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Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land

DigiTrad:
A HORSE NAMED BILL
DIXIE, THE LAND OF KING COTTON
DIXIE'S LAND


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GUEST,An Old Friend 27 Jun 11 - 01:20 AM
GUEST,keith A of Hertford 27 Jun 11 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Jun 11 - 10:55 AM
Stringsinger 27 Jun 11 - 11:22 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jun 11 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Jun 11 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Jun 11 - 01:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jun 11 - 01:30 PM
Les from Hull 27 Jun 11 - 01:40 PM
Les from Hull 27 Jun 11 - 01:43 PM
Les from Hull 27 Jun 11 - 03:04 PM
GUEST 19 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM
Thompson 19 Sep 14 - 02:02 PM
Don Firth 19 Sep 14 - 02:37 PM
Lighter 19 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM
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Subject: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: GUEST,An Old Friend
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 01:20 AM

"Abraham & Mary Lincoln" is running on my local PBS channel. One thought drifted into another and I dug out an old record of songs of Lincoln's era. It is said the "Dixie Land" was one of his favorite songs. There is a verse that refers to Will the Weaver, the gay deceiver and his wife. "When he put his arms around her, He looked fierce like a 40 pounder". What the heck is that? 40 pound what??


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: GUEST,keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 03:01 AM

A gun.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 10:55 AM

a forty-pound catfish, or similar

googlebooks


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 11:22 AM

There's a lot of work that need to be done on the origins of this song. The information given about it through books and blurbs is not complete. Here are a couple of theories that have come from printed sources, one a songbook published in Chicago which as yet has not been proven incorrect. "Dixey's Land" was written by Daniel Emmett of the Decatur Minstrels and premiered on the New York stage as a "walkaround". There was a Dix or Dicks who owned a parcel of land on which he developed a theme park as an Antebellum atmosphere, Disney-like, to employ slaves and others for the public. Although this connection has never been officially established, it leaves room for further investigation.

The other theory is that this was a street rhyme by children in New York involving a character named "Dixie". This predates the theft of the song from Emmett by a New Orleans publishing house named Schultz, the song being appropriated by the Confederacy which caused Emmett some dismay since he was a supporter of the Union.

This information has been corroborated by interested parties such as folklorists. The question always remains with folklore is that for the most part, it is always folklore in and of itself unverifiable in any "rocket science" sense.

Whenever a student of folklore comes across a pedantic statement regarding the evolution of a folk song, it has to be remembered that often the song itself predates any publication of it in print. Barbara Allen might be excepted since it's arrival in print spawned variants. Here, I'm quoting Sam Hinton, a prodigious scholar of folk music.

I think we're going to remain in the dark for a time about Dixie or Dixey, whether it refers to the Mason-Dixon latitudinal line or the French ten dollar bill from New Orleans known as the "Dix", or other connective theories that haven't yet been established.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:42 PM

Oh, no ! Not another thread !


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:44 PM

I understand your dismay, Q - but this one has a catfish in it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 01:13 PM

It might be a huge fish, but a "forty-pounder" was the common term for cannon that fired a forty-pound shot.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 01:30 PM

Correct, Lighter.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Les from Hull
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 01:40 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Les from Hull
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 01:43 PM

40pdr

This is the 40pdr gun used by Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Designed and built in England.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Les from Hull
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 03:04 PM

Actually I'm not sure if this particular model made it into Confederate service.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM

hoe it down and scratch your grabble?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:02 PM

Grabble = gravel?

What baffles me is why these people are forever looking away. Can this be why they lost the war? Difficult to aim if you're not looking straight ;)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:37 PM

Way down south in the land of cotton
It's awful hot and they all smell rotton,
Get away! Get away! Get away!
And take a bath....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Meaning of lyrics to Dixie Land
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM

Ever hear of a "hoedown"? That's what you dance when you "hoe it down."

To "scratch gravel" meant to hurry.

In the song, however, it is also possible that both phrases refer to dance steps performed at a hoedown.

Since the sing began as a stage composition, odds are that composer-minstrel Daniel Emmett accompanied the lines with appropriate gestures.


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