It’s time to sing a new tune, Mississippi

Published 7:00 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

“Go, Mississippi” will finally begone.
State lawmakers approved a change in the final days of the Legislative session.

“Go, Mississippi” is the state’s official song. That likely comes a surprise to many folks, who don’t give the state song much thought or attention. But, perhaps we should do just that.

The song takes its tune from a 1959 campaign jingle for Democratic Gov. Ross Barnett, the avowed segregationist. The tune was massaged and the lyrics were rewritten, and the state song was adopted by the legislators in 1962 – the same year Barnett unsuccessfully fought to keep the University of Mississippi segregated.

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And for 60 years, the state song has largely gone unnoticed as Mississippi fought larger battles, from changing the state flag to the COVID pandemic to economic shortfalls. The relic from Mississippi’s ugly past lingered, but no one took the time to change it.

On Thursday, though, both the House and Senate passed a measure to replace “Go, Mississippi” with “One, Mississippi,” a song penned by Mississippi native Steve Azar for the 2017 state bicentennial.
We believe it is time to shake off yet another vestige of our segregationist history and adopt a song that is inclusive, representative of our one home, Mississippi.

“One Mississippi” — the first of a few new state songs — is a good representation of that goal.