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The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down: Introduction


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The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

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Hi all, it's Caren with Guitar Tricks and in this set of lessons we're going to learn "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", as made famous by Joan Baez. Written by Robbie Robertson of The Band with uncredited help from Levin Helm, this song was recorded by Joan Baez in 1971 and was to be the highest charting song in her career.

This is a classic "story" song, written from the point of view of a Southerner, a farmer turned soldier, near the end of the Civil War. In spite of pending defeat, the song's tone is hopeful and anthemic. "Dixie" is #245 on Rolling Stone's top 500 songs of all time!

You'll note that there are discrepancies between the lyric of Joan's version and the original version by The Band, which are due to Joan learning the song by ear and "miss-hearing" a few things.

We will use our capo on the first fret, learn 4 basic chords, a couple of "bonus" chords and an easy bass riff. After we learn the basic strum we'll head right into the tune, learning the signature intro, verses and choruses, ending up with a play along and a jam along.

Since we're using a capo for this song it will put us in the key of Db (but using C chord shapes). We're in 4/4 time, at a tempo of 130 bpm.