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(Slate)   "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" was written by a Canadian, who noodled about, then finally commited some words with Helm's help. Certainly not a monument to tear down, but worthy of a fluff piece for Slate. So it's got that going for it   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Vietnam War, Drove Old Dixie Down, Cold War, Early James, My Lai Massacre, experience of art, war's end, United States  
•       •       •

981 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 14 Aug 2020 at 7:05 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-08-14 4:23:28 AM  
Based strictly on my experience in the south, I think they're exaggerating both how well known *and* how well liked this song is in the south.  Of course, also completely missing the point on several things but if it didn't, then it wouldn't be a slate article.

Also, again anecdotal, I think Up On Cripple Creek is their 2nd most popular song
 
2020-08-14 6:48:12 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-14 7:09:48 AM  
So, kind of like how people miss the point of "Born in the U.S.A."?
 
2020-08-14 7:15:38 AM  
Robertson is pretentious AF, but he's a decent writer of melodies. Godawful guitar player though. Helm, on the other hand, was a national farking treasure who is sorely missed. He and Garth Hudson were the heart of The Band.

As for the song, I always felt it was a song about losers, sung by a loser who comes from a family of losers. I don't see it as a celebration of "the Lost Cause;" I see it as a peek into Southern victim culture that not only still exists but has also now seeped into the entire sect of evangelical christianity.
 
2020-08-14 7:29:32 AM  

FlashHarry: Robertson is pretentious AF, but he's a decent writer of melodies. Godawful guitar player though. Helm, on the other hand, was a national farking treasure who is sorely missed. He and Garth Hudson were the heart of The Band.

As for the song, I always felt it was a song about losers, sung by a loser who comes from a family of losers. I don't see it as a celebration of "the Lost Cause;" I see it as a peek into Southern victim culture that not only still exists but has also now seeped into the entire sect of evangelical christianity.


When I was DJing at Carnegie Mellon in the early '90s, the DJ before me played a song off of Storyville.Not knowing what it was, I asked, and when he said Robbie Robertson I was surprised and said, "From The Band?!" The college kid asked, "What band?", then googled. He was way more shocked than I was by hearing a song that was progressive for Robertson.

And subby, you leave The Band alone or Imma have to fight you.
 
2020-08-14 7:35:04 AM  
I knew this day was coming
 
2020-08-14 7:36:23 AM  
It's a great song.
 
2020-08-14 8:07:55 AM  
Not is Robertson Canadian but he's part Jewish and Ojibwe.  Cletus' head might asplode.
 
2020-08-14 8:19:08 AM  

Naido: Based strictly on my experience in the south, I think they're exaggerating both how well known *and* how well liked this song is in the south.  Of course, also completely missing the point on several things but if it didn't, then it wouldn't be a slate article.

Also, again anecdotal, I think Up On Cripple Creek is their 2nd most popular song


I only have the experiences growing up in Louisiana, but...yeah. You'd occasionally hear it on the radio, but it wasn't a thing. Of course, Louisiana isn't really super into that whole "antebellum" sipping mint juleps on the veranda style of Southern over in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, so...eh. You've got New Orleans as a bulwark against that with their "fark it, we've seen everything culture" bleeding over into Cajun territory and then blending into yee-haw Texan...
 
2020-08-14 8:19:51 AM  
I'd have drove old Dixie down, if you get my meaning and I think you do.....

cdnph.upi.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-14 8:26:54 AM  

FlashHarry: Robertson is pretentious AF, but he's a decent writer of melodies. Godawful guitar player though. Helm, on the other hand, was a national farking treasure who is sorely missed. He and Garth Hudson were the heart of The Band.

As for the song, I always felt it was a song about losers, sung by a loser who comes from a family of losers. I don't see it as a celebration of "the Lost Cause;" I see it as a peek into Southern victim culture that not only still exists but has also now seeped into the entire sect of evangelical christianity.


Stopped reading at claiming Robbie Robertson is a 'godawful guitar player' as any further opinions are obviously not worth considering
 
2020-08-14 8:44:10 AM  
You ain't had a good time until you've heard a fairly decent band at a crowded dive bar on a Saturday night blast out a rousing rendition of "The Shape I'm In."


The Band - The Shape I'm In
Youtube tXfEsbhROT8


Offer good only for definitions of "good time" that involve situations where you're probably wearing clothes and not subject to arrest if you do it in public.
 
2020-08-14 8:48:54 AM  
Stupid article misquotes the lyrics and changes the meaning.

Writer now working on article that shiats on Johnny Cash because he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
 
2020-08-14 8:49:40 AM  
It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.
 
2020-08-14 9:07:01 AM  
I always thought it was anti-the south.

All the bells were ringing the night they drove ol' Dixie down.

Maybe I thought they were celebrating bringing it down instead of mourning it.

/born in Arkansas grew up in Oklahoma
 
2020-08-14 9:27:24 AM  
I took as a short story written from the perspective of a poor angry southerner. Not glorifying or condoning, but just telling the story. And Robertson is a hell of a guitar player.
 
2020-08-14 9:35:43 AM  

lindalouwho: you leave The Band alone or Imma have to fight you.


no digs.

And I always thought it "there goes the 'Robert E Lee'" meaning the steamboat.

The one that races the "Natchez" in the song Down Yonder
 
2020-08-14 10:11:46 AM  

wet drum sandwich: You ain't had a good time until you've heard a fairly decent band at a crowded dive bar on a Saturday night blast out a rousing rendition of "The Shape I'm In."


[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/tXfEsbhR​OT8]

Offer good only for definitions of "good time" that involve situations where you're probably wearing clothes and not subject to arrest if you do it in public.


What kinda time did I have if I heard Levon and his Midnight Ramblers play it at his studio 'The Barn' in Woodstock NY to a crowd of ~150?

/one of my top 10 shows
//also saw Amy Helm perform "the night they drove ole dixi down" there
///awesome venue (been there 6 or 7 times for various shows)
 
2020-08-14 10:15:47 AM  
Before they were the The Band, the were Levon and the Hawks after they left Ronnie Hawkins (an Arkie like Levon, but from the northwest part of the state.)

Not a fun fact, (and it predates Levon by quite awhile,) is that Turkey Scratch, Arkansas (where Levon always said he was from) is in the same county as Elaine, Arkansas, where "the Elaine Massacre" took place It was "by far the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States."

Not to imply by any means of any racism on Levons' or any other Band members' part, but a sorry fact of southern history that was covered up, probably more than the Tulsa 1921 race riot, and certainly not taught in schools.
 
2020-08-14 10:25:47 AM  

petec: 'The Barn' in Woodstock NY


You been there, too?
 
2020-08-14 10:48:45 AM  
The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down - The Black Crowes
Youtube 8p3nid2-REM


Excellent cover by a band that is actually from Atlanta.  Chris Robinson has one of the saddest voices in rock.
 
2020-08-14 11:13:24 AM  
When Ringer writers get serious their junior year they write for Slate.
 
2020-08-14 11:15:56 AM  

Naido: Based strictly on my experience in the south, I think they're exaggerating both how well known *and* how well liked this song is in the south.  Of course, also completely missing the point on several things but if it didn't, then it wouldn't be a slate article.

Also, again anecdotal, I think Up On Cripple Creek is their 2nd most popular song


Speaking of The Band, their best song actually has a cover version that is better than the original:

Duane Allman & Aretha Franklin The Weight
Youtube HGdxpnGK2o4


Great guitar work by Duane Allman, and the drumming is awesome.
 
2020-08-14 11:19:26 AM  

The Dynamite Monkey: Stupid article misquotes the lyrics and changes the meaning.

Writer now working on article that shiats on Johnny Cash because he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.


If you've been to Reno, you'd realize that Johnny Cash's actions towards Reno-man were probably quite restrained, and within the bounds of what is acceptable within polite society.

/okay maybe I'm exaggerating
//Reno is THAT bad
///then again, I'd rather be in Carson City than Reno
 
2020-08-14 11:22:09 AM  

cowboybebop: I took as a short story written from the perspective of a poor angry southerner. Not glorifying or condoning, but just telling the story. And Robertson is a hell of a guitar player.


Sort of like this:

The Corries Barrett's Privateers
Youtube 7VKQ4qlZqm8


The Corries are great, even though most of their songs glorify traitors who fought against their countrymen to try to overthrow the legal government...but I guess Fark doesn't take Neo-Jacobite sentiment as seriously as it should.
 
2020-08-14 11:23:31 AM  

STRYPERSWINE: [YouTube video: The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down - The Black Crowes]

Excellent cover by a band that is actually from Atlanta.  Chris Robinson has one of the saddest voices in rock.


You would be sad too if Kate Hudson divorced you.
 
2020-08-14 11:33:44 AM  

vudukungfu: lindalouwho: you leave The Band alone or Imma have to fight you.

no digs.

And I always thought it "there goes the 'Robert E Lee'" meaning the steamboat.

The one that races the "Natchez" in the song Down Yonder


My understanding is the steamboat thing is a common misconception, due in large part to Joan Baez adding the word "the" to her version. Levon sings "there goes Robert E. Lee," and does not use the word "the."
 
2020-08-14 11:37:13 AM  
The Band was great. Fark Slate.
 
2020-08-14 11:47:00 AM  

vudukungfu: petec: 'The Barn' in Woodstock NY

You been there, too?


Yup...a few times

Levon and the Midnight Ramblers a few times (they played during most shows, with the opening act usually joining in for (at least part of)  the late set)
Joan Osborne
The Weight
Kate Pierson
Valerie June
Early Elton
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams (they were regulars at The Barn, saw them a couple times)
Amy Helm (she even played drums for one song when Levon was playing a ukulele)

and a couple local/regional bands that I can't remember right now

The Barn spoiled me, I won't even consider stadium/large venue shows anymore (this was before covid) where you have to watch the jumbotron.
 
2020-08-14 11:48:33 AM  

jimmythrust: The Band was great. Fark Slate.


Slate is basically Vox without the YouTube videos with 20-something women regurgitating Google and Wikipedia info.
 
2020-08-14 11:59:05 AM  

Ty Webb: vudukungfu: lindalouwho: you leave The Band alone or Imma have to fight you.

no digs.

And I always thought it "there goes the 'Robert E Lee'" meaning the steamboat.

The one that races the "Natchez" in the song Down Yonder

My understanding is the steamboat thing is a common misconception, due in large part to Joan Baez adding the word "the" to her version. Levon sings "there goes Robert E. Lee," and does not use the word "the."


I scrolled to see if someone addressed that before replying, good job.
 
2020-08-14 12:21:42 PM  
My favorite ...
The Band-ophelia
Youtube rpO4lji8lR0
 
2020-08-14 12:26:55 PM  

gar1013: The Dynamite Monkey: Stupid article misquotes the lyrics and changes the meaning.

Writer now working on article that shiats on Johnny Cash because he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

If you've been to Reno, you'd realize that Johnny Cash's actions towards Reno-man were probably quite restrained, and within the bounds of what is acceptable within polite society.

/okay maybe I'm exaggerating
//Reno is THAT bad
///then again, I'd rather be in Carson City than Reno


I've lived in Reno for over 4 years and I love it. So many outdoor activities to enjoy year round. And festivals to check out during the non Covid years. Floating the Truckee from Mayberry Park to downtown is amazing.
 
2020-08-14 12:35:22 PM  
Whatever you think of Robbie Robertson or this song, he's still a better writer than the author of TFA.

FWIW, I also never thought of it as glorifying the Confederacy, much less the whole bullshiat Lost Cause crap. Always seemed more like a dirge of regret about the futility and waste of war in general to me.
 
2020-08-14 12:47:06 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.


Show me anywhere in the song where the says he had been a Confederate soldier.  Can't find it? That's okay. It isn't there. Now show me the part that says he supports the Confederacy. Yep. STILL not there. It is a song about being glad the war is over. Thus the bell ringing and singing. I personally have always felt that the line "You take what you need and leave the rest, but you should never have taken the very best." to be directed at the Confederate Army in bitterness. Particulatly over the loss of his brother. Also? "You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat." has always seemed to me to be VERY much a "The South shall NOT rise again" statement.
 
2020-08-14 1:06:00 PM  

thefatbasturd: Tyrone Slothrop: It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.

Show me anywhere in the song where the says he had been a Confederate soldier. Can't find it? That's okay. It isn't there. Now show me the part that says he supports the Confederacy. Yep. STILL not there. It is a song about being glad the war is over. Thus the bell ringing and singing. I personally have always felt that the line "You take what you need and leave the rest, but you should never have taken the very best." to be directed at the Confederate Army in bitterness. Particulatly over the loss of his brother. Also? "You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat." has always seemed to me to be VERY much a "The South shall NOT rise again" statement.


The first verse of the song is: "Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train/'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again./In the winter of '65, We were hungry, just barely alive./By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember, oh so well,"

"The Danville Train" is the Danville & Richmond train the Confederates used as a supply line. The rest of the verse references the struggle the Confederate Army faced through the winter of early 1865, until "Richmond fell" in May - when Jefferson Davis was captured.

It's very clearly from the point of view of an ex-Confederate soldier who served on the Danville train line. The rest of your analysis is on point, as far as I can see,

For anyone whose interested, there's a long article analyzing this song here. It's essentially The Band's official website, although it's essentially a time capsule at this point.
 
2020-08-14 1:07:06 PM  

thefatbasturd: Tyrone Slothrop: It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.

Show me anywhere in the song where the says he had been a Confederate soldier.  Can't find it? That's okay. It isn't there. Now show me the part that says he supports the Confederacy. Yep. STILL not there. It is a song about being glad the war is over. Thus the bell ringing and singing. I personally have always felt that the line "You take what you need and leave the rest, but you should never have taken the very best." to be directed at the Confederate Army in bitterness. Particulatly over the loss of his brother. Also? "You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat." has always seemed to me to be VERY much a "The South shall NOT rise again" statement.


And for the record, I'm a HUGE fan of The Band, and most of it's memeber's solo endeavors. I'm not trying to suggest Levon was a Confederate sympathizer in the slightest.
 
2020-08-14 1:14:38 PM  

lindalouwho: And subby, you leave The Band alone or Imma have to fight you.


I adopted The Shape I'm Inas my official depression go to anthem back in 1976
 
2020-08-14 1:25:49 PM  

FiendishFellow05: thefatbasturd: Tyrone Slothrop: It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.

Show me anywhere in the song where the says he had been a Confederate soldier. Can't find it? That's okay. It isn't there. Now show me the part that says he supports the Confederacy. Yep. STILL not there. It is a song about being glad the war is over. Thus the bell ringing and singing. I personally have always felt that the line "You take what you need and leave the rest, but you should never have taken the very best." to be directed at the Confederate Army in bitterness. Particulatly over the loss of his brother. Also? "You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat." has always seemed to me to be VERY much a "The South shall NOT rise again" statement.

The first verse of the song is: "Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train/'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again./In the winter of '65, We were hungry, just barely alive./By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember, oh so well,"

"The Danville Train" is the Danville & Richmond train the Confederates used as a supply line. The rest of the verse references the struggle the Confederate Army faced through the winter of early 1865, until "Richmond fell" in May - when Jefferson Davis was captured.

It's very clearly from the point of view of an ex-Confederate soldier who served on the Danville train line. The rest of your analysis is on point, as far as I can see,

For anyone whose interested, there's a long article analyzing this song here. It's essentially The Band's official website, although it's essentially a time capsule at this point.


"Like my brother before me, I took a Rebel stand..."
 
2020-08-14 1:26:15 PM  

petec: vudukungfu: petec: 'The Barn' in Woodstock NY

You been there, too?

Yup...a few times

Levon and the Midnight Ramblers a few times (they played during most shows, with the opening act usually joining in for (at least part of)  the late set)
Joan Osborne
The Weight
Kate Pierson
Valerie June
Early Elton
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams (they were regulars at The Barn, saw them a couple times)
Amy Helm (she even played drums for one song when Levon was playing a ukulele)

and a couple local/regional bands that I can't remember right now

The Barn spoiled me, I won't even consider stadium/large venue shows anymore (this was before covid) where you have to watch the jumbotron.


My Vermont accountant turned me on to it.
 
2020-08-14 1:26:27 PM  
I haven't heard such plaintive singing before or since

The Band - It Makes No Difference
Youtube ZfBqWNFOVo8
 
2020-08-14 1:35:06 PM  
Off thread a bit, I was in a drug rehab back in 1980, and Ronnie Hawkins sent his kid there because of "reasons"

He was later Dxed as schizophrenic, but they treated him terribly because they thought they had all the answers. I swear that place farked up more people than it ever helped.
 
2020-08-14 1:40:36 PM  

Chainsaw Turd Elf: gar1013: The Dynamite Monkey: Stupid article misquotes the lyrics and changes the meaning.

Writer now working on article that shiats on Johnny Cash because he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

If you've been to Reno, you'd realize that Johnny Cash's actions towards Reno-man were probably quite restrained, and within the bounds of what is acceptable within polite society.

/okay maybe I'm exaggerating
//Reno is THAT bad
///then again, I'd rather be in Carson City than Reno

I've lived in Reno for over 4 years and I love it. So many outdoor activities to enjoy year round. And festivals to check out during the non Covid years. Floating the Truckee from Mayberry Park to downtown is amazing.


I've been to Reno a few times. Not really my cup of tea, but The Peppermill is so delightfully tacky that I can't get enough of it.

That being said, Carson city is closer to South Lake Tahoe, and there is a nifty hot springs place to visit once the Rona is over.

I would live in Reno before moving back to NorCal.  Probably would pick Reno over Las Vegas.
 
2020-08-14 1:57:19 PM  

FiendishFellow05: thefatbasturd: Tyrone Slothrop: It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.

Show me anywhere in the song where the says he had been a Confederate soldier. Can't find it? That's okay. It isn't there. Now show me the part that says he supports the Confederacy. Yep. STILL not there. It is a song about being glad the war is over. Thus the bell ringing and singing. I personally have always felt that the line "You take what you need and leave the rest, but you should never have taken the very best." to be directed at the Confederate Army in bitterness. Particulatly over the loss of his brother. Also? "You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat." has always seemed to me to be VERY much a "The South shall NOT rise again" statement.

The first verse of the song is: "Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train/'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again./In the winter of '65, We were hungry, just barely alive./By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember, oh so well,"

"The Danville Train" is the Danville & Richmond train the Confederates used as a supply line. The rest of the verse references the struggle the Confederate Army faced through the winter of early 1865, until "Richmond fell" in May - when Jefferson Davis was captured.

It's very clearly from the point of view of an ex-Confederate soldier who served on the Danville train line. The rest of your analysis is on point, as far as I can see,

For anyone whose interested, there's a long article analyzing this song here. It's essentially The Band's official website, although it's essentially a time capsule at this point.


Nice try, but nope. The railroad he worked on DID serve as a supply train. But that does not mean he was in the army. It was a privately owned business that served other purposes at the same time. As for the "hungry, just barely alive"? The tearing up of the tracks ALSO affected supplies going to civilians. Especially any in Richmond during the siege.  You can't take any of that to mean he was in the army.
 
2020-08-14 2:02:54 PM  

Iowan73: FiendishFellow05: thefatbasturd: Tyrone Slothrop: It's a song from the point of view of a Confederate soldier, of course it promotes the Confederacy. That doesn't mean The Band supports the Confederacy any more than Randy Newman hates short people.

Show me anywhere in the song where the says he had been a Confederate soldier. Can't find it? That's okay. It isn't there. Now show me the part that says he supports the Confederacy. Yep. STILL not there. It is a song about being glad the war is over. Thus the bell ringing and singing. I personally have always felt that the line "You take what you need and leave the rest, but you should never have taken the very best." to be directed at the Confederate Army in bitterness. Particulatly over the loss of his brother. Also? "You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat." has always seemed to me to be VERY much a "The South shall NOT rise again" statement.

The first verse of the song is: "Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train/'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again./In the winter of '65, We were hungry, just barely alive./By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember, oh so well,"

"The Danville Train" is the Danville & Richmond train the Confederates used as a supply line. The rest of the verse references the struggle the Confederate Army faced through the winter of early 1865, until "Richmond fell" in May - when Jefferson Davis was captured.

It's very clearly from the point of view of an ex-Confederate soldier who served on the Danville train line. The rest of your analysis is on point, as far as I can see,

For anyone whose interested, there's a long article analyzing this song here. It's essentially The Band's official website, although it's essentially a time capsule at this point.

"Like my brother before me, I took a Rebel stand..."


Nope. "WHO took a rebel stand" is what I have always heard the line was...
https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/the-​b​and/the-night-they-drove-old-dixie-dow​n
 
2020-08-14 2:07:02 PM  
That movie and that song smell like shiat.
 
2020-08-14 2:37:32 PM  

DecemberNitro: That movie and that song smell like shiat.


Aren't you adorable! Be sure to let us know anytime you think that about anything.
*eyeroll*

/ Ophelia is also my favorite song of theirs
 
2020-08-14 2:57:15 PM  

vudukungfu: petec: vudukungfu: petec: 'The Barn' in Woodstock NY

You been there, too?

Yup...a few times

Levon and the Midnight Ramblers a few times (they played during most shows, with the opening act usually joining in for (at least part of)  the late set)
Joan Osborne
The Weight
Kate Pierson
Valerie June
Early Elton
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams (they were regulars at The Barn, saw them a couple times)
Amy Helm (she even played drums for one song when Levon was playing a ukulele)

and a couple local/regional bands that I can't remember right now

The Barn spoiled me, I won't even consider stadium/large venue shows anymore (this was before covid) where you have to watch the jumbotron.

My Vermont accountant turned me on to it.


I won tickets to one of Levon's 'Midnight Rambles' from the local radio station, WDST, back in the mid 2000s. It was shortly after Levon opened it for shows, and I found out it's only ~30 miles from my house, so I try to go when a band I like comes by. Most of the better known acts sell out very quickly as they have a 'Barn Burner' membership (for $750yr) who get first dibs on the tickets, and max capacity is only ~200.

But it is a special place, for sure. Last time I was there, Levon's drum kit was on the backstage, draped in dust covers.
 
2020-08-14 3:06:20 PM  
It's a song, it's a story. It's not a political statement. fark off
 
2020-08-14 3:29:31 PM  
I've been binging on the Band ever since landing on the thread 2 hours ago.
 
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