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Here's to the State of Mississippi

Song: Here's to the State of Mississippi
Lyrics: Phil Ochs (4)

Music: Phil Ochs (4)
Year: c.1965 (1)
Genre: Folk
Country: USA


Here's to the state of Mississippi,
For Underneath her borders, the devil draws no lines,
If you drag her muddy river, nameless bodies you will find.
Oh the fat trees of the forest have hid a thousand crimes,
The calender is lyin' when it reads the present time.
Oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

And here's to the people of Mississippi;
Who say the folks up north, they just don't understand,
And they tremble in their shadows at the thunder of the Klan.
The sweating of their souls can't wash the blood from off their hands,
Where they smile and shrug their shoulders at the murder of a man.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

Here's to the schools of Mississippi;
Where they're teaching all the children that they don't have to care,
All of rudiments of hatred are present everywhere,
And every single classroom is a factory of despair,
And there's nobody learning such a foreign word as fair.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
Here's to the cops of Mississippi;
They're chewing their tobacco as they lock the prison door,
And their bellies bounce inside them as they knock you to the floor,
No they don't like taking prisoners in their private little war,
And behind their broken badges there are murderers and more.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

And here's to the judges of Mississippi;
Who wear the robe of honor as they crawl into the court,
They're guarding all the bastions with their phony legal fort,
Oh, justice is a stranger when the prisoners report,
When the black man stands accused the trial is always short.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

And here's to the government of Mississippi;
In the swamp of their bureaucracy they're always bogging down,
And criminals are posing as the mayors of the towns,
They're hoping that no one sees the sights and no one hears the sounds,
And the speeches of the governor are the ravings of a clown.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
And here's to the laws of Mississippi;
Congressmen will gather in a circus of delay,
While the Constitution's drowning in an ocean of decay,
Unwed mothers should be sterilized, I've even heard them say,
Yes, corruption can be classic in the Mississippi way.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

And here's to the churches of Mississippi;
Where the cross, once made of silver, now is caked with rust,
And the Sunday morning sermons pander to their lust,
Oh, the fallen face of Jesus is choking in the dust,
And Heaven only knows in which God they can trust.
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!


Notes:

1 - 1965 is the release date of the Phil Ochs album, I Ain't Marching Anymore, on which this song appeared. My vinyl copy of this does not give specific date for the songs.

2 - Transcribed, July 2012.

3 - Phil Ochs rewrote the lyrics to this song of his to create Here's to the state of Richard Nixon;

4 - Phil Ochs (1940 - 1976) biography.