Mississippi Delta Blues
Jimmie Rodgers Lyrics


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With friends around and even pals that I know are true
Still I'm lonely, homesick and blue
There's no one who can cheer me when I'm alone
Longing for my Mississippi home

Way down in the delta on that Mississippi shore
In that muddy water, I long to be once more
When night shadows creep about and the whippoorwill call
You can hear old mammy shout, "Come in here, you all"

Way down on the levee, strolling in the pale moon light
You can see those steamboats and the fields of snowy white
That's a feeling I can't lose that muddy water in my shoes
When I get that Mississippi Delta blues

I long to hear them darkies sing those old melodies
Swanee River and Ol' Black Joe
That sweet magnolia perfume floating on the breeze
Way down south is where I long to go

Way down in the delta on that Mississippi shore
In that muddy water, I long to be once more
When night shadows creep about and the whippoorwill call
You can hear old mammy shout, "Come in here, you all"

Way down on the levee, strolling in the pale moon light
You can see those steamboats and the fields of snowy white



That's a feeling I can't lose that muddy water in my shoes
When I get that Mississippi Delta blues

Overall Meaning

The song "Mississippi Delta Blues" by Jimmie Rodgers is a classic blues tune that deals with themes of loneliness, homesickness, nostalgia, and longing for a different time and place. The singer of the song is surrounded by friends and true pals, but still feels inexplicably blue. He longs for his Mississippi home, and the muddy waters of the delta that he left behind. He recalls with fondness the steamboats, fields of snowy white, and the sweet magnolia perfume that permeated the air.


The lyrics speak to the deep roots of the blues in Mississippi, and the interconnectedness of the land, the people, and the music. The singer yearns not just for a physical place, but for an emotional and cultural identity that is tied to the delta blues. The mention of the darkies singing old tunes like "Swanee River" and "Ol' Black Joe" speaks to the African American origins of the blues, and the importance of this musical tradition in black communities.


Line by Line Meaning

With friends around and even pals that I know are true
Even though I have friends and close companions by my side,


Still I'm lonely, homesick and blue
I feel lonely, homesick, and sad.


There's no one who can cheer me when I'm alone
No one can make me feel better when I'm by myself.


Longing for my Mississippi home
I yearn for my home in Mississippi.


Way down in the delta on that Mississippi shore
Deep in the delta, on the shore of the Mississippi river,


In that muddy water, I long to be once more
I want to be in the murky water again.


When night shadows creep about and the whippoorwill call
At night, when the shadows grow and the whippoorwills sing,


You can hear old mammy shout, "Come in here, you all"
You can hear my old nanny calling everyone inside.


Way down on the levee, strolling in the pale moon light
Walking on the levee, under the pale light of the moon,


You can see those steamboats and the fields of snowy white
You can see the steamboats and the white fields.


That's a feeling I can't lose that muddy water in my shoes
It's a feeling that I can't shake off, the sense of having muddy water in my shoes.


When I get that Mississippi Delta blues
When I feel the Mississippi Delta blues.


I long to hear them darkies sing those old melodies
I desire to listen to the dark-skinned people singing those old tunes.


Swanee River and Ol' Black Joe
Like Swanee River and Ol' Black Joe.


That sweet magnolia perfume floating on the breeze
The pleasant fragrance of magnolia carried on the wind,


Way down south is where I long to go
I yearn to go deep in the South.




Contributed by Nathan P. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

Rose Baker

I've adored Jimmie since I was a child. My Dad picked and sang Jimmie Rodgers when I was growing up. I responded especially to the Blues. After a terrible auto accident in 1966, when the car rolled a couple of times, my father, mother, and I walked away unharmed physically, but I was in shock, and nothing seemed to reach me mentally. When we got home (my family didn't realize anything was wrong, except I was too quiet) I realized I needed something to pull me out of the state I was in. I put on a record of Jimmie Rodgers, and after hearing the record play several times, I started responding to the music and tried to sing along with it. After a couple of hours, I was back to normal. Something in me so basic that I couldn't ignore the blues and yodels pulled me back from the abyss I was in. Today I respond in the same way as I did then. His music is so powerful, and reaches deep down inside of you. He set and started a kind of music that influenced many great artists (Gene Autry, Ernest Tubb, Elvis Presley etc.) learned from Jimmie Rodgers.

Nino

Touching story you have relayed of what could have been a real tragedy. As someone who was not raised listening to this kind of music, I find Jimmy Rodgers' music-- his voice, his guitar playing, and of course, his yodeling--absolutely. beautiful. It was a healing balm for you and I'm happy for you.

jeff wold

Whoever did the audio cleanup on this recording did a fabulous job!

John Woodruff

In the 1960s grew up in Liverpool UK and in the week would be listening to Merseybeat music however, of a Sunday after my Dad came back from the pub he would play Jimmie Rodgers. This is my favourite song of Jimmie's and I am sitting here shedding a tea for my Dad who passed away 1997 thinking of him singing along to this.

Judy Lear

Thanks for posting this...Jimmie Rodgers was my dad's favorite singer. This brings back such fond memories for me. My parents were teenagers in the 1920's and they grew up with this music. They have been gone for several years and I am so happy to be able to hear these tunes...thanks again...

Kevin Zavala

So soothing. This brings me so much joy , I will always daydream of the days of when you were alive

Jim Palmer

What a genius. What a subtle, masterful melody.

John Jurkewicz

👍👍 I love it so great 👍👍

Patricia Slocum

Rose, I am glad that you are okay. He is a great singer. Thanks for sharing your story.

Wayne Sanchez

Doesn't sound like the voice of a man who had less than a week to live. I'm so glad the sound engineer hired back musicians, although Jimmie played both instruments himself. Be at peace, Jimmie. We still love and listen to you.

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