Randy Newman- Sail Away– The American as trader, slaver, advertising man, liar, preacher, traveller, dreamer and thief. Music as prologue. History on the horizon where the slave ships ride at anchor.
The Band- The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down– The American out on a limb, tied to land, to place, to home, to family; grieving, marginalised, defeated, proud, despondent, struggling, defiant. Music as fairytale. History as fable.
Bob Dylan- Dixie– The past marginalised, reduced to a folksong, a wink, a smile, a sideways glance; the folksong stripped to mean nothing and mean everything. The past confronted, the truth delivered straight, with no malice and a cold eye. The present and the future stand in the audience and we know not what they think. History with it’s tongue cut out. Music with a subtle bite.
Make of this what you will…..