Poem on your Blog Day

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For Poem on your Blog Day, Ronn suggested for me to find a poem that had been turned into a song. I instantly thought of Langston Hughes but I did not have a chance to pull a gem from my big LH poetry book. I then thought Maya Angelou for her words transcend into such sweet melodies but EJ used one of her poem. I decided to add a little twist and post the lyrics of a song that moves my soul, “ Mississippi Goddam.” The words and music of Nina Simone still touches us in a powerful way. It amazes me how she unapololgetically “went there” in the 60’s with lyrics which still ring true today.


Mississippi Goddam – Nina Simone (1963)
The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it
Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
Can’t you see it
Can’t you feel it
It’s all in the air
I can’t stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer
Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
This is a show tune
But the show hasn’t been written for it, yet
Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day’s gonna be my last
Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong there
I’ve even stopped believing in prayer
Don’t tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I’ve been there so I know
They keep on saying “Go slow!”
But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Washing the windows
“do it slow”
Picking the cotton
“do it slow”
You’re just plain rotten
“do it slow”
You’re too damn lazy
“do it slow”
The thinking’s crazy
“do it slow”
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don’t know
I don’t know
Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
I made you thought I was kiddin’ didn’t we
Picket lines
School boy cots
They try to say it’s a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me
Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you’d stop calling me Sister Sadie
Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You’re all gonna die and die like flies
I don’t trust you any more
You keep on saying “Go slow!”
“Go slow!”
But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Desegregation
“do it slow”
Mass participation
“do it slow”
Reunification
“do it slow”
Do things gradually
“do it slow”
But bring more tragedy
“do it slow”
Why don’t you see it
Why don’t you feel it
I don’t know
I don’t know
You don’t have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
That’s it!

2 Responses to “Poem on your Blog Day”

  1. ej says:

    Great minds think alike I see. Wonderful selection!!!!

  2. ronn says:

    Very great selection. I was immediately blown away when I first heard the song. And it continues to be one of my fav Nina Simone songs.
    And of course, I change the lyrics often. I’ll substitute some other state or city when it works my last nerve!!

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