?
Then he closed those old blue eyes
And fell limp against my side
No more pain, now he's safe back home in Dixie

Chorus:

I sang Dixie as he died
The people just walked on by as I cried
The bottle had robbed him of all his rebel pride
So I sang Dixie as he died


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 01:39 PM

Well-known to Texans is the Battle of Galveston. Some can sing fragments of the songs written about it. I would guess that one of more of these songs were known to Glen Campbell.

Commemoration events took place in Galveston in January of this year. It was well-attended by Civil War buffs, and a re-enactment took place, as well as tours of the harbor. A guided toor of
In 1862, Commodore Renshaw and a squadron of 8 yankee ships blockaded the Texas coast, and demanded surrender of Confederate forces at Galveston.
On January 1, Confederate ironclads attacked from the rear, and following the battle, Confederate general Magruder retook Galveston, and the Confererate port remained under Confederate control for the remainder of the war.

A guided tour will visit the cemetary and the graves of Magruder and other veterans.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 01:52 PM

If not clear from the not proofed post above, the battle took place on January 1, 1863.

Confederate 'ironclads' is a misnomer; the river steamers used by Magruder were clad with cotton bales, and gained the name 'cottonclads'. A land force joined in the re-taking of Galveston.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 02:01 PM

Good points. Campbell didn't write the song, but Jim Webb, who did, may have been a Texan. The protagonist in the song seems to be singing about Galveston from some other battlefield, though.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 02:35 PM

EJ, Vietnam is probably right.
Streets of LA- and elsewhere for years after Vietnam, 'bush vets', traumatized veterans, were scattered in the forests of Hawai'i, and I would guess in many cities on the mainland.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:41 PM

@ Guestbrown.cari

Thank you thank you thank you for the heads up on that book. We've got it at the University Library and I'm going down there post haste to pick it up. Let me know if you'd like to compare notes on our respective projects. Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 07:30 AM

Mr. Perkins:

You've never used the word "racism."    In the words of my favorite political analyst:   "That don't impress me much."

You've just said you can't say the word "Dixie" , let alone make a melodic/lyrical reference to to it without intentionally calling up concepts of the Old South.    And that "I Sang Dixie" is mourning the good old days of the Old South. But that's not endorsing racism.    Endorsing slavery, perhaps, but not racism.




More later.


Re: the song "Galveston":    Wiki is not always reliable but rather good on songs.   Wiki entry says Jimmy Webb says he in fact had the Spanish-American War in mind. This would fit with "cannons".    In the Vietnam War they would probably not have spoken of cannons.    It would also not have been the Civil War.   The singer would not be dreaming of Galveston if he was already there.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 07:50 AM

stretching facts to fit the theory





"losing my cool earlier"

OK, fine.    I suppose that means I can't blast you out of the water.   Pity. I had a post all ready.    And the worst name-calling was "scholar".

Interesting you have your own language of vituperation.   "you mope".   I deduce this is not a compliment.

Far be it from me to argue with a "scholar" who has made up his mind.

Nonetheless, once more into the breach, dear friends.

For the n'th time, in "I Sang Dixie" the narrator is mourning the loss of a man dying on an LA street--far from home--probably of alcohol poisoning.    Perhaps you might consider actually listening to the song.

The dying man may or may not be a racist, longing for the good old days of the South (and slavery). This is unclear. He misses the South.   This is clear.   The narrator's view on the Old South is even less clear. He sings "Dixie"--the implication is that he does so to comfort a dying man.   It is not proof positive he longs for the good old days of the Old South.

It is implied that the narrator is also from the South, The dying man tells him to "run back home" but it is not at all clear what the narrator will actually do except mourn the loss of his friend.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the concept of mourning for the loss of a friend.



So sorry this does not fit your theory.   But feel free to make any assumptions you want to squeeze the song into the theory,    Somehow it seems I may not have to give you permission to do so.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 08:16 AM

Interesting that you in fact obviously were not seeking various perspectives on the topic, just uncritical applause for your shaky (to say the least) theory.   There were a lot of songs full of nostalgia for the Old South, and full of pernicious stereotypes.   But they were almost entirely written in the 19th century and into the 1920's.   "Country music" is usually considered to only have started in the 1920's.    "I Sang Dixie" was written long after the '20's.

Ironically, I actually agreed with you about the Coe song, just not this one. But you must be related to Gen. Grant--you only believe in unconditional surrender.

You may--or may not---be interested to know that I talked to a black friend of mine at work about the burning issue of whether "I Sang Dixie" is a racist song. Now admittedly he is a very sensible individual (i.e.agrees with me on a whole host of issues--you know that's the definition of "reasonable" I suspect.)    We were both strong supporters of Obama long before he got the nomination, and we were annoyed at Hillary's tactics.   We both feel the Left should stop whining about what President Obama has done or not done.   We feel NATO (and the US) should finish the job of toppling Gadhafi quickly, with everything short of ground troops.   Also that Trump typecasting himself as a "birther" will destroy his possible candidacy--in a very satisfying way.   Etc.

In fact the vast majority of my co-workers are black, including the 3 on my level.   And we get along just great, helping each other out, joshing etc,   I have sung "My Prayer" (Platters) to one of the women and "Goodnight, Sweetheart" (Spaniels) to another, and I and a friend write parodies and sing them at retirement celebrations..

At any rate, I did not tell the co-worker in question my view on "I Sang Dixie", just gave him the lyrics of the song to read.    He pronounced it non-racist.   When I told him certain brilliant commentators on the Net claimed it was racist, his response was:   "You're serious?"

Face it, people are just people. If you treat them right everything is OK. And if they are sensible, they do not go looking for imaginary threats. There are enough real problems without manufacturing artificial ones.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 08:24 AM

By the way, my favorite political analyst is of course Shania Twain.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 12:30 PM

Foodlededoop


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 09:34 PM

Mr. Perkins,

You are very welcome! I just happened upon that in my quest for research.

I would be extremely interested in discussing this topic with you further. Would you be willing to email me? brown143@purdue.edu

I'm still having a heck of a time finding actual articles written on this topic. But I did happen upon another book. It is Jim Cullen's "The Civil War in Popular Culture" (1995). The chapter that deals with music is chapter 4 entitled "Reconstructing Dixie--Confederate Mythology in Rock 'n' Roll." Hope this is of some help!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM

@Ron Davies

Okay Ron. This MAY clear up some ambiguity about where I'm coming from.
When I've been talking about mourning the loss of the Old South, I'm not explicitly talking about the loss of the Civil War. I'm referring to the sentiment that the pre-industrial agrarian culture of the South, "way down yonder in the land of cotton," where " OLD TIMES there ain't near as rotten..." is a much used idea about the Old South. The word Dixie refers to the Old South. Can we agree on that? That the word refers to a place and a 'time'? Dixie doesn't refer to Atlanta in 2011, it refers to the idea of the South as opposed to the North in 'The War of Northern Agression' as the devotees of the Lost Cause movement would have it. I have listened to the song. I think its a great song. And I think the character of the old man is EXPLICITLY longing for a place and time away from the impersonal urban chaos that has, presumably, led to his demise.


Can we start there and try to talk about THIS SONG?


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 01:43 PM

We can certainly start there.   And I have stated the dying man may possibly be longing for a mythical pre-Civil War South.

But it is totally unclear if the singer feels the same way.


It seems clear to me he sings "Dixie" to comfort the old man.   Nothing more is established.    Therefore it is not reasonable to include this song as one which longs for the pre-Civil War South--which included slavery, of course.

And as i said, my black friend at work feels the same as I do.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Dad Perkins
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 12:19 PM

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 01:46 PM

The early posts by Ron Davies and Dad Perkins were both pertinent and thought-provoking, but later posts devolved into attacks and repetition, thus should have moved to pm and/or email, hence my response to both- foodlededoop.

Jim Cullen's book sounds worth reading.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 01:57 PM

Si Kahn, "Gone, Gonna Rise Again"

~Susan


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 02:11 PM

Two last verses, from poems once popular.

The Conquered Banner
Father Abram Ryan
Fold that banner! softly, slowly;
Treat it gently- it is holy-
For it droops above the dead,
Touch it not- unfold it never,
Let it droop there, furled forever,
For the peoples' (i>hopes are dead!

Fold it Carefully
Sir Henry Houghton, Bart.,
(A reply to "The Conquered Banner)"

Furl that banner, sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for 'tis holy:
'Till that day- yes, furl it sadly,
Then once more unfurl it gladly-
Conquered Banner- keep it still!

Allan's Lonestar Ballads.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 07:56 AM

I'm sorry, Q, that you did not enjoy the discussion.    I hope that the person holding a gun to your head forcing you to read it removes the gun soon.

I found the thread quite eye-opening regarding attitudes some people have towards anything having to do with the South.

Liberals, who claim tolerance as their watchword, are sometimes not willing, it seems, to extend this tolerance to non-liberals. it's too easy for liberals to assume the worst of anyone else not labelled clearly as liberal.

The interesting thing is that non-liberals realize this--and react accordingly.   It's my theory that this accounts in large part for the election of GWB in 2004---which I would guess liberals do recognize as a disaster. Had liberals not pressed the buttons of the other side, it might well have turned out differently-- since it was so close.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 07:57 AM

"It's too easy"


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE UNION MARE AND THE CONFEDERATE GREY
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:42 PM

I just stumbled across the lyrics to this song. It's on a new Don Edwards CD. I don't know the author:


THE UNION MARE AND THE CONFEDERATE GREY

Two horses were running, they pranced as they ran
They both been commanded by a cavalry man
Two horses stood grazing where their dead riders lay
The Union mare and the Confederate grey.

They nuzzled each other as they pranced and had fun
They bathed in the warm rays of the old Southern sun
No more senseless orders for them to obey
So they froliced like lovers, this mare and this grey

Now these are such sad times that we're all living in
For killing your brother is the mightiest sin
How happy we'd be if we lived for today
Like the Union mare and the Confederate grey

The Union mare and the Confederate grey


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: J-boy
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 01:27 AM

That's lovely Wesley. Much wisdom in that song. I will definitely check it out.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,JK23
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 09:37 AM

A couple of googles show the Don Edwards album was released in January 2010. The song "Union Mare and Confederate Grey" (interesting hierarchical structure) was written by Paul Kennerly, an expat Merseyside advertising man who became enthrallled with American country music, particularly Waylon Jennings, eventually moving to Nashville, winning songwriter awards, etc., etc. Apparently locating himself at the nexus of the then-developing "outlaw" strain of country music, one of his first projects was "White Mansions," a concept album set in the Confederacy and featuring several stars of the biz such as Waylon, Jessi Colter, Eric Clapton, and wannabees Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Other Southern- or misunderstood-outlaw-themed albums followed ("Legend of Jesse James," "Sally Rose"), and he was central to Harris's move into the not-too-much-outlaw country field, they then marrying in 1985 (divorced 1993).

The Edwards album "American" is largely a collection of nationalistic works which packaging sleeve features the behatted East-coast folkie cum cowboy posed fiercely with guitar in front of a large American flag (always sells in this country), containing such as "Dixie/America the Beautiful," Steven Foster's "Hard Times," Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," and "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere," a WW II song famously recorded by Elton Britt, among others.

The foregoing is only to illustrate what NIck Tosches, Richard Peterson, D. K. Wilgus, and others have observed: That much of what we consider to be representative of the South (or any indigenous culture for that matter) was largely co-opted, reinterpreted, and marketed by capitalist interests outside the entity (not to say Yankee Carpetbaggers), moving by processes (explicated at length elsewhere by Mudders) into the folk songbag. Thus did Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home," complete with racist explicities come from New York music hall stages to its present eminence as state song and Kentucky Derby anthem. Examples abound.

BTW, the above mentioned "Galveston" song, written I believe by the great Jimmy Webb, hit during the 1970s and is more often interpreted relative to the Vietnam conflict, rather than the much earlier Galveston Bay battle. In the '70s, we weren't that deep.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Jayto
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:51 AM

"Stringsinger, are you familiar with the Battle of Blair Mountain, or Matewan? That was the real south too."

Thank you for bringing this up Kendall. I am reading this thread with mixed feelings. I come from 5 generations of coal miners in West KY and I am a state certified underground miner myself. KY gets bashed from both sides over something that happened way before anybody now was born. We split down the middle and being a border state we still catch it. There are so many stereotypes going on in this thread I can't help but wonder how anybody can write anything about the subject. I am not meaning to be harsh or anything but both sides are stereotyping southerners. My family and friends do not sit around discussing when "the South will rise again". We do talk about when the economy will pick up, what places are hiring, and other social issues. Most of us have college degrees and have traveled the world over. There are some that cling to ideallistic image of the old south but for the most part people are very much rooted in modern times. Tradition does have a strong hold but even with that most realize this is the 21st century. People are people regardless of where you go. I know I am focused on trying to do the best I can for my family and like all parents worry about the future for my kids. It seems to me that some people grasp negative stereotypes just as staunchly as others hold romanticism of "the old south". I am not bashing anybody that has posted and reading this thread has not moved me to take a side. I just know how my friends and family are and therefore I know that several are wrong on both sides. Defending or bashing both have their stereotypes without really realizing it.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,jk23
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 11:57 AM

Sorry I didn't see the foregoing posts regarding "Galveston." I saw it had already been covered.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 01:52 PM

one of his first projects was "White Mansions," a concept album set in the Confederacy and featuring several stars of the biz such as Waylon, Jessi Colter, Eric Clapton

Clapton was a public supporter of the British racist politician Enoch Powell at the time. The carpetbaggers came from further away than the North.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Rex
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:08 PM

Glad to see "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" by Robbie Robertson mentioned. Liz Masterson and I do a show of the songs of the Civil War. All material is written from the time except the "Legend of the Rebel Soldier" by the Country Gentlemen as we like to point out that there are some great songs written of the war in modern times. A song of Southern pride that I'm surprised wasn't mentioned yet is "Are You From Dixie?" by Yellen and Cobb and covered in this thread:

thread.CFM?threadID=14265

Rex


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:54 PM

Probably the reason "Are You From Dixie?" wasn't specifically mentioned was the theory was to refer to "country" songs about the Confederacy.    You'd have to stretch the definition of "country" music pretty far back in years (usually only starting in the 20's) to include the real pro-Dixie songs by and large.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 08:24 AM

How to relax your coloured friends at parties....

a fun wordsearch, who can find the most racists, in this month's Country Music people magazine.


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Subject: RE: the Confederacy in Country Music
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 11:05 AM

Brilliant, Alan.    That's certainly the way to increase understanding between the races--encourage as much suspicion of racism as possible.   No wonder folkies have such a great reputation as stellar thinkers.

Perhaps such ideas play a role in why the UK has never had a black PM.

Somehow your suggestion doesn't sound like the kind of game President Obama would endorse.

But have fun anyway.


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