Circus Day in Dixie is one of the most famous patriotic tunes of the twentieth century. According to Britannica Encyclopedia, Dixie was the name given to the Southern United States, more specifically the Confederate States of America (1860–65). The name Dixie was first used as the lyrical basis for the marching song of the Confederate Army titled, I Wish I Was in Dixie by Daniel Decatur Emmett. This song arrived more than 40 years before Albert Gumble composed Circus Day in Dixie.
A lively song, Circus day in Dixie is representative of a generation eager to find independence. Gumble found his inspiration from his own experiences growing up during a century with major political, societal, and cultural shifts. Gamble was persistent to find an ensemble worthy of his traditional American song. In 1909 the American Quartet formed which included “first tenor John Bieling; second tenor Billy Murray; baritone Steve Porter; and bass William F. Hooley” (Gracyk).
Little to do with the Southern association of “Dixie”, Gumble was looking to find a community defined by their inability to have fun. Circus Day in Dixie tells of a special day that occurs once a year, a time to let loose from the chaos of life. A time to “hear the music sweet”, “the clowns who wear the funniest clothes”, and “Turkish dancin’ show”. The lyrics allow us to recognize the excitement filling the homes of Dixie, – the circus is here – remember to “Enjoy yourself!” “Let me see you smile!”.