A Great American Song

When I was in Copenhagen a month ago, out walking in the evening, I came across a pair of buskers, folks singers, doing The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” I’ve always loved it, thought of it as a great American song. It was fun to stand in a square with a bunch of Danes listening to it.

When I got back to my hotel, I looked it up, to discover that Robbie Robertson, who wrote it, is Canadian.

Still a great American song.


  1. but the heart and soul of it is Levon Helm’s vocal and drumming, and he grew up in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas

  2. Turkey Scratch, Arkansas? I looked it up – it’s in Lee County. Yeah, that explains a lot. One of the stories I read somewhere doing what passes for “research” for a blog post like this had Helm taking Robertson to a library to read about Robert E. Lee. Yeah, now I see.

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