Cairo, IL

Songfacts®:

  • Natalie Hemby's Puxico album is named for the small Missouri town in which her grandparents reside. This song chronicles a pivotal stop on the drive from her home town of Nashville to Puxico.

    "Many small towns throughout the heartland are named after Biblical cities in the Middle East," Hemby told American Songwriter. "Cairo, IL, which is actually pronounced Cay-roe, is a tiny town where two major rivers join together - the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers - and three states - Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois - all border each other.

    As a kid growing up, it was my favorite part of the drive on the way to Puxico, and also, the saddest part as I was leaving to go home back to Nashville," she continued. "Only the skeletons of buildings remain, and what was once a thriving city one hundred years ago, is now a ghost town... a relic of its beauty. But to me, it's become a landmark of my childhood."

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