And if he did, why would it be a big deal (besides the supernatural issue, of course)?
When Mr. Robertson allegedly stiffed him on a songwriting credit and then blew up the band with the help of Mr. Scorcese, Mr. Helm stopped singing 'Dixie':
...The last time the song was performed by Levon Helm, The Band's lead singer, was in The Last Waltz (1976).
Helm, a native of Arkansas, has stated that he assisted in the research for the lyrics. In his 1993 book This Wheel's on Fire, Helm writes "Robbie and I worked on 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' up in Woodstock. I remember taking him to the library so he could research the history and geography of the era and make General Robert E. Lee come out with all due respect."
Helm refused to play the song after 1976 even though he held concerts, which he called "Midnight Rambles", several times a month at his private residence in Woodstock, New York...
As for Damien Rice?....Who knows.
Details on the Hansard/Hanigan/Smith Session, here....Originally, I had the fantastic AV Club version up, but the damnable Evil Green Goddesslessness advert bled through on the embed...