Tishomingo Blues

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For the 2002 novel by Elmore Leonard, see Tishomingo Blues (novel).

"Tishomingo Blues" is a famous tune and song by Spencer Williams. The tune was first published in 1917. The title refers to Tishomingo, Mississippi, although the cover of the original sheet music shows a scene in Mexico.

The tune became a jazz standard, and has been recorded numerous times from when it was new into the 21st century. Many listeners to public radio are familiar with the tune, although not the title, for it is used as the theme song each week for A Prairie Home Companion (distributed by American Public Media), with different lyrics.


The original lyrics are as follows:

First verse

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.

Second verse

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.
I'm goin'to Tishomingo.

( Repeat Chorus )