Lyrics for singles by The Band
Up On Cripple Creek
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' 'bout half past dead
I just need some place where I can lay my head
"Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?"
He just grinned and shook my hand; "No" was all he said
Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny, and ... and ... and ... you put the load right on me
I picked up my bag, I went looking for a place to hide
When I saw Carmen and the devil walking side by side
I said, "Hey, Carmen, c'mon, let's go downtown"
She said, "I gotta go but my friend can stick around"
Go down, Miss Moses, ain't nothin' you can say
It's just old Luke, and Luke's waiting on the judgement day
Well, Luke, my friend, what about young Anna Lee?
He said, "Do me a favor, son, won't you stay and keep Anna Lee company"
Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog
Said, "I will fix your rack, if you'll take Jack my dog"
I said, "Wait a minute Chester - you know, I'm a peaceful man"
He said, "That's okay, boy, won't you feed him when you can"
Catch the Cannonball now to take me down the line
My bag is sinking low, and I do believe it's time
To get back to Miss Fanny, you know she's the only one
Who sent me here with her regards for everyone
When I get off of this mountain
You know where I want to go
Straight down the Mississippi river
To the Gulf of Mexico
To Lake George, Louisiana
Little Bessie, girl that I once knew
And she told me just to come on by
If there's anything she could do
Up on Cripple Creek, she sends me
If I spring a leak, she mends me
I don't have to speak, she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one
Good luck had just stung me
To the race track I did go
She bet on one horse to win
And I bet on another to show
The odds were in my favor
I had him five to one
And when that nag came around the track
Sure enough he had won
I took up all of my winnings
And I gave my little Bessie half
And she tore it up and blew it in my face
Just for a laugh
Now there's one thing in the whole wide world
I sure would like to see
That's when that little love of mine
Dips her doughnut in my tea
Now me and my mate were back at the shack
We had Spike Jones on the box
She said, "I can't take the way he sings
But I love to hear him talk"
Now that just gave my heart a fall
To the bottom of my feet
And I swore and I took another pull
My Bessie can't be beat
Now, it's hot in California
And up north it's pretty cold
And this living off the road
Is getting pretty old
So I guess I'll call up my big mama
Tell her I'll be rolling in
But you know, deep down, I'm kinda tempted
To go and see my sweet Bessie again
(Note: there is an excellent article discussing this song -- Ed.)
Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train
'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again
In the winter of sixty-five, we were hungry, just barely alive
By May the tenth Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember oh so well
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the people were singing
They went "la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la"
Back with my wife in Tennessee, when one day she called to me
"Virgil, quick, come see, there goes Robert E. Lee!"
Now I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if the money's no good
You take what ya need and ya leave the rest
But they should never have taken the very best
Like my father before me, I will work the land
And like my brother above me, who took a Rebel stand
He was just eighteen, proud and brave
But a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the mud below my feet
You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat