Going Back to Dixie

by

by Bill Dillof

America’s  “Great Migration” of  blacks fleeing their southern homeland for the relative freedom and better life of the north and west lasted, roughly, from 1915 until 1970.  But life was not always better in the new lands, and a counter current, fueled by dissappointment and nostalgia, would bring a goodly number of migrants back south again. I’s Gwine Back To Dixie, written by C.A. White in 1874,  captures the spirit of reverse migration in song. Notable recordings were issued by, among others, Uncle Dave Macon (1927) and The Leake County Revellers (1929).

 

 

 I’s gwine back to Dixie, no more I’s gwine to wander

I’s gwine back to Dixie, can’t stay here any longer

I miss the old plantation, my home and my relations

My heart’s turned back to Dixie, and I must go

 

 

I’s gwine back to Dixie, I’s goin’ back to Dixie

I’s goin’ where the orange blossoms grow

I hear the children calling, see their sad tears falling

My heart’s turned back to Dixie, and I must go

 

 

I’ve hoed in fields of cotton; I’ve worked upon the river

I used to think, if I got off, I’d never go back, no, never

But times have changed the old man, his head is bending low

His heart’s turned back to Dixie, and I must go, etc.

 

 

I miss my hog and hominy, my pumpkin and red gravy

My appetite is fading, so says old Uncle Davy

If my friends forsake me, I pray the lord to take me

My heart’s turned back to Dixie, and I must go

 

 

Uncle Dave Macon sings “I’se Gwine Back to Dixie”:

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