Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Mississippi Goddam" - Nina Simone (1963)

The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Can't you see it
Can't you feel it
It's all in the air
I can't stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

This is a show tune
But the show hasn't been written for it, yet

Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day's gonna be my last

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don't belong here
I don't belong there
I've even stopped believing in prayer

Don't tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I've been there so I know
They keep on saying "Go slow!"

But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
Washing the windows
"do it slow"
Picking the cotton
"do it slow"
You're just plain rotten
"do it slow"
You're too damn lazy
"do it slow"
The thinking's crazy
"do it slow"
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know
I don't know

Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

I made you thought I was kiddin' didn't we

Picket lines
School boycotts
They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me

Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you'd stop calling me Sister Sadie

Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You're all gonna die and die like flies
I don't trust you any more
You keep on saying "Go slow!"
"Go slow!"

But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
Mass participation
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
Do things gradually
"do it slow"
But bring more tragedy
"do it slow"
Why don't you see it
Why don't you feel it
I don't know
I don't know

You don't have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Monday, March 10, 2008

RHS' spring break is next week. Thank God. If I stayed a teacher for much longer, I think it might just kill me. I'd have a heart attack at age 24, keel over, and die. I am only exaggerating slightly.

For the first half of spring break I will be hanging around my place, I hope reading a bunch (I'm only about 160 pages through Lonesome Dove and it'd be great to finish it over break). I've actually done a poor job reading these past two years, I should have surrounded myself more with Southern literature rather than merely reading whatever struck my fancy. I have read a bunch of Southern lit while in Mississippi, but if I really buried myself under a pile of Faulkner, etc. my experience here would have been much more complete.

(As an aside: something I am noticing as I write this is that my writing has worsened over the past two years because I am out of practice. I've not had to write a real academic paper since I graduated from college and I am now having trouble thinking of simple synonyms to use. I'm really looking forward to getting back to a position where I can use my brain more fully.)

I was hoping to go north to check out a school for next year, but the Professor has yet to email me back, so that probably won't work out. Maybe I'll take a day trip or two, there are a couple of Civil War battlefields in the immediate vicinity that I'd really like to see before I leave Mississippi.

The latter half of the week my mother is coming to visit, so I'll show her around some of my favorite spots in Mississippi. This will definitely be a time for me to rest and recharge, though I hope not much energy will be needed for the last two months of school given that we'll just be preparing for the state test, taking the test, and then hanging out (read: watching movies) until the end of the school year. From here on out, I am hoping that it's all like running downhill...