Dixie: “One of the best songs I have ever heard…” (1865)

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Abraham Lincoln addresses a celebratory crowd at the White House (April 10, 1865):

“I see you have a band of music with you.

[Voices, `We have two or three.’]

I propose closing up this interview by the band performing a particular tune which I will name. Before this is done, however, I wish to mention one or two little circumstances connected with it. I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it.


I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize.

[Laughter and applause.]

I now request the band to favor me with its performance.”

In accordance with the request, the band struck up `Dixie,’ and at its conclusion played `Yankee Doodle,’ the President remaining at the window mean-while.

SOURCE: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

Dixie by Daniel Decatur Emmett

3 Comments Add yours

  1. simonmbrooks says:

    Love it!
    I want to be there!

    1. Marek says:

      You Brits always did have a soft spot for the rebels…8^)

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