Mississippi is a proud state located in the heart of the South. A unique blend of cultures and music has left its mark on Mississippi over time, inspiring countless musicians across genres, with many coming from the blues and country styles. In this article, we’ll take a look at the long history of the state and go over the 25 best songs about Mississippi.
1. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man – Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn
It’s hard to find a better pair for a country duet than Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man was released on their third duet album together, and it describes a couple who are separated by the mighty Mississippi River. Despite the obstacles in their path, the pair believe their love is stronger than anything that could stop them, making them willing to bravely swim across the alligator-infested river just to be with one another yet again.
2. My Head’s In Mississippi – ZZ Top
No matter where people end up moving to, they always bring a little piece of the palace they grew up with them. This is especially true for Southerners, as they’ll always see things through that perspective. ZZ Top captured this trait pretty well in their song My Head’s In Mississippi, an ode to the state that’s realistic about what it means to be from there. It was released in 1990 and made it to the top of Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks chart.
3. Mississippi Mud – Hank Williams III
Grandson and son of the legendary Hank Williams Sr. and Hank Williams Jr. respectively, Hank Williams III knows a thing or two about growing up in the South. His song Mississippi Mud talks about his life and childhood, with the key thing he learned to be able to do was to start a party anywhere. No matter the situation you find yourself in, you can make it a fun one, and for him, there’s no place he’d rather be than in the Mississippi mud doing a little dance.
4. Mississippi Queen – Mountain
Mississippi Queen is one of classic rock’s most beloved anthems. Everything about it screams 1970s rock and roll, making it an absolutely awesome entry to Mountain’s 1970 album Climbing! It describes a woman who goes by that nickname for the sake of the song and who taught the narrator quite a bit of things about life. It was a big hit when it was first released, rising to number 27 on the Hot 100, and it remains the band’s best-selling single today.
5. Here’s to the State of Mississippi – Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs was never afraid to take on major social problems in his songs, and Here’s To The State of Mississippi is no exception to this. It was a protest track released in the 1960s during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, critiquing the oppression facing African-Americans in the state.
He had spent time volunteering in the Mississippi Caravan of Music and witnessed firsthand what was going on there. He used his experiences to highlight events of police brutality, racism in schools, lynchings, and the murder of activists during that era.
6. Sunrise on the Mississippi – Bruce Cockburn
If you want a gentle, acoustic song that captures the way the sun rises over the Mississippi River then look no further than Bruce Cockburn’s Sunrise On The Mississippi. It’s a beautiful ballad that describes the beauty of the state along the river, capturing the very essence of a peaceful morning on the delta. The singer even invites the listener to take a moment and enjoy the serene nature surrounding them before starting their day in earnest.
7. Mister and Mississippi – Patti Page
Mister And Mississippi is a playful song about two lovers that perfectly captures the feelings of falling in love and the work it takes to build a life together. With a little bit of wordplay in the title, this track eventually turned out to be a classic in the pop-country genre, playing on themes of youth and innocence in a calm and nostalgic way.
8. Mississippi – Afroman
Afroman spent a good part of his childhood in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The state holds a lot of fond memories and loved ones for him, so despite having left to pursue his music career, he can’t wait to return. Mississippi is all about how much he wants to go back and describes his time there chasing girls and getting into all sorts of trouble. There’s no better homage to the state in the form of a rap track than this that I’ve been able to find.
9. Ghosts of Mississippi – The SteelDrivers
The SteelDrivers are great storytellers, and this song is no exception. Ghosts Of Mississippi tells the tale of a man who falls asleep while playing his guitar, but in his dream, a ghost comes by and takes it from him. It then begins playing and singing about being doomed to haunt the state forever, cursing God, and forcing the singer to wake up. You can find it on their 2010 album Reckless.
10. Biloxi – Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett released Biloxi on his album Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, which also featured his most famous song Margaritaville. His version is a cover of a 1970 song by Jesse Winchester, but don’t believe Biloxi isn’t a special city for Buffett. The Gulf Coast town is described in glorious and beautiful detail by him in the song, highlighting how great the beachfront was before Hurricane Katrina ruined many of the local businesses and destroyed what was once a popular vacation destination.
11. Child of the Mississippi – Old Crow Medicine Show
Old Crow Medicine Show is back at it again with another picture-perfect snapshot of a Southern state. Child Of The Mississippi tells the story of a man who lost his father at an early age and moved around Mississippi trying to make his way through life. Growing up in a rural area and having a hard time in life are things he became proud of over time. This song was released in 2018 on their album Volunteer.
12. Down in Mississippi (Up To No Good) – Sugarland
Sugarland’s song Down In Mississippi (Up To No Good) was a fun, catchy country track that came out on their album Twice The Speed Of Life. It was a major hit on the country charts, rising as high as number 17 and just missing out on crossing over to the Hot 100. The point of the song is to be spontaneous and have a good time, even if you do end up making a bit of trouble for yourself along the way.
13. I’d Jump the Mississippi – George Jones and Melba Montgomery
George Jones has penned numerous classic ballads, and I’d Jump The Mississippi was one of his best. It talks about a man so deeply in love with a woman that he’d be willing to jump the Mississippi River to prove his love to her.
14. Roll On Mississippi – Charley Pride
Roll On Mississippi was the title track of Charley Pride’s 1981 album and served as his tribute to the state and river. A pioneer of the country music industry, he was one of the few Black country artists at the time and the very first to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 1967.
15. Cherokee Highway – Western Flyer
Cherokee Highway is a grim song set in Mississippi that deals with the rampant racism of the state during the Civil Rights Movement—and that continues today. It tells the story of two friends, one Black and one white, with the Black friend’s father being murdered by the KKK. After going to the white friend’s house, it’s discovered his father was involved and their house is targeted in retribution. The story isn’t a true one, but it was based on events that happened in Danny Myrick’s hometown of Pascagoula, Mississippi.
16. Born in Mississippi – Chris LeDoux
Born In Mississippi is another classic country ballad about being from the state of Mississippi. It pays tribute to the music and history of the state, describing the singer’s pride at having been born there and what a great place it is to live.
17. Mississippi Girl – Faith Hill
Mississippi is definitely a state steeped in traditions and values, things that shape the people that come from there. Faith Hill understands that well, and captures the essence of those values in her song Mississippi Girl. It’s a fun pop-country track that positively describes the singer’s upbringing in the state, full of references to Southern culture and how charming the state can be at the end of the day.
18. Mississippi Kid – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Is anything more fitting for a list of songs about a Southern state than a Lynyrd Skynyrd track? Mississippi Kid is a song that details the stubborn nature of people in the state. It talks about a man who decides to leave Mississippi and head to Alabama to start a new life, vowing that nobody is going to push him around. The Southern rock staple features a few distinct instruments that are particularly important in the state’s history, such as the harmonica.
19. One Mississippi – Steve Azar
We have to put the official state song of Mississippi on this list, and the version we’ve decided to go with comes from Steve Azar. It talks about the resilience of the people who live there and some of their favorite foods like catfish and slug burgers. He wrote the track for the bicentennial, and in 2022, it was officially selected as the state’s anthem, replacing a controversial song titled Go, Mississippi.
20. Jackson, Mississippi – Kid Rock
Kid Rock might be a Detroit native, but he found a second home in the South. Several of his songs are odes to various southern cities, and Jackson, Mississippi falls into that category. It tells the tale of a working-class guy trying to make ends meet in a small Southern town but serves as an anthem of determination just as well.
21. Mississippi Squirrel Revival – Ray Stevens
There isn’t a funnier song on this list, or any of our other lists of tracks about states, than Mississippi Squirrel Revival. It checks all the boxes for being about the state, from the Christian revival service to the reactions of people in the congregation when a squirrel gets in and causes chaos. Ray Stevens even puts on an exaggerated Southern drawl to add to the comedic effect of the song, making this one of the most lighthearted and best tracks about the Mississippi that you’re going to find.
22. Mississippi Delta Land – Johnny Cash
The blues are an integral part of the Mississippi music scene, and Johnny Cash captures a lot of great things from the Delta Blues in his song, Mississippi Delta Land. It tells the story of a man who loses everything and has to leave his home in the state. It’s full of despair, sadness, and longing, with the lyrics painting Mississippi as resilient in the face of adversity and the only home that will ever feel right for the protagonist.
23. Mississippi – Bob Dylan
Mississippi was released on Bob Dylan’s 2000 album Love And Theft. It mainly deals with the changes the singer has seen throughout his long life, from his time as a big star to the point where he wasn’t sure what to do anymore. It does show some regret for how long he spent in the state, though this is a reference to a song that used to be sung by prisoners at Mississippi State Penitentiary.
24. Mississippi – Train
Train’s song Mississippi is another mournful tune that explores the universal themes of heartbreak and longing. It talks a lot about the state’s landscape, from the river to the open fields, and uses those things as metaphorical images of the singer’s lost love and how hard separating from them was.
25. Mississippi River Blues – Hank Snow
Mississippi River Blues was written in 1931 by Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music. It fused his yodeling talents with the blues music of the Delta, ultimately helping birth the country genre as a whole. Hank Snow covered the song and produced a popular version of it in 1955.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
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