Riley Green’s ‘Bury Me in Dixie’ Pulled From Streaming Sites Following ‘Robert E. Lee’ Lyric Blacklash
The Riley Green song “Bury Me in Dixie,” a musical ode to his home state of Alabama, helped pave his path to a 2018 deal with Big Machine Label Group and the recent No. 1 hit “There Was This Girl.” Yet suddenly, Green’s breakthrough song disappeared from streaming services in October following controversy over lyrics that reference Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
While most of "Bury Me in Dixie" harmlessly name-drops Alabama’s natural beauty and traditions in the college towns Auburn and Tuscaloosa, one brief line, “I wish Robert E. Lee would come back and take a bow,” has brought negative attention to Green’s surging career. “In terms of Confederate nostalgia, it isn’t the worst I’ve ever heard, certainly, but it’s pretty obvious,” Dr. Charles Hughes, author of the music history Country Soul, tells Rolling Stone Country.
Although neither Green nor his team would comment for Rolling Stone Country's story, "multiple sources" confirmed to the outlet that "Bury Me in Dixie" was scrubbed from streaming services because of that specific line. However, in a Saturday (Nov. 2) Instagram post, Green calls the story "strictly speculation," and says that a newly recorded live version of the song is coming soon.
"I was born and raised in northeast Alabama, and anybody who knows me knows how proud I am of that," Green writes. "I wrote "Bury Me in Dixie" as a tribute to my home state and the values we have where I grew up. That song got me where I am today, and I stand behind it."
Green told Rolling Stone Country in February, "I would put my state pride up with anybody’s in the sense of where it comes out in my music. I wrote [“Bury Me in Dixie”] the night before I opened for Marshall Tucker Band in Anniston, Ala. I played it at that show the next night and people just went nuts. It was the first song that I’d ever written where I thought, 'Man, I can get a following like this.'"
Robert E. Lee was commander of the Army of Northern Virginia beginning in 1862, shortly after the start of the Civil War, until the United States' 1865 defeat of the Confederacy. On April 9 of that year, Lee surrendered to U.S. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Virginia's Appomattox Court House, ending the war.
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