The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

“There was a chord progression and melody rumbling through my head, but I didn’t know yet what the song was about. I played it on the piano one day for Levon. He liked the way it stopped and started, free of tempo. I flashed back to when he first took me to meet his parents in Marvell, Arkansas, and his daddy said, ‘Don’t worry, Robin – the South is going to rise again.’ I told Levon I wanted to write lyrics about the Civil War from a southern family’s point of view. ‘Don’t mention Abraham Lincoln in the lyrics’ was his only advice. ‘That won’t go down too well.’ I asked him to drive me to the Woodstock library so I could do a little research on the Confederacy. They didn’t teach that stuff in Canadian schools. When I conjured up a story about Virgil Caine and his kin against this historical backdrop, the song came to life for me. Though I did stop and wonder, Can I get away with this? You call this rock ‘n’ roll? Maybe!”Robbie Robertson (1177)

Forbidden Fruit

“Felt like holding a mirror up to our current state of affairs, kind of a “check yourself before you wreck yourself” reminder.”Robbie Robertson (1216)

Acadian Driftwood

“The song was inspired by a documentary I had seen in Montreal a while back called “L’Acadie, l’Acadie,” where for the first time I understood that the name “Cajun” was a southern country slurring of the word “Acadian.” The documentary told a very powerful story about the eighteenth-century expulsion by the British of the Acadians: French settlers in eastern Canada. Thousands of homeless Acadians moved to the area around Lafayette, Louisiana.”Robbie Robertson (1216)

Dry Your Eyes

“Neil [Diamond – Ed] and I wrote one song together called “Dry Your Eyes” about how many people felt after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.”Robbie Robertson (1217)