Encyclopedia Titanica

Down with the Old Canoe

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Dorsey Murdock Dixon (14 October 1897 - 17 April 1968) - Guitar, Vocals
Howard Dixon (19 June 1903 - 24 March 1961) - Steel Guitar

Dorsey Dixon and his younger brother Howard were born in the South Carolina mill town of Darlington. They both worked in the mills after leaving school. After returning to the mills, following a spell on the railroads during world war one, Dorsey had started to learn the guitar and violin. With his brother, also a guitar player, he formed a duet playing at local functions around Rockingham, South Carolina. Dorsey wrote songs inspired by tragic subjects, his first The School House Fire recalled a disaster which took place in Cleveland, South Carolina in 1923, in which 76 children died. The Dixon brother's songs typically carry a strong moral message and nowhere is this more evident than in their recording of Down with the Old Canoe which was made in Charlotte, North Carolina on 25 January 1938.

Dixon Brothers

Recorded by Bluebird, 25 January 1938 Real Audio | MP3

It was 25 years ago when the wings of death came low
And spread out on the ocean far and wide.
A great ship sailed away with her passengers so gay
To never, ever reach the other side.

Sailing out to win her fame, the Titanic was her name,
When she had sailed 500 miles from shore
Many passengers and her crew went down with that old canoe;
They all went down to never rise no more.

This great ship was built by man, that is why she could not stand;
"She could not sink" was the cry from one and all.
But an iceberg ripped her side and it cut down all her pride;
They found the hand of God was in it all.

Your Titanic sails today, on life's sea you're far away,
But Jesus Christ can take you safely through.
Just obey his great command, over there you'll safely land,
You'll never go down with that old canoe.

When you think that you are wise, then you need not be surprised
That the hand of God should stop you on life's sea.
If you go on in your sin, you will find out in the end
That you are just as foolish as can be.

Samples, Source Material and Transfers
Down with the Old Canoe, Bluebird, 25 January 1938 (B-7449)
This rare 1938 recording is included courtesy of Joe Showler, from the CD Titanic Songs, TSCD 22798, Unsinkable Music, Toronto 1998.

Mike Paris (1973) The Dixons of South Carolina, Old Time Music, 10, p.13


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2005) Down with the Old Canoe ( ref: #4824, published 8 October 2005, generated 10th August 2022 05:11:10 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/down-with-the-old-canoe.html