"Dixie": From Minstrelsy to Political Anthem
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This paper discusses the history of the song known as "Dixie," the creation of which is credited to Daniel Decatur Emmett. The writer provides a brief overview of Emmett's career, and the unique musical style of "The Original Virginia Minstrels," a blackface group that he formed in 1843 which became immensely popular almost instantly and sparked similar groups across the nation. "Dixie," which Emmett composed in 1859, and which seems to be about the positive side of slavery, quickly became popular in both the Southern and Northern states. It became the subject of bitter controversy, as, during the Civil War, both armies used the tune to march their troops to battle. By the end of 1861, the South had claimed the song as theirs, and General Pike composed new verses with warlike terminology. The paper concludes that "Dixie" is still at the center of a massive controversy, since it is now considered to be racially biased, even though that was not its original intention.
From the Paper:"During the Civil War, songs not only gave beat and cadence to the soldiers' marching, but they also reminded the soldiers what they were fighting for. Some were sentimental songs, such as "When This Cruel War is Over" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" while others were published songs that were cleverly adapted by soldiers such as Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More" was renamed as "Hard Crackers Come Again No More" (Rockenbach 1). As the Civil War split the nation, it seemed as though everything in America was taking a side: states, soldiers, even songs."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bruce Jr., Dickson D. "Reviews of Books." The American Historical Review. Vol. 100, No. 1. Feb. 1995. pp. 239-240. American Historical Association.
- Cornish, Rory T. "Dixie." Encyclopedia of the American Civil War. Ed. David Heidler, Jeanne Heidler, and David Coles. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2000. <http://books.google.com/books?id=SdrYv7S60fgC&printsec=copyright&dq=political+%22Dixie%22+Emmett&lr=>.
- Emmett, Daniel Decautur. "Dixie's Land." Civil War Poetry. Benjamin Tubb of The Music of the American Civil War (1861-1865). <http://www.civilwarpoetry.org/confederate/songs/dixie.html>.
- Rockenbach, Stephen. "Popular Culture." <http://www.poemfinder.com/pdf/samples/sp430096.pdf>.
- Sacks, Judith Rose. Way Up North in Dixie. University of Illinois Press: 2003. <http://books.google.com/books?id=2Cw9-qy0L9oC&printsec=copyright&dq=political+%22Dixie%22+Emmett&lr=>.
Cite this Term Paper:
"Dixie": From Minstrelsy to Political Anthem (2009, November 09) Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/dixie-from-minstrelsy-to-political-anthem-117032/
""Dixie": From Minstrelsy to Political Anthem" 09 November 2009. Web. 25 October. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/dixie-from-minstrelsy-to-political-anthem-117032/>