Tishomingo Blues

"Tishomingo Blues", written by Spencer Williams was a hit in1917. The song, which serves as Garrison Keillor's theme song for A Prairie Home Companion, was named after the town. Williams was a well known African American composer who helped to make jazz popular.

Natives of Tishomingo, pianist Molly Savoy and vocalist Sara Savoy perform "Tishomingo Blues" in jazz style just emerging at the end of the ragtime era when Williams composed it.


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Tishomingo Blues
Words and Music by Spencer Williams, 1917


Oh, Mississippi, Oh, Mississippi,
My heart cries out for
You in sadness,
I want to be where
The wintry winds don't blow,
Down where the southern
Moon swings low,
That's where I want to go.


I'm goin' to Tishomingo,
Because I'm sad today,
I wish to linger,
Way down old Dixie way.
Oh, my weary heart cries out in pain,
Oh, how I wish that I was back again,
With a race,
In a place,
Where they make you welcome all the time.
Way down in Mississippi,
Among the cypress trees,
They get you dippy,
With their strange melodies,
To resist temptation,
I just can't refuse,
In Tishomingo
I wish to linger,
Where they play the weary blues.


Tonight I'm prayin', Tonight I'm sayin',
Oh Lord please take the
Train that takes me,
To Tishomingo,
'Way down old Dixie way,
Where southern folks are
Always gay,
That's why you hear me say.