The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Words & Music:

Robbie Robertson (The Band)


There is a version of this in the February 2008 issue of Acoustic Guitar.  The version below is the one I first learned at camp.


C  Em  Am  F  [2x]


Am     C                       F                     Dm

Virgil Caine is my name, and I drove on the Danville train,

Am              C                F                   Dm

'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again.

F                 C  C/B          Am           F

In the winter of '65----, we were hungry, just barely alive.

Am                F

By May the tenth, Richmond had fell,

         C        F              G

It was a time I remember, oh, so well.



    C          Am              C             Am

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and the bells were ringing.

C              Am              C                 Am

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and all the people were singing.

            C           Am          Dm              F

They went, "La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La..."


Back with my wife in Tennessee, when one day she called to me,

"Virgil, quick, come see, there goes Robert E. Lee!"

Now I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if the money's no good.

You take what you need and you leave the rest.

But they never should have taken the very best.




Like my father before me, I'm a working man.

Like my brother above me, I took a rebel stand.

He was just 18, proud and brave, when a Yankee laid him in his grave.

I swear by the blood below my feet

You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat.


CHORUS:  [then, vamp intro chords & end on Am]


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