The Band – The night they drove old Dixie down
Similar to Cortez the killer, this is a history lesson wrapped in an excellent song. My school curriculum didn’t feature any Conquistadors or Civil Wars (not American ones at any rate) so tracks like these are illuminating for me. The lyrics weave a rich narrative. Also, Virgil (the protagonist) is an excellent name – both a classic Roman poet and a Thunderbird.
Finally, this song features in a classic concert and documentary – the last waltz, capturing the end of The Band’s touring career. It featured guest appearances from lots of the great and good from the mid-70’s including a performance from my ultimate musical hero – Van Morrison.