31 Superb Songs about Mississippi, the Magnolia State

Home to Spanish moss, the Delta, and its lazy rivers, the state of Mississippi has inspired many songs over the years from a wide variety of artists. It’s hard not to fall in love with the Magnolia state, whether you grew up there or are just visiting for a night.

From country hits like Faith Hill’s ‘Mississippi Girl’ to Hank Williams III’s party track ‘Mississippi Mud,’ here is a comprehensive selection of the best songs about Mississippi.

My Head’s in Mississippi – ZZ Top

This early 1990s ZZ Top release zeroes in on the new wave of blues artists who might not have “lived” the blues but, in the words of Billy Gibbons’ friend Walker Baldwin, their “head’s there.” ‘My Head’s in Mississippi,’ a longtime setlist staple for the band, began as a straightforward vintage blues track. But their producer added in electronic drum fills to give the song a more modern vibe.

Related: Check out these popular blues songs.

Mississippi Queen – Mountain

When Mountain wrote ‘Mississippi Queen’ about a Cajun Lady aboard a riverboat in the bayou, they all loved the sound of The Band, a ’70s rock group with hits like ‘The Weight.’ As they constructed their tune, they had The Band’s song ‘Cripple Creek’ in mind. They were worried The Band frontman Levon Helm would be mad at them for “ripping off their song.” But after he heard the track, Mountain breathed a sigh of relief because Helm loved it.

Related: Find this song on our list of royalty songs.

Mississippi – Bob Dylan

A classically introspective Dylan song revolving around him looking back on his life, ‘Mississippi’ took years to make it on a record. While it gathered dust, Sheryl Crow and The Chicks recorded their own versions of the heavy tune. Dylan finally felt his voice had enough wear and tear to pull off the song’s weight when he released it on Love and Theft in 2001.

Related: Travel the USA with these songs with state names.

Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man – Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn

Throughout the ’70s, country artists Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn recorded several duets together. They reached number one on the charts for the third time with their collaboration ‘Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,’ a classic country number Lynn’s husband Oliver first discovered and brought to her to record.

Related: Enjoy the classics with our playlist of old country songs.

Living for the City – Stevie Wonder

A soulful song with social commentary underlying poignant lyrics, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Living for the City’ tells the tragic tale of a young man who moves from Mississippi to New York in search of a better life. But the harsh reality of trying to make it in a fast-moving place sets in, and he ends up in jail over a drug charge. When he wrote the tune, the hardships families go through while trying to put food on the table were on Wonder’s mind.

Related: This song features on our injustice songs playlist.

Come Along and Ride This Train (Mississippi Delta Land) – Johnny Cash

A folksy tune released by The Man in Black on his album The Johnny Cash Show, chronicling his performances while hosting the variety series, ‘Come Along and Ride This Train’ focuses on the mighty Mississippi River and all of the states it touches as it winds from Illinois all the way down to the “Delta land.”

Mississippi Kid – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is from Florida, but they wrote several songs about deep south states like Alabama and Mississippi. With ‘Mississippi Kid,’ they shine a light on the strength and pride one grows up with in the Magnolia State as the protagonist makes his way through Alabama to pick up his woman.

Related: Remember your childhood days with this growing up music.

Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good) – Sugarland

When Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles sat down to write ‘Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good),’ they had just started Sugarland and were trying to find their own unique country sound. As they collaborated, the song turned playful, and the story ended up focusing on a burnt-out wife who’s had enough and decides to take her friends to Mississippi for a wild girls’ weekend.

Related: Hear this song on our playlist of top line dance songs.

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival – Ray Stevens

Creatively dubbed “holy humor,” Ray Stevens’ ‘Mississippi Squirrel Revival’ tells a hilarious story of a young boy who catches a wild squirrel and takes it to church unbeknownst to his family. During the service, the squirrel escapes and wreaks havoc on the congregation, climbing inside peoples’ clothes, causing them to simulate demonic possessions. An onslaught of confessions and baptisms takes place, and the incident is soon called “one of God’s miracles.”

Related: If you enjoy singing about critters, you’ll love our songs about an animal playlist.

Mississippi Girl – Faith Hill

Songwriter John Rich (one-half of the country duo Big & Rich) co-wrote ‘Mississippi Girl’ with Faith Hill in mind. The country singer was looking for a song that would kickstart a comeback for her in the early 2000s. After she debuted the track, she got what she wanted. The song became her first number-one hit since ‘The Way You Love Me,’ and reminded her fans that she hadn’t changed her small-town roots despite her success.

Mister and Mississippi – Patti Page

This Irving Gordon track was first penned in 1951, and baritone-voiced Tennessee Ernie Ford, whose most famous track is the moody ‘Sixteen Tons,’ was the first to release the track. But Patti Page’s version was the most successful one and inspired Gordon to write more tunes with geographical themes.

I’d Jump the Mississippi – George Jones and Melba Montgomery

“I’d jump the Mississippi deep and wide if you was a waitin’ on the other side.” This old-timey country song tugs at the heartstrings as George Jones and Melba Montgomery gently weave a tale full of unrequited love. The Mississippi River is used in the chorus to represent just how far the protagonist in the song is willing to go to bring his true love back home.

Related: Wishing to get back to your lover? You’ll want to hear these reunited love songs.

Sunrise on the Mississippi – Bruce Cockburn

Drawing comparisons between Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne, Bruce Cockburn’s acoustic handiwork on the guitar transports the listener to the languid, muddy waters of the Mississippi Delta. Featuring vibrant guitar harmonics and perfect technique, the instrumental ‘Sunrise on the Mississippi’ is an uplifting take on a life spent in the Magnolia state.

Related: Wake up with our playlist of sunrise music.

Child of the Mississippi – Old Crow Medicine Show

“Son, you’re a child of the Mississippi.” Old Crow Medicine Show is a modern band, but when you listen to their music, you feel like you’re being transported back in time. Their tune ‘Child of the Mississippi’ centers around the harrowing story of a young boy who loses his mother and father, leaving him to be raised by the water, steamboats, and dirt of the great state.

Related: Stay strong with the best songs about being a survivor.

Born in Mississippi – Chris LeDoux

Rodeo champion turned country singer Chris LeDoux sings of honeysuckle vines, gators, and Spanish moss in his beautiful song ‘Born in Mississippi’ released in ’86. The song’s lyrics draw heavily on the cowboy’s life. He was born in Biloxi and grew up riding horses. After high school, he moved to Wyoming to be a professional cowboy and ride broncos in the rodeo.

Related: Sing about the wild west with the best songs with cowboy in the title.

Going Down to Mississippi – Phil Ochs

Songwriter Phil Ochs made his mark in the music industry in the ’60s with several moving protest songs. Staying true to form, ‘Going Down to Mississippi’ continues the trend with a hint of socio-political commentary hidden within the more universal lyrics about a man traveling to the state to try and create change amongst its citizens.

Related: Get inspired to protest with the best political songs.

Mississippi – Charlie Daniels

It was hard for Charlie Daniels to follow up his smash hit ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ but he decided to with his bluesy single ‘Mississippi.’ Though it didn’t have the same success as the prior single, it placed in the top 20 on the charts respectively. The nostalgic tune finds Daniels reminiscing about the Spanish moss lining oak trees in his younger days spent in the Bayou state.

Mississippi Mud – Hank Williams III

The son of country music legend Hank Williams Jr., Hank Williams III is making his own mark on the industry with his modern version of outlaw country music. With ‘Mississippi Mud,’ he kicks off a wild party after a day of fishing and drinking on the water. His friends all come out to the bayou and party in the delta mud.

One Mississippi – Kane Brown

A rocking country song about an on-again-off-again passionate romance, Kane Brown’s ‘One Mississippi’ appears on his album Different Man. Songwriter Levon Gray had a hand in writing the track. Brown brought him onto his team after Gray tagged him in a social media post showcasing his work.

Related: Head over to our list of black country singers.

Mississippi – Train

“They call her Mississippi. But she don’t flow to me.” Frontman Pat Monahan uses the Mississippi river to symbolize a woman he loves who won’t love him back. Her moon shines bright, and her waters are vast, but none of it flows his way.

Related: Find more of the best songs with rivers in the title on our playlist.

Mississippi – Pussycat

’70s group Pussycat might be Dutch, but that didn’t stop them from recording a song about appreciating old-time country music before rock and roll stepped in and transformed the genre. ‘Mississippi’ ended up being a massive hit for them in the UK, charting all the way to number one. It would become their best-selling hit of all time, with 5 million units sold worldwide.

Ghosts of Mississippi – The SteelDrivers

“I dreamed about the ghosts of Mississippi, and the blues came walkin’ like a man.” This haunting tune by country/bluegrass band The SteelDrivers tells the eerie tale of a man who gets caught between two worlds as he dreams late one night after having one too many. Bluesmen of days past visit him as he sleeps, and soon he can’t tell what’s real from what’s imagined. The song finds him trying to locate his reflection in the mirror after he wakes.

Cherokee Highway – Western Flyer

“The blood still runs down Cherokee Highway.” Western Flyer eloquently tackles the socio-political unrest of the 1960s deep south with their poignant song ‘Cherokee Highway.’ Released in the mid-1990s, the lyrics focus on a friendship between a young black boy named Willie and a young white boy named Kevin. After the Ku Klux Klan murders Willie’s father, Kevin’s house is burned down due to his father’s involvement. Willie tries to save Kevin from the fire, and both boys tragically perish.

One Mississippi – Steve Azar

Mississippi native and country songwriter Steve Azar’s unifying song ‘One Mississippi’ is the state’s newest official song. Drawing on the age-old child’s game of hide-and-seek, Azar uses tried-and-true southern imagery such as catfish and magnolia trees as a child-like quality plays out with the game’s theme running throughout the tune.

In the Mississippi River – Mavis Staples

Originally written by musician and civil rights activist Marshall Jones, ‘In the Mississippi River’ tells the true story of the dredging of the river while looking for three civil rights activists who were killed in the ’60s. While looking for them, many deceased black Americans were found at the bottom of the river whose cases had never been solved. Mavis Staples covered this moving tune in 2007.

Mississippi Moon – Greg Brown

Songwriter Greg Brown is from Iowa, rather far away from the bayou, but his song ‘Mississippi Moon’ encompasses the haunting, ghostly history and feeling the state’s massive river still possesses in modern times. The lyrics highlight two boys who think they see something in the water late at night, and no matter how much they try to convince their father they’ve seen something otherworldly, he says, “Boys, that’s just the Mississippi moon.”

Biloxi – Jimmy Buffett

Known for upbeat tropical hits like ‘Margaritaville’ and ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise,’ trop-rock songwriter Jimmy Buffet gets stormy with his moody song ‘Biloxi’ from his ’77 album Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes. He paints a poetic picture of girls like sisters dancing beneath dark waters and storms rolling in from New Orleans while stars make their way toward Biloxi.

Related: Our playlist of music about storms is sure to blow you away!

Roll on Mississippi – Charley Pride

Released in 1981 on an album by the same name, Charley Pride’s ‘Roll on Mississippi’ is a tribute to the powerful river he has loved all his life. Pride was a pioneer in the country music industry. With hits like ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning,’ he became the first black American singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 1967.

Mississippi River Blues – Hank Snow

Jimmie Rodgers, The Father of Country Music, wrote ‘Mississippi River Blues’ in 1931. His music fused blues together with yodeling, which ultimately became the origins of what is now known as the country music genre. Canadian country artist Hank Snow released a popular version of the delta-infused tune in 1955.

Mississippi Sand – Johnny Cash

A story of young love, murder, and getting caught in the Mississippi mud plays out in one of Cash’s lesser-known but equally memorable tunes, ‘Mississippi Sand.’ The protagonist pulls the listener in with a secret he wishes to confess. When the girl he loves is murdered by a stranger who comes to town, he and his friend make sure to avenge her death. The protagonist can never escape the Mississippi mud as he is bound to his transgression forever.

Mississippi – Rising Appalachia and The Human Experience

Sister-duo Rising Appalachia fronts The Human Experience as they lend their jazz-tinged vocals to their song ‘Mississippi.’ Blending Americana with blues, jazz, and acoustic stylings, the sisters’ main goal is to continue putting out recordings in keeping with their family’s long line of Appalachian-style music.

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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