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Dixie

Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1859)

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten,
(Alternate Original words "Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,")
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
early on one frosty mornin',
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.


Optional Verses

Ole Missus marry "Will the weaver"
Willum was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land.

But when he put his arm around 'er,
He smiled fierce as a forty pounder,
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land.


"Dixie" was written by Daniel Decatur Emmett of Mount Vernon, Ohio, and premiered in September of 1859 in New York. According to an article by Mike Petee in the Knox County Observer (Mount Vernon, Ohio), Dan Emmett learned to play various instruments at a young age, including the banjo, fife, fiddle and a small drum. He was enlisted in a Minstrel group when they stopped in Mount Vernon and needed a replacement for a sick player, beginning a long musical career.

Although best known as the song adopted by the Confederacy, "Dixie" was also Abraham Lincoln's favorite song, and it was played at his inauguration. Even though Abe Lincoln loved and supported the song, Dan Emmett was ostracized in the North for writing a song associated with the South. In his last performance in Mount Vernon, it is reported that he cried when he was warmly welcomed and given a standing ovation as its writer. It is still considered to be one of the top two or three songs associated with the history of this country.

And although the song is credited to Emmett, he had indicated that the melody was partially inspired by a tune his mother sung to him as a child; and others believe a similar tune was sung around plantations and around the Mississippi River for several generations. In the original version shown for the second line of the first verse below, the words "cinnamon seed and sandy bottom" were referred to by the soldiers when they reached an area in Missouri where they found catfish and sassafras for tea for sale.