Dixieland Delight

by Emily Jolley

Dixieland Delight has been declared to be distinctly Southern since its release by the band Alabama in 1983.  Maybe it is because lead singer Ronnie Rogers wrote the song about “rolling down a backwoods, Tennessee byway,” as this line sets the song in a state known for its country music and Southern culture.  Or maybe it is due to Rogers’ reference to the bullfrog “croakin’” as he thinks about his “home grown country girl” who is described as a “sweet soft southern thrill.”  However, the southern roots of this song are undeniable as its chorus concludes with the line: “my dixieland delight.”  Through the song, the listener is not only told not only of the beauty of the woman, but also the land and the Southern way of life.  Rogers references the “mountain moonlight” and the “whitetail buck deer,” glorifying not only the girl seated beside him, but also the beauty before him.  Ultimately, it paints a picture of a simple, “delightful” life full of hard work, a sweet Southern woman, and endless miles of beautiful countryside.

Dixieland Delight - Wikipedia

This song has remained relevant far beyond its release as it has become a staple at many Southern college football games, especially at rival schools.  And once one has experienced this, it is difficult to hear the song without immediately thinking of the atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the tribute to the South.  In South Carolina, dieheart Clemson and Carolina fans have chanted the song’s chorusand its added lines from very young ages.  This song serves as more than a rivalry chant, though.  It embodies the beauty in the simple way of life often associated with the South.  Despite its reference to “Dixieland” and a “Mason Dixon night,” this song has remained a fan favorite for almost 30 years and its power to both unite listeners through the Southern identity and divide households on Saturday night is unmatched by any other Southern song.

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