Mississippi

Album: You Don't Own Me Anymore (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • Before releasing their third studio album, the singing sisters were struggling to stay afloat in the music industry, having been dropped from their record label and nearly going bankrupt. The experienced formed the basis of many of their new songs, including "Mississippi," about a dominating father willing to kill anyone who tries to take away his daughter. Laura Rogers, the duo's primary lyricist, tells American Songwriter: "In 'Mississippi,' the murder ballad, the father figure thinks he has good intentions and the daughter is unsure of herself. That story isn't based on our father, but on two young women working in a business dominated by powerful older men."
  • Disguising the song as a tale of a dysfunctional father/daughter relationship was the only way the duo could write about their problems and still connect to their fans. "When we started writing these songs," Laura explained, "We knew we couldn't write songs that went, 'I almost went bankrupt because my label dropped me and my manager was mean to me.' Fans don't want to hear about your problems being on the road and missing home because they think you're living the dream. That's not their fault; they've never experienced this. They don't understand what it's like to be signed to a major label, have lots of money spent on you and then be unable to pay your bills. But that happened to us and we needed to write about it, but we wanted to write about these trials in a way that wasn't calling people out."
  • This is the sequel to "Iuka," from the Secret Sisters' second album, Put Your Needle Down. Lydia Rogers explained to NoiseTrade: "'Iuka' was written about a daughter and her lover. The daughter is too young to get married and the father doesn't want her to get married. She flees to Iuka to get married and – spoiler alert – her father murders her. So 'Mississippi' is from the father's perspective."

    Laura added: "When we wrote 'Iuka,' it was just so clear who was in the right and who was in the wrong. 'Mississippi' tells the other side of the story. Not to justify his actions, but to kind of explain why. We don't typically write narrative songs, but we love storytelling songs and murder ballads. It's been fun to try our hand at that."

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