So, some folks are REALLY OFFENDED, mostly those who claim to be WOKE because the classic tune The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down offends their sensitivities. Singer Early James apparently is butthurt over the song. So much so he volunteered to perform it, after he “cleansed” the lyrics of course. Consider this from Rolling Stone
James had volunteered to perform “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” the troubling requiem for the Confederate cause from 1969’s The Band. For more than 50 years, it’s been the contradiction at the heart of the Band’s catalog — a poignant song, sung with passion and grit by the late Levon Helm, yet ultimately a vehicle for a harmful, racist American myth. The words that Robbie Robertson wrote from the perspective of a poor Tennessee farmer in 1865
So, singing a tune that shows how a man in Tennessee in 1865 might have felt is RAAAAACIST!! How so? Nothing in the song glorifies the Confederacy. But maybe it has to smear every Southerner of that time to be acceptable to James, who seems angry that any Southerner could feel any pride in, well, being a Southerner
James had stayed up until 5 a.m. the morning of the show, rewriting Robertson’s lyrics with help from his girlfriend, costume designer Cammie Windley. “The lines that made me cringe, I had to change those,” he says. “I’m from the South. I grew up with racist family members. The song just kind of wrote itself.”
Growing up in Troy, Alabama, a small city about two hours south of Birmingham, where he currently lives, James often heard “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” side by side with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and other songs of Southern pride. “You can’t be from the South and not,” he says. “People take that song as their anthem. When people had songs as their ringtone, I remember that being one.” (He notes one irony: “They had no idea Robbie Robertson was Canadian. If they had, they would’ve hated it! People are just ignorant.”)
Damn Southerners! How dare they how any pride right Early? I wonder if Early is just using this to get the woke types to pat him on the head? Virtue signalling anyone?