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Proposed new state song has merit

Working for a newspaper, I often get phonecalls and e-mails wanting the newspaper to endorse this book, thatcause and the such.

    Usually, it’s someone from way far off that wants us to publicizeand run articles that have nothing to do with us here in Brookhavenor even the South.

    Occasionally something will catch my attention.

    A few months back I received a call from John Riggs, of Nashville.He was a real nice fellow and I immediately noticed he had one of”those” voices – and a memorable personality. It’s no wonder, Ifound out he was a radio personality, or as I like to say, aDJ.

    John went on to tell me about why he was calling. He, along withCarolyn Woods, of Amory, had written a song about Mississippi, andthey were trying to get the Mississippi Legislature to adopt it asthe new state song.

    He’s been lobbying throughout the state and has even sent the songto most of the legislators.

    He said his cause had been featured in several newspapers and hewould send me an article and a CD of his tune.

    Sure enough, in a few days I received a package. In it was a musicCD, a copy of an article from the Yazoo Herald, a biography sheeton the writers, and a laminated copy of the lyrics of “I MissMississippi.” The CD and lyrics were even signed “To Tammy” and”John Riggs.”

    I let it sit on my desk for about a week before I popped the CDinto my computer to give it a listen.

    The song had a catchy tune, a little too twangy for my tastes, butnonetheless, catchy.

    I picked up the lyrics to follow along.

    “From her fertile Delta bottom land, to her coastline full of finewarm sand in my dreams I’m always glad I can … seeMississippi.

    From her cities to her peaceful farms and where the King of Rockand Roll was born there’s just no end to all the charm … ofMississippi.”

    And the song continues on with more lyrics of catfish, cottonfields and lumber mills – everything that we embody inMississippi.

    My only problem with the song is its title, “I Miss Mississippi.” Idon’t miss Mississippi … I’m here. Although, I do missMississippi when I’m not here.

    However, I can see where someone who doesn’t live here any morewould find it appealing.

    As for state songs, I didn’t realize we had one and had never heardit. I guess all states have state songs.

    The article John sent me from the Yazoo Herald had the words to ourcurrent state song “Go, Mississippi.”

    After a little searching I found the music on YouTube.

    Apparently, we’ve had a state song since 1962 when the MississippiBoard of Realtors took the initiative and started looking for asong to represent our state.

    The song is pretty generic and you could probably substitute anystate’s name for Mississippi and it would be appropriate. The musicitself is pretty dated and very country in genre.

    I will say that John and Carolyn’s song is much more attuned to ourstate, no offense to the late William Houston Davis, who penned thefirst state song. And the new song is probably a little moreup-to-date music-wise, although I would have liked to have heardsomething a little more peppy and not so country. But then again,I’m not a music writer.

    John is still looking for help to get his song voted through. Ifyou think you can help him out, his e-mail isselectiverecords@comcast.net. Send him an e-mail and tell him whatyou think.

    As for me, I think we could use a new state song, especially afterreading the lyrics to the old one.

    And how was your week?

    Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILYLEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 144, by e-mail attbrewer@dailyleader.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.