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Joan Baez…and the Confederates

by Chris Walsh
North Idaho

“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

Joan was welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year; at long last.

Now, for those of you that don’t know Joan, she was and will always be a great folk singer. She is a liberal, and has stood her ground righteously and sometimes courageously since the 1960’s, a long time by any standard.

Although I detest today’s simpleminded liberalism, I have in my heart a real & honest appreciation for people, of any background, who truly empathize; and sympathize with other people’s pain and suffering. It is an admirable thing to believe in helping; or minimally recognizing the other guy’s pain.

Now one of Joan’s best songs was called “The night they drove old Dixie down”. This was a GREAT song, full of emotion, pain, and suffering in a way that makes me still listen hard, when she sings it on the radio today; even after all these years. It’s the story of a poor white southerner, a Confederate soldier; and his pain & hopelessness during and after the end of the American Civil War.

Joan didn’t write the song, she wasn’t even the first band to play it; she just did the song the most damage, she killed it, she made the story, and song; MEMORABLE. Takes skill to be memorable in anything you do.

In order for Joan to make the song what it was, she had to FEEL the pain of that southern man; the Confederate Soldier, who fought FOR his country, and watched many of his fellow men die in agony, battle lost after battle lost; each one there NOT for the furtherance of slavery; but there to support their country. They; these Confederate Soldiers, were also American HEROES; and not (again) as a result of their political cause, but as a simple result of their pain, death, and misery brought about by (who else but) major political forces. When the war ended, the victors “took the very best” from the south; in so many ways, just like the song Joan sang states.

Today, if Joan introduced that song to the public; know what they’d label Joan Baez?

A racist. A bigot. Klan member. Joan Baez; sheet wearing racist.

Can you imagine?

And why would ANYONE so wrongly label her a bigot?

Because Joan felt SYMPATHY for the “enemy” of today’s liberals, the defeated American Confederacy, it’s Army, it’s heroes. This fact; Joan’s sympathy, alone would have put Joan in polar opposition to the entire Democratic party in 2017; she would now be considered a traitor to today’s liberal “ideals”.

In the south in 2017, LIBERAL Democrats have successfully sought and gained the removal of a ton of Confederate statues and memorials, flags, and more, based on today’s liberal vision that EVERYTHING and EVERYONE that came from the south during the civil war were wrong, in every way, instead of recognizing, (as Joan so perfectly did); that the pain of war crosses all boundaries, and regardless of outcome, those soldiers, and so many Generals and Colonels, Captains, Majors, and Sergeants and Privates in the Confederate Army were not only Heroes; they were also AMERICAN Heroes; they were and will always be OUR countrymen, and they should all be HONORED for their service, no different than a soldier who fought the Germans in Normandy or a Marine who paid with his life on Okinawa.

You see, it’s never the soldier, or General that causes war; it IS the politicians. Denigrating the heroism and greatness of the Confederate Army by removing statues and memorials in the south, dedicated to individuals who lived through the pain and suffering and heroism that made up the Confederate Army; is not only foolish, but fans hatred all across America. While liberals dance in the streets over another statue having been removed, the hate that they planted by their own lack of comprehension of war is very precisely what will bring; eventually, bloodshed; again.

Nothing is as bitter or evil as civil war.

So as Joan sang her song, and felt for her fellow man; the sad irony is that the people whose group she has dedicated her life to; the liberal Democrats; are very effectively bringing about the next civil war. All of the innocent & peaceful hippies she rocked in the 60’s have now fully matured; through 2 generations; into a truly and deeply bigoted group of extremely intolerant people who would now stereotype and label an innocent; and honest woman like Joan Baez as a racist, today. If you doubt it, explain to me how a statue of a Confederate Soldier needs be removed; but Joan singing about their suffering would be somehow “acceptable” in a modern American campus….it wouldn’t.

Joan Baez, your party has left you; they are now the people you railed against in the 1960’s, they ARE the intolerant; they are the ones that won’t allow others to speak freely, they are simply, and sadly, the people you sang about overcoming.

The roles have reversed now, Joan. The free in America are the conservatives, and Joan, as a reward for your sympathy for that poor & miserable Soldier of the civil war whose pain you captured so well, you might as well be a Trump voter, because frankly, again, if you’d have let THAT song out of the bag in May of 2017; you’d NEVER be allowed to sing it on just about any campus in America, and more than that, if you tried I’m more than certain that you’d need good & solid police protection.

So in closing, does anyone, anywhere, think that Joan Baez sang; through her heart, “The Night they drove old Dixie down” and was thinking that the south, and slavery; should rise again? Does anyone think that she viewed the average Confederate Soldier as a racist; and that’s why she shared their pain with us all?

When she sang that song, she was innocent, and the pain she saw and felt was real.

It’d be a good thing for America if someone could commandeer the out of control runaway train that has become the wrecking ball that is today’s Democratic Party; before Joan is forced, again, to feel the pain that a loser; and many times winners of war has suffered through.

God Bless America-


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Photo credit: The Ralph Retort





  1. “Nothing is as bitter or evil as civil war.”

    And yet there are forces at work who are trying to foment another one. I’ll remind them AGAIN — be careful what you wish for.

    Excellent post, Chris.

    1. Retired Air Force Spook, you have it so right. And when the day comes the ones who lose the most will be the common man. It will not be politicians or celebrities. And it will not be region against region it maybe house against house. When we have lost our history and our way how do we pull back from the abyss

  2. Nicely done Chris. You have said what many have been thinking. As Retired Navy Spook pointed out be careful what you wish for. What is happening is nothing more than people taking away basic freedoms, (speech/thought, religion, etc). That could very easily start the next civil war. What a frightening thought. Please God, don’t let it come to that.

  3. I have a newspaper article of my great great great great aunt on my mom’s side, sister to her line, who was 101 in 1945 celebrating her birthday. It is in storage now, but I recall she told of a leader of a calvary came through NW GA and stopped at her farm. She was about 18 with two small toddlers. Her husband must have been enlisted as he was not there. The leader exchanged his cast iron skillet for her coffee pot. He ordered the men to leave her a shoulder of the hogs/pigs they butchered (all of them) but the men did not leave her any at all. She only had bad meal and survived. I checked the ages of her sons and found apparently the leader made sure she was not harmed at all because her next child a son arrived about 5 years later. Until I get it out again I do wonder, was it Sherman or if she even knew.

    1. It was her 100th birthday she passed away six months later. After I made my earlier post I googled Sherman’s march and he was in Dallas GA, where she was. Our family century old plot is there. The article is a Dallas GA paper. When I get his out, I will send you a copy. It’s history. It is a testimony in 1945 of 81 years earlier. I think it was Sherman. A story important enough for her to share.

    1. Robbie Robertson a Canadian. I watched Joan’s 75th birthday and seems she sings everybody else songs including this one. Hers it what I remember, though.

  4. It is disgraceful and abhorrent what people are doing to the history of the South. I will lay odds that VERY FEW people even know that the Civil War was not even fought of slavery. It was fought over freedom from unjust taxation by the North. The rebel flag was created because both sides were using Old Glory. Very few soldiers had uniforms then so they ended up shooting their own people sometimes. The South made their own flag to prevent this from happening.

  5. IMHO the song was much better sun by Levon Helm of the Band, Joan Baez apparently accidentally change some of the lyrics, like “Stoneman’s Calvary”

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