Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore
by Kate Havelin

People Get Ready, We Shall Not Be Moved, A Change is Gonna Come

Think of America’s greatest civil rights anthems and chances are, those songs by The Impressions, Mavis Staples, and Sam Cooke spring to mind, along with others, like Nina Simone’s Mississippi Goddam and Minnesota’s Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a Changin’.

Now, you can hear a fresh protest anthem, from another Iron Range native, singer-songwriter Paul Metsa, who’s spent decades standing up and singing about civil rights.

After last August’s deadly White Nationalist march in Charlottesville, Metsa wrote Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore as a tribute to Heather Heyer, who was killed when a white nationalist drove into her and other counter-protesters. The new song also features legendary soul singer Wee Willie Walker and three-time Grammy Award winners The Sounds of Blackness.  

This Monday, August 20th, 7- 9:00 PM, all are welcome at the East Side Freedom Library to hear Metsa’s new anthem and other songs. The half-hour performance is a part of Metsa’s IndieGoGo fundraiser campaign to release two new songs and a remastered 25th anniversary edition of his Whistling Past the Graveyard LP,.

The musical activist has earned eight Minnesota Music awards, and a dozen original recording projects.  He considers his songs, including the classics Slow Justice and Jack Ruby, “bullets in the machine gun of peace.”

During this first anniversary of the Charlottesville tragedy, it’s fitting to hear and remember Metsa’s lyrics:

“Four wheels of hate down 4th Street raced
Heather Heyer died
Now her Blue Ridge Mountain angel voice
forever magnified.”

In time, Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore may join The Nation’s Top 10 Civil Rights anthems.

MONDAY, Aug 20, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Hear Paul Metsa perform a short set of songs, including his powerful new protest song, as he raises funds for his IndieGoGo project to release and publicize Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore, featuring legendary soul singer Wee Willie Walker and three-time Grammy Award Winners the Sounds of Blackness. Read more about Metsa here!


East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul, 55106. Free and open to all. 651-230-3294 

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