Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Category: Southern Agrarianism (Page 1 of 4)

The Vanishing Southern Gentleman

Here’s an article from “The Independent” Volume 86, published in 1916. The article was written by Louise Collier Willcox of Norfolk, Virginia. It gives an insightful look at what a gentleman was in the early 1900’s, and also reveals what type of men had become the norm and taken hold post reconstruction. It is an insightful document into what characteristics were considered to make an ordinary man into a gentleman. Students of the Southern Gentleman may find this piece very useful. The article and publication have outlived their copyright, and I am posting the entire article in this post.

(The article below may contain spelling or grammatical errors, it is reproduced in its original format)
The Vanishing Gentleman

BY LOUISE COLLIER WILLCOX

AUTHOR OF “THE HUMAN WAY,” “THE ROAD TO JOY”

HE passed very quietly and quickly. One might almost assert that it was accomplished in one generation. The fathers still held a tradition of which the sons were unaware. There was no pomp and circumstance about the end; there was very little lamentation.

Mrs. Comer proclaimed loudly and eagerly the vanishing lady. She raised a pean of praise to the housed, headachy, hampered mid-Victorian type and she saw no good in the candid, athletic, open air, open minded creature who replaced her. But has anyone spoken of the vanishing gentleman? It is said that the bustle and hurry of modern life is the cause of his passing and one must admit that it is in the mart, in the centers of commercialism that one meets his successor. I have conversed with him in his office with his hat on and a cigar in his mouth. I have met him and lunched with him, when he was a representative in Congress, and winked across the table at a confrere when anything amused him. He is short and incisive of speech and definitely prefers bad grammar. In certain localities and grievous to state, from one university, he is capable of sitting in the presence of ladies, with his feet higher than his head. Yes, he even spits! He is the apotheosis of the lowbrow in manners. His speech is wrecked on a false ideal of freedom and ease; his traditions are huddled up under aggression and haste; his manners are sacrificed to a false democracy.

Since the days of Confucius, men have been outlining and defining the gentleman. We have been told that it takes three generations at least to make one. But I have seen two generations of perfect gentlemen produce the up-to-date hoodlum.

There are varying theories as to where a gentleman begins. It used to be the theory that if the heart was right, the manners followed. If I read William James aright, he says that we begin to cry and then are sorry and I know the New-thought prophets say that if you will but persistently smile, you will become happy; ergo, perhaps if you make the manners, the heart will grow right.

There are certain schools, one, at least, in this country and two in England who still lay stress upon all their graduates being gentlemen. Winchester has carven all over it “Manners maketh man.” And of a certain school, in our land, it is said that you can always recognize a representative by the way he apologizes for a mistake or an inadvertency.

Some one asked a Southern gentleman to define the difference between a Northern and a Southern gentleman, “Well,” he said, “the difference is this, one is born in the North and in a different environment, with different traditions, but whatever his thinking and his trappings, the gentleman part of him is just the same as the Southerner’s.” For after all being a gentleman is having a trained heart, just as being a scholar is having a trained mind. There is a hero of fiction whose life maxim was tristem neminem fecit. This type of gentleman may be found in every walk of life. He may load coal or collect pictures for a profession and live in an attic or a palace, but he is trained not to sadden or insult his fellow-sojourner. He may be a college professor or a butler, but at heart he is courtly and selfrestrained. He may be a gentleman because he owes it to other people, or because he feels that he owes it to himself, but he has learned somehow to “go softly.” He is thoughtful because thoughtlessness may do injuries; he is gentle because he knows that he is not alone in the world and that each person in it has a claim to consideration. He has been trained to believe that the world must be kept lovely as well as vigorous. Lafcadio Hearn speaks somewhere of someone who “never did anything which is not—I will not say right, that is commonplace—but beautiful.” This then is the aim of manners, to make life beautiful.

When one unexpectedly runs across a gentleman in an unexpected spot, it comes over one with a rush of pleasure, that a gentleman was after all nearly as wonderful a thing as a lady. Life is more fluid, more colored, freer in his presence. He is not listening for an inadvertence; he is taking his hearer on trust and for granted and he sets him at ease. He wants no advantage and he refrains from bullying or browbeating.

Oddly enough, this definition of a gentleman is some two thousand years old.

“A gentleman has nine aims: to see clearly; to understand what he hears; to be gentle in manner; dignified in bearing; faithful in speech; painstaking at work; to ask when in doubt; in anger to remember difficulties ; in sight of gain to remember right. His modesty escapes insult; his truth gains trust; his earnestness brings success; his kindness is a key to open men’s hearts.”

Tho the species is vanishing, there are still gentlemen in the world, and if the ideal were held aloft and waved there would still be many who would enroll themselves in the order of those who believe in the value of fine manners.

Paul Elmer More has recently made an eloquent plea that there should be a conscious solidarity at the core of the aristocratical class; that class which is capable of finer discriminations into grades of taste and character than exist in untutored nature. Tho he speaks for scholarship and moral and political standards, the result would include the manners also of the Vanishing Gentleman.

Norfolk, Virginia

Beauty, Ugliness, and Southern Agrarianism

Southern Agrarianism is a tradition-based aesthetic. It is, of course, about agrarianism, about appreciating the traditional and the rural, and having our roots deeply embedded in the soil, but it is more than that. It is an appreciation of beauty. Plants will still grow in a trash-filled dump, and chickens are raised in third-world slums, but there is more to it than that. Much more.

We have our vegetable garden, but a part of it is always set aside for cut flowers (mostly Zinnias), and we have a rose garden in the front, where we enjoy sitting on the bench with coffee and tea as we watch the sun come up. Is that “agrarian”? Strictly speaking, no; however it is Southern Agrarianism.

A recent article in The Federalist noted the current cultural trends that seem to normalize and glorify ugliness – obesity, tattoos and piercings, buildings that look like a Soviet prison, etc. On the other end of the scale is the beauty advocated by the late Sir Roger Scruton.

Beauty is our English language. Ugliness is the profanity and urban “trash talk” that seems to have spread throughout Western culture.

Beauty is classical music, folk music, and other traditional forms of musical artistry. Ugliness is rap “music” – which is not music at all.

Beauty is traditional art. Ugliness is “modern art”, appreciated only by those who smugly pretend that they understand the deep meaning of some paint splattered across a canvass – and if you don’t, then it’s because you’re a simple rube who isn’t attuned to the “artist’s” intention.

Beauty is traditional, classical architecture, whether it is a humble but cared for farm house, or a magnificent stone monument designed to inspire. Ugliness is the concrete, steel, and glass modernist style that seems designed to belittle and depress the spirit.

Beauty is the system of manners and etiquette that serves to keep a society running smoothly in spite of competing agendas. Ugliness is the “Me first. Do your own thing” attitude that seems to be in control in modern society and promoted by the media.

Beauty is a family where family comes first, where multiple generations come together, and where they understand that they are only one link in a chain that extends back in time and forward to generations yet to be born. Ugliness is the trend of glorifying childlessness, single parenting, one night stands, and unwed motherhood.

Embrace Tradition – Reject Modernity.

Purity, Symbols, and Flags

I sought a flag to follow, A cause for which to stand.
I sought a valiant leader Who could my love command.
I sought a stirring challenge, Some noble work to try.
To give my life fulfillment, My dreams to satisfy.
— John W. Peterson
— From the hymn titled “A Flag to Follow”

For centuries, people have followed not a colorful piece of cloth on a pole, but a flag – a symbol of what they believe and support. Men have died in battle carrying the flag of their people, and others pick up the fallen flag and carry it onward – sometimes to die themselves. They do that, not for a mere piece of cloth on a pole, but for what they and their brothers-in-arms are fighting for. Their flag is the symbol of that “cause for which to stand.”

There is no “official” flag of the Southern Agrarians, but we have chosen the Second National Confederate flag – also known as the Stainless Banner – as the symbol of who we are and what we stand for. At this point, a bit of Stainless Banner history is in order:

  • It was approved by the Confederate Congress on May 1, 1863.
  • The first recorded use was on May 12, when it was used to drape the coffin of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
  • The Savannah Morning News promoted it as “The White Man’s Flag”, but that never caught on. It became known as the “Stainless Banner”.
  • It was replaced by the Third National flag in 1865; the Second National could be mistaken as a flag of surrender on the battle field when there was no wind.

There are two design elements in this flag, and both are emblematic of Southern Agrarianism: the Southern Cross in the upper left corner, and the field of pure white. The Southern Cross has its roots in Christianity, which was – and in most of the rural South still is – a very powerful cultural and spiritual force. The field of white symbolizes purity. Southern Agrarianism, at its deepest levels, embraces purity of body, purity of mind, purity of spirit, and purity of blood (family lineage) – all of this wrapped up in the agrarian life rooted deep in Southern soil.

On a practical level, what does that purity mean? Here are some examples:

  • A rejection of that which pollutes the body – alcohol and other drugs, gluttony, body graffiti (tattoos, piercings, etc.).
  • A rejection of the crude and profane language that has become so commonplace today.
  • A rejection of pornography and sexual degeneracy.
  • Eating real food instead of the chemical concoctions now sold as “food”.
  • Embracing the rural and rejecting the urban.
  • Embracing tradition and rejecting modernity.

Is this a list of requirements? Does this mean that to be a Southern Agrarian, one must agree to and adhere to these principles? No, of course not. These are goals to strive for; it is what we aspire to be, knowing that we are bound to fail at times; knowing that there will be some who may never have the strength to overcome habits and addictions. It is, in the words of John W. Peterson, “a stirring challenge. Some noble work to try. To give my life fulfillment. My dreams to satisfy.” Let’s give it our best.

Cultural Barricades and Uniforms

We are in a culture war that most do not yet recognize, and we need to build cultural barricades to clearly mark the battle lines. Agrarians on one side, Urbanites on the other side – or alt-right/antifa, or White/non-White, or Left wing/Right wing, or Christian/Other, or any number of other descriptions. If you believe in something, if you cherish something, then stand up and be counted. Don’t be among the non-descript mass of mediocrity that defines middle of the road ambivalence. We are being intentionally divided by Globalists using the “divide and conquer” plan. We don’t have to like it, but trying to stop it is like trying to stop the tides. We need to understand and adapt.

Cultural barricades are social uniforms that identify who a person is and what they believe.

In The Bible, God gave all sorts of commandments to the Hebrew people for no apparent reason other than to clearly set them apart from all others. We should learn from that and do the same.

In Thomas Chittum’s book, Civil War II, he discusses barricades:

“When rioters erect barricades, they’re taking an important step, consciously or unconsciously, towards creating a new nation, however small or temporary. These barricades are boundaries. They proclaim that all on one side are of the same tribe, and that all on the other side are foreigners…After these physical barricades are torn down by the police, the barricades still remain in the hearts and minds of those who erected them…”

Let’s look at two cultural barricades and how we build them:

Language of The Left
I clearly remember being in a store in about 1970 and hearing a man shouting to someone and using profanity. He had a very thick Yankee accent. It was a shock. Not because I had never heard those words before, but because one never heard it in public. To use profanity was something to be ashamed of for not having the self-control to prevent it or the good breeding to know it is wrong. Now, it is so commonplace that it is almost unnoticed. Almost.

Profanity is the language of the Left. It became popular with the urban thug culture, so of course it became normal language for Hollywood-types, then it was copied by the larger population of urbanites and others on the Left. With no fear of God and no sense of decency or civility, it became acceptable. What is really disappointing now is that some on the Right are copying Leftist behavior. Profanity in both speech and writing are becoming the new norm. Perhaps it is a youthful desire to feel “edgy” and defy social norms. No matter the cause, it identifies a person with Urban Leftist social norms. Choose which side you are on.

Clothing
Pants worn so low that underwear is showing has become a cliche to describe Black culture. Add to that, “hoodies”, ball caps worn sideways or backwards, and worn indoors showing a disregard for basic Occidental etiquette. Don’t wear the uniform of the urban Left unless you are part of the urban Left.

Take your pick. Choose a side. Your social uniform is the language you use and the clothing you wear. It tells others who you are, what you believe, what you are fighting for, whether you can be trusted, whether you are friend or foe.

Choose your side, then choose your uniform. Wear it carefully. Build cultural barricades.

Home Sweet Home

When people think of Florida, what usually comes to mind is the tourist image – beaches and Disney World. As you might guess, there is a whole lot more to it than that. I thought it might be nice to share some photos of where I live. Glenwood is an unincorporated area, 5 miles long and 2 miles wide, on the west side of Volusia County. The east side, separated by 12 miles of swamp, is Daytona Beach, and it may as well be in another world. Nothing stays the same, of course: the dirt road I’ve lived on for over 20 years is in the process of being paved – a mixed blessing. Still, it is a great place for a Southern Agrarian to live and watch his family grow up.

None of these photos are of my own property – just photos around Glenwood.


New Era Resolutions – 2022

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America continues down the path to a new era – an era characterized by an extreme cultural split on a massive scale. Our task as Southern Agrarians is to move as far away from that dividing line as possible. We must stake out the cultural high ground so that there can be no doubt as to which camp we belong – or neither camp.

This post is updated from the New Era Resolutions that I publish about every year or so. It needs to be regularly repeated as a reminder that there IS something we can do. We have a choice. We can take positive steps to improve our selves, our families, our churches, our friends, our co-workers, and all those within our circle. Hope is not enough – have a plan.

To that end, this is a list of tangible things we can do, presented in no particular order.

  1. Be an encouragement and a help to your extended family in a way that will make it easier to decide to have a larger family. If that doesn’t apply directly to your current situation, then spend time helping another worthy family. The break-down of the multi-generation family has resulted in serious consequences for society.
  2. Focus on Love Your People. Too many allow themselves to focus on their anger at those who are destroying our traditionalist way of life.  While that anger is justified, it drives people away. Show people that Southern Agrarianism offers a beautiful alternative.
  3. Boldly proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Leading a soul to eternal salvation is a greater accomplishment than anything else in this life.
  4. Strive to live a virtuous life at home, at work, and in public. Always speak the truth. We are ambassadors of our great Southern culture and must serve as an example of what that culture stands for.
  5. Be part of a church that truly believes The Bible 1 as the literal word of God – and acts on it. There are far too many modernist churches that lower standards and try to become like the rest of the world. If you’re in one of those modernist churches, leave and find a real church that is not focused on entertaining the congregation.
  6. Use the power of the spoken and written word to advance the cause of restoring civility to America.
  7. Dress more formally than what is customary in today’s society. It demonstrates a respect for others – and for yourself.
  8. Pay close attention to manners and etiquette, and make them a part of your daily life.
  9. Pray – not a vain repetition, but pray like you are talking directly with The God who created the entire universe, because that’s exactly what you are doing. He listens to “specks of dust” like us.
  10. Seek out like-minded people, and form strong bonds with them. Tribe and Clan will become even more important in the coming days.
  11. Treat others with respect. As conditions worsen, there will be those who proudly provided for their families in the past, but find themselves without work or, if they are fortunate, doing menial work. Your turn may come. While those who willingly live off of money stolen from the productive deserve our open contempt, resist the urge unless pressed.
  12. Follow the Boy Scout slogan of “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Find some way to help someone who would not expect it.
  13. Follow the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared”. When hard times come, you can depend on no one but yourself and your closest friends and family.
  14. Produce some of your own food by gardening or small-scale farming, and raising chickens. Those are valuable skills that cannot be learned by just reading a book. It is also the key to our Southern Agrarian culture.
  15. Beauty is an essential ingredient of our culture. Make room in your garden for flowers (they also attract bees and other pollinators to the garden).
  16. Understand the foundation of what Southern Agrarianism is by reading I’ll Take My Stand. While Southern Agrarianism is not strictly defined by this book, it is the starting point.
  17. If you are living in an urban area, move to a semi-rural or rural area. The cities are not only increasingly dangerous, they are corrosive to the soul.
  18. Arm yourself and learn and practice to become effective in the defense of yourself and your family. Armed men are free men – disarmed men are slaves.
  19. Turn off the TV, cancel the cable subscription, and disconnect the antenna. TV has done more than anything else to destroy our culture. Don’t allow the filth and propaganda into your home.
  20. Home-school your children and help and support other home-schoolers if you can.
  21. Take control of your future by investing your retirement savings yourself so that the government cannot gain control of it. Consider making precious metals a significant part of your savings.
  22. Make your home more self-sufficient: harvest rainwater or put in a well, start a garden, own a sewing machine 2 to make and repair your clothes, install a wood heating stove, increase the insulation in your attic.
  23. Adopt the idea of “Not for Our time, but for All time” when considering choices for your family and your home. Homes that were built centuries ago still stand today while houses slapped together only a few decades ago are abandoned and demolished. Think long term for your family and your home.
  24. Secure your home. Rampant crime is just one of the results of a decaying society where order and civility are no longer revered.
  25. Embrace old-school ways of doing things: use paper and pen rather than an electronic device for taking notes (bonus points for using a fountain pen 3); shave with a double-edge safety razor and brush and mug rather than the latest multi-blade gizmo; resist the temptation to automatically upgrade to the latest technology 4.
  26. Resolve to give no credibility to political correctness. When it comes up, question it and force the source to justify what was said or written. Be honest – Don’t accept it.
  27. Watch your language. Make a conscious effort to avoid any obscene or profane word coming from your lips. Crude language identifies the speaker with the worst elements of any society. That such language is now commonly used by “celebrities” is reason enough to shun it.
  28. Cherish those who are close to you and resolve to repair any relationships that need repairing. Your family, your spouse, your friends – those are more important now than ever, and will become even more so in the future.
  29. Display the Confederate flag – any one of them – on a regular basis. (see the Code of Confederate Flag Etiquette)
  30. Sharing a meal as a family is a time-honored tradition. Make the extra effort to have a more formal, structured dinner.
  31. Resolve to take away the power that the word “racist” has over us; at the same time, remember to treat all men of every race and creed with the respect they deserve as men and as souls that Jesus died for.
  32. Language is an important part of any culture – the English language is the language of our people. Don’t allow yourself to slip into the sloppy language habits that have become a mark of modern popular culture. Writing and speaking well are the marks of a civilized man or woman. Use correct English in your speech and writing. 5
  33. Collect books – not digital text, but real paper and ink books that can be read without batteries. As the popularity of digital text increases, there are bargains to be found in used books. 6
  34. Carry a pocket knife. A generation ago, every Southern male carried a pocket knife – it was almost a rite of passage. Somewhere along the way, the Nanny-state took over, and an incredibly useful tool came to be viewed as a dangerous weapon and a threat to be banned.
  35. Get out of debt as quickly as possible. Make it a top priority in your financial planning.
  36. Reduce or eliminate your income dependence by laying the foundation for your own business. Find something that you truly enjoy doing and that others are willing to pay for, and acquire the tools and the skills to provide that service or product at a profit. 7
  37. The Christmas season has become the emblem of materialism in America and a brief glance at the mayhem of “Black Friday” shopping will confirm that. Turning away from the greed and materialism is a wonderful opportunity for a family lesson in setting priorities. Rejecting materialism now will make life easier later when it is forced on America by a failing economy.
  38. Find something that you can grow or make at home to give away to others. For some, it is home-canned vegetables or preserves or home-made soap; for my wife and I, it has been vanilla extract; for our son, it is egg nog in a variety of flavors. Turn back the clock a bit to a day when people didn’t buy everything from the store, but made it themselves. We also give away much of what our garden produces, and the surplus eggs from our chickens and ducks.

This list was inspired by a list posted at The Thinking Housewife blog. What can you add to this list?


This is an updated version of a post that I first wrote in 2012.

Notes:

  1. Finding a church that insists on using only the King James Version is a big step in the right direction
  2. The old cast iron sewing machines will last for generations. Treadle and hand-crank sewing machines in excellent condition are still readily available – we have several of them in our home.
  3. While a quality fountain pen is not inexpensive, they will last for generations if well cared for. I have my father’s fountain pen that he purchased in the 1950’s. I had it refurbished and it is now as “good as new”.
  4. At the very least, consider using open source software and Linux rather than falling into the Windows/Mac upgrade trap.
  5. There are, no doubt, grammatical errors scattered throughout this blog. If you find them, please let me know so that I may correct them.
  6. A first-class library can be assembled by making regular visits to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store.
  7. I spent nine months of evenings and weekends developing the software package that has provided a comfortable living for my family since 1995 – it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

White Privilege – Guilty As Charged

This is a slightly updated version of something I first wrote and published on February 17, 2011. It could be considered an illustration of my personal motto – Not for Our Time, but for All Time. Not for All People, but for Our People – and it remains one of my favorites.


One cannot be a vocal advocate of the Southern people, and our heritage and culture, without encountering the topic of race on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be that way but it is, so it must be confronted head-on.

We have all been hearing recently about the concept of White Privilege – what our accusers seem to define as an unearned, unmerited advantage that Whites have over other races. To that I answer, “Guilty As Charged.”

Let’s look at this White Privilege that gives me an “unfair” advantage over others:

  • I have the privilege of being raised by both my mother and my father in a stable home where drugs, alcohol, and crime never intruded.
  • I have the privilege of being raised by parents who understood the value of education and insisted that I and my siblings take learning seriously.
  • I have the privilege of being taught at an early age that making sacrifices today in order to have something better tomorrow is one of the keys to progress.
  • I have the privilege of having grandparents who taught my parents these same values – and generation upon generation before them.
  • I have the privilege of learning about the Western European culture – the music, the literature, the science, the art – that has enriched the lives of all who care to take advantage of that culture; freely bestowed on all who care for the finer things of mankind.
  • I have the privilege of having a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age.
  • I have the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and taught about the wholly undeserved love of a God who would sacrifice His only Son to pay for my sins.

All these privileges were given to me, completely undeserved and unearned. They were given to me by the generations that came before me because they put the best interest of their children above all else. If other races or other groups of people choose to live for their own immediate gratification with little thought for the fate and reputation of their descendants, then that is their choice. It is my fondest hope – and expectation – that one day my grandchildren, when accused of White Privilege, will proudly proclaim “Guilty As Charged”.

More Than Just Food

There is a temptation to look at a vegetable garden as a home-grown food factory, where efficiency is the driving factor. I suspect that most of us have gone through that phase. We try to squeeze the most production out of every last bit of garden space – if it doesn’t put food on the table, then it’s given the same status as a weed.

We need to change that. We need to remember why we grow things, and why we feel a deep connection with the land and with our people. Southern Agrarianism is very much a cultural matter, and our culture has always placed a high value on beauty. We see it in the art, the architecture, and the music of our European heritage. It is an important part of who we are. To that end, we need to remember that there is an aesthetic, almost spiritual, aspect to raising our own food. I make it a point to try to make my garden areas as visually attractive as I can. I plant flowers (usually Zinnias) among the vegetables, both for cut flowers and to attract pollinators into the garden. The garden fence is covered with both bush roses and climbing roses (Old Blush, a vintage rose that requires virtually no care).

A garden is to enjoy – not just to provide our families with fresh eggs and healthy vegetables. It is there to show our children and grandchildren that food does not originate wrapped in cellophane and Styrofoam packaging. It is a very real part of home schooling – no matter where the formal lessons are held.

A garden doesn’t have to look like something from a magazine cover to be beautiful – no garden looks perfectly groomed at all times. Just remember that it is there to be enjoyed, and beauty makes it enjoyable.


This is a 90-second tour of our little one-acre homestead that I put together this past Friday.

Weeds, Immigration, and Culture

We can learn a lot about life from lessons learned in the garden.

Several years ago, in an effort to improve the quality of the soil in my garden, I bought a truckload of topsoil. It was carefully spread, then tilled and worked into the soil. The original soil and the new topsoil were mixed until they became as one. At first, it was great. The soil was darker and richer looking than the native sandy soil, and the plants that I grew there were bigger and stronger. Then came the weeds.

Hidden in among that rich-looking soil that I brought in to mix with the native soil were weed seeds. Specifically, nutsedge nodules. Here we are, years later, and I am still battling the nutsedge. It spreads its roots deep below the surface, and it stores nutrition in a large nodule deep down in the soil. Just cutting them off at the surface has no lasting effect – the weed springs right back in just a couple of days. Nutsedge must be dug out by the roots, one weed at a time. The nodule must be removed. The root runners must be removed. Everything about the weed must be removed, or it will continue to spread, sap the strength of the plants that are intended to grow there, and eventually they will take over completely.

Removing the weeds and their roots is not a painless process. It disturbs the roots of the garden plants, and it is slow and tedious work. There is no alternative if the garden is to be saved. It must be done.

Culture is a very precious thing, and it must be cared for and defended. A culture – just like agriculture – requires work to maintain. There are no shortcuts. Bringing in, or allowing in, foreign elements into a native culture brings with it serious risks. While on the surface, there may appear to be benefits to mixing cultures, the hidden costs will quickly show up. Like an invasive species in nature that finds no natural enemies, it takes over and the original culture disappears. Forever.

(Originally published on March 25, 2017)

Bright Sunny South

When people think of what music best represents The South, Dixie is almost always the song that comes to mind. They get no argument from me – it is almost the “Southern National Anthem”. With that said, it is Bright Sunny South that best represents The South that I know and love. It is a song that deserves to be better known, so that’s what this post is about.

Bright Sunny South is a hauntingly beautiful ballad of The South. While believed to have its roots in Celtic culture, its origins are uncertain, with some attributing it to a folk song from Nova Scotia. There are several versions of the lyrics, but those shown below are the most widely known. The video features a rendition performed by Bittersweet and Briers.

On a personal note, the first image in the video shows a man on a horse next to a cannon. That man is Lt. Colonel John Pelham – my cousin. He was killed in battle at the age of 24. He was first cousin to my great grandfather, William Pelham McGehee.


(YouTube video by SouthernSympathiser)

From the bright sunny South to the war, I was sent,
E’er the days of my boyhood, I scarcely had spent.
From it’s cool shady forests and deep flowing streams,
Ever fond in my mem’ry, ever sweet in my dreams.

Oh, my dear little sister, I still see her tears.
When I had to leave home in our tender years.
And my sweet gentle mother, so dear to my heart,
It grieved me sincerely when we had to part.

Said my kind-hearted father as he took my hand:
“As you go in defense of our dear native Land,
“Son, be brave but show mercy whenever you can.
“Our hearts will be with you, ’til you return again.”

In my bag there’s a Bible to show me the way,
Through my trials here on earth and to Heaven some day.
I will shoulder my musket and brandish my sword,
In defense of this Land and the word of the Lord.


John Pelham

William Pelham McGehee

 

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