Front Porch: Summer 2002

ACCESS PURCHASE
Students and scholars can access articles for free via Project Muse.

Front Porch: Summer 2002

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 8, No. 2: Summer 2002

"Accounts agree that the author of 'Dixie' actually came from Ohio, which just goes to show how nostalgia can flourish at a certain distance."

It’s possible to argue that traditional southern identities were all invented by aggressive regional nostalgia. The very title of Gone with the Windspeaks volumes about its message. And think about “Dixie,” the once-more embattled marching song that has cheered Confederate soldiers, high school football teams, segregationist demonstrators, and lovers of rousing tunes generally. The singer is actually not in the land of cotton, but he wants to be. And all because of the old times there. It’s been seriously suggested that “Dixie” was actually composed by a family of black musicians, but most authorities point to Dan D. Emmett, a white minstrel show performer of the 1850s. Both accounts agree that the author of “Dixie” actually came from Ohio, which just goes to show how nostalgia can flourish at a certain distance.