Gateway to the Classics: Historic Poems and Ballads by Rupert S. Holland
 
Historic Poems and Ballads by  Rupert S. Holland

Dixie's Land and Dixie

T HE original song of "Dixie's Land" was written as a comic melody by Dan Emmett, a celebrated negro minstrel, in 1859. He is said to have taken the tune from an old plantation melody, and to have written verses to suit his audiences. When the Civil War began General Albert Pike wrote new words, calling on the South to arm and defend herself, and set these to the old air. The South at once claimed the song for her own, and it became the best loved of all the Southern ballads. Armies marched to it, and men went into battle singing it.

Many new verses have been written to the old melody, and the air is now as popular in the North as in the South. The words most generally associated with it now are those of the song by Dan Emmett, or variations on them, rather than the martial words of General Pike.

Dixie

by Albert Pike

Southrons, hear your country call you!

Up, lest worse than death befall you!

To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Lo! all the beacon-fires are lighted,—

Let all hearts be now united!

To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Advance the flag of Dixie!

Hurrah! hurrah!

For Dixie's land we take our stand,

And live and die for Dixie!

To arms! To arms!

And conquer peace for Dixie!

To arms! To arms!

And conquer peace for Dixie!


Hear the Northern thunders mutter!

Northern flags in South winds flutter!

Send them back your fierce defiance!

Stamp upon the accursed alliance!


Fear no danger! Shun no labor!

Lift up rifle, pike, and sabre!

Shoulder pressing close to shoulder,

Let the odds make each heart bolder!


How the South's great heart rejoices

At your cannon's ringing voices!

For faith betrayed, and pledges broken,

Wrongs inflicted, insults spoken.


Strong as lions, swift as eagles,

Back to their kennels hunt these beagles!

Cut the unequal bonds asunder!

Let them hence each other plunder!


Swear upon your country's altar

Never to submit or falter,

Till the spoilers are defeated,

Till the Lord's work is completed!


Halt not till our Federation

Secures among earth's powers its station!

Then at peace, and crowned with glory,

Hear your children tell the story!


If the loved ones weep in sadness,

Victory soon shall bring them gladness,—

To arms!

Exultant pride soon vanish sorrow;

Smiles chase tears away to-morrow.

To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Advance the flag of Dixie!

Hurrah! Hurrah!

For Dixie's land we take our stand,

And live or die for Dixie!

To arms! To arms!

And conquer peace for Dixie!

To arms! To arms!

And conquer peace for Dixie!


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