HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Some people in Arab are upset after the school superintendent said the marching band can’t play the song ‘Dixie’ anymore.
With burgers on the grill, Larry Turner is eager to greet some of his Arab high school classmates from 1988. “We’re so old,” Turner said with a laugh.
They picked a good night to come back. Fans are donning blue to cheer on the Knights for their first game on their brand new field.
“I was happy, we’re very excited to be here,” Turner said.
Families and students are united in this small town that’s big on tradition.
But there’s one tradition that Arab administration is putting to bed.
“I think the beat is what made the song,” Angie Tedder said. “Because we would stand up and clap our hands and stomp our feet.”
Arab’s school superintendent told the music director this month that the marching band can no longer play the song ‘Dixie’ at games.
“As a band member, I played it all four years. To us, it wasn’t anything of any negative connotation,” Turner said.
By kickoff, the mood in Arab was just like any other high school game. But there were a few fans wearing their opinions, to show support for the song.
“Southern heritage has always been important to people who were born in the South, who know the true Southern values,” Arab high school alum Jacoby Bateman said.
The song ‘Dixie’ is a decades-old tradition in Arab. It was played at the start of the game and every time the team scored, which fans say in good humor has been few and far between at some games. Still, they have an affection for the song, but they love this town more.
So far, Arab High School doesn’t have an official fight song. Students plan to vote on a new fight song next year.