Mississippi is removing a state song that traces its origins to a politician who pledged to preserve racial segregation.
“Go, Mississippi” has the same tune – but not the lyrics – of a 1959 campaign jingle for Democratic Gov. Ross Barnett called “Roll With Ross.”
The lyrics of the original song read: “For segregation, 100%. He’s not a moderate, like some gentlemen.
Barnett had unsuccessfully resisted incorporation of the University of Mississippi in 1962, and lawmakers passed a state song that year, putting new words to his campaign tune: “Come on, Mississippi, keep on to roll. Come on, Mississippi, you can’t go wrong.
Instead, the state will have multiple official songs – as is the case in neighboring Tennessee, for example.
On Thursday, the state’s Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill to replace “Go, Mississippi” with a new song called “One Mississippi.”
The bill also recommended the creation of a Mississippi State Songs Committee with the goal of designating “numerous state songs so that Mississippians can enjoy appropriate state songs for all occasions, events and daily activities”.
The change will go into effect July 1 of this year, marking two years since Mississippi also retired a Confederate-themed state flag.
“One Missisippi”, composed by country music singer and songwriter Steve Azar, was chosen to represent Missisippi in the contemporary music genre.
Azar, a Mississippi native, had composed the song for the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2017.
The lyrics of “One Mississippi” play on the game of counting hide-and-seek (“One Mississippi…two Mississippi…three Mississippi…) and the song unfurls familiar imagery of the state such as magnolia trees. , fried catfish, hurricanes and kudzu.
Additional reports by agencies
The Independent Gt