VICKSBURG FACTS: Vicksburg is a popular word for famous artists

Published 11:05 am Friday, June 17, 2022

Did you know the name “Vicksburg” has been used in song lyrics by several famous music artists? 

Starting off, some popular Blues artists like the Father of the Delta Blues Charley Patton and Robert Johnson have used Vicksburg in their music.

Patton in 1929 wrote “High Water Everywhere” which tells the story of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and the issues that occurred in the towns and cities located by the Mississippi River, like Vicksburg. The lyric is “Well, they tell me the water/ done took Charley’s town/ Boy I’m goin’ to Vicksburg/ Well I’m goin’ to Vicksburg.”

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In 2001, “High Water Everywhere” inspired legendary songwriter Bob Dylan to write a song as a tribute to Charley Patton called “High Water (For Charley Patton),” which also mentions the city of Vicksburg. The lyric is “Water pourin’ into Vicksburg, don’t know what I’m going to do.”

In 1937, Johnson wrote the song “Traveling Riverside Blues,” which was also the inspiration for Led Zepplin’s song “Traveling Riverside Blues” in their 1982 Coda album. However, Vicksburg is not mentioned in the Led Zeppelin version of “Traveling Riverside Blues.”

If listening to the rock band known as Mountain, their song from their 1970 album “Climbing!” mentions Vicksburg in “Mississippi Queen” — “Way down around Vicksburg/ cross the Louisiana way/ lived a Cajun lady they called the Mississippi Queen.”

Some songs include Vicksburg in the chorus, such as “Sweet Louisiana” by the Charlie Daniels Band. As mentioned in the chorus, “And it’s a long way back to Vicksburg/ Mississippi River is muddy and wide/ But it don’t seem like much/ When sweet Louisiana’s waiting on the other side.”

This song tells the story of how the main character thinks it’s always worth the journey to travel back to Louisiana after visiting many different places. 

Sir Elton John also used Vicksburg in the chorus of his song “Dixie Lily” from his 1974 “Caribou” album. The chorus is, “Dixie Lily, chugging like a grand old lady/ Paddles hitting home in the noonday sun/ Ploughing through the water with your whistles blowing/ Down from Louisiana on the Vicksburg run.”

John tells the story of a child who enjoys being by the river and watching the showboat known as “Dixie Lily” coming up the Mississippi River.

What is your favorite Vicksburg song?