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Waxing Moronic: 10 Wrong Facts From Song Lyrics


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'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' by The Band
The Band in 1971 © Gijsbert Hanekroot/SUNSHINE ./Retna Ltd./Corbis
The Band in 1971 © Gijsbert Hanekroot/SUNSHINE ./Retna Ltd./Corbis

At the very least, Robbie Robertson of The Band should get some credit for trying to write a song that attempts a thumbnail history of the Civil War. Doris Kearns Goodwin and Shelby Foote get hundreds of pages to describe what a musician must boil down to a ditty of three or four minutes.

But we would be remiss to ignore a few of the errors in the song. We'll just name one. Namely, Robertson says that "by May the 10th, Richmond had fell." Alright, kind of fair -- Richmond had fallen, but more than a month earlier, in April [source: The Civil War Trust]. Forgive The Band, though, that inaccuracy. They're Canadians, after all.