Friday, October 12, 2007

Buster Kilrain in Song...

Steve Earle sings "Dixieland": a long introduction, but it's worth it, as Steve explains what the war was really about, and how the 20th Maine saved us all from talking funny:


I am kilrain and i'm a fightin' man and i come from county clare
And the brits would hang me for a fenian so i took me leave of there
And i crossed the ocean in the "arrianne" the vilest tub afloat
And the captain's brother was a railroad man and he met us the boat
So i joined up with the 20th maine like i said my friend
i'm a fighting man
And we're marchin' south in the pouring rain and we're all goin' down to dixieland

I am kilrain of the 20th maine and we fight for chamberlain
cause he stood right with us when the johnnies came like a banshee on the wind
When the smoke cleared out of gettysburg many a mother wept
For many a good boy died there, sure, and the air smelted
just like death

I am kilrain of the 20th maine and i'd march to hell and back again
For colonel joshua chamberlain - we're all goin' down to dixieland

I am kilrain of the 20th maine and i damn all gentlemen
Whose only worth is their father's name and the
sweat of a workin' man
Well we come from the farms and the city streets and a hundred foreign lands
And we spilled our blood in the battle's heat
Now we're all americans

I am kilrain of the 20th maine and did i tell you friend
i'm a fightin' man
And i'll not be back this way again, cause we're all
goin' down to dixieland


Anonymous said...

I'd rather talk funny with an accent than with arrogant insincerity. And what region doesn't have accents and funny words? Come on, we know you really LOVE the South!

He said it right, "we've come from a hundred foreign lands". That's why it was so easy to fight a war of attrition by getting the new dummies to fight for them. But it's clear that some of us were here longer, and there's no use trying to change us.

dw said...

There are some things about the South that I love. I was born there (Texas), spent some formative years there (TX, LA, MO), buried my parents there (AR), and 3 of my siblings live there today (TN, AR).

No one cares enough to try to change you, Anonymous. The South was thoroughly defeated, and the silly, puffed-chest defiance of 21st-century wannabe "rebels" doesn't even register on the radar. You have been assimilated.

Steve Earle was singing from the perspective of an immigrant, but the vast majority of Union soldiers were native born. Doesn't matter, like Shelby Foote said, the Union fought the war with one hand tied behind its back.

On top of a burgeoning population in the North, regiments of loyal troops came from every state of the erstwhile Confederacy other than SC. Another great boost to northern arms was the roughly 180,000 freedmen and former slaves who had a stake in liberating the South.

The roots of many black Southerners go back to Jamestown, so they had a real stake defeating the southern slavocracy. When did your people get here?