Copyright Rick Cox, singer & songwriter, "Queen of the South"
So perhaps some of the bills presented this session in the Legislature lacked what one might called "gravitas," as Mississippi Matters investigative reporter Steve Wilson has already aptly noted.
For instance, one now-dead bill wanted to make the Bible the state's book; I'm not big on state-sponsored religion, and while the popularity of the Bible is ebbing nationally--especially among millennials--it still has plenty of Magnolia State support. Another bill wanted to create a debtor's prison for Mississippi--hmmm; I may write more about that idea soon. Another bill wanted to designate an official state poem. And one proposed a second official state song; it didn't make it either.
As Wilson recently reported, "HB 592 would've designated Queen of the South as the state's second official song and was sponsored by state Rep. Tom Weathersby (R-Florence) died in committee."
But have you ever heard this song?
I hadn't until yesterday, and it's pretty dang good. (Clarification: this isn't the theme song for the TV series Queen of the South on USA Network.)
It just so happens that the father of Mississippi Matters' Lifestyle & Travel Editor Jenny Cox Holman wrote it. Rick Cox often enjoys sitting on his porch, guitar in hand as new songs just materialize. Queen of the South is one. This guy can pick, sing, and compose.
I like Queen of the South better than our current state song, Go Mississippi, which I find a hokey and rousingly, riotously repetitive. One of those that was composed 1960 in response to national pressure regarding our racist past. Says one historical account about the song, "Interestingly, the Mississippi state song was adopted through the efforts of real estate people. The Jackson, Mississippi Board of Realtors took the initiative and set up an advisory committee for the purpose of finding an appropriate state song for the state. The committee recommended the song, "Go, Mississippi" to the Legislature and urged adoption as the official state song. On May 17, 1962, "Go, Mississippi" was adopted by the Legislature as the official song of Mississippi."
In other words, the song was supposed to help get people to buy real estate.
I'm not advocating for a second state song--one is enough. I'm not even advocating for a state song period, as I'm just not sure it's good song- or state-policy. I mean, this could become like the statue issue; people could say that a state song is too white or too black; or too polka-dotty versus stomp-dance-jig Irish; on and on it could go. A national song-cycle fistfight could break out. And, if you have two state songs, then why not three or eight? We're so talented down here that our artistic prowess could provoke the rest of America's envy. We don't need more bad feelings directed our way!
Still, you might like to hear Queen of the South. Listen to his song on Mississippi Matters Facebook page. I see where Jenny got her creativity (she says her mom is pretty creative too).
The Current (VERY HOKEY) State Song of Mississippi
Click to hear the tune w/out words.