What does Mississippi mean?

Bob Dylan: Mississippi Meaning

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Album cover for Mississippi album cover

Mississippi Lyrics

Every step of the way, we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is piling up, we struggle and we scrape
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City's just a jungle, more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get...

  1. anonymous
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    Mar 8th 2020 !⃝

    It is 2020 and the presidential campaign of the democrats is in full swing.
    Being a political person I see Dylan as an American citizen that is rattling off all of his concerns of how our country has fallen, the things wrong, and the things we should be attending to, but are not.
    The song of course is timeless, and can represent most of our national failings and misgivings of most any time period.

  2. sheri
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    Oct 25th 2017 !⃝

    This is obviously, to me, about the dichotomy between love and prison...I was thinking about what Rosie said, I was thinking I was sleeping in Rosie's bed...prison...Rosie.

    Stayed in Mississippi a day too long...I haven't a clue...except what it means to me...lover coming to CT to be with me from Mississippi from a horrific situation, and the day before he was to catch his plane he blew his brains out...Stayed in Mississippi a day too long! A horrific time for me, a worse time for him that he felt so incredibly full of angst and full of such dread.....now I know he is there for me, but still, he waited a day too long.
    had he left the day before he would be here now!
    Back to Dylan...
    Every step of the way,we walk the line, your days are numbered, so are mine, time is piling up, we struggle and we scrape, all boxed in, no where to escape...obviously a prison referral. Give me your hand and say you'll be mine! There are many connotations between prison and a love story, I love this song because 1) it's a great piece of writing with the back and forth, and 2) because of the personal story in my own life.
    I would be amiss if I didn't mention his wonderful gravely voice, in this song, again the dichotomy between the two stories in this song...soft, sometimes rough. I am in awe of how he uses his voice this way in this song.

  3. anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2014 !⃝

    Old joke:

    "Hey did you hear about Davis? He died last night in Jackson."

    "Guess he stayed in Mississippi a day too long."

    Song is about death, regrets and coming to terms.

  4. anonymous
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    Sep 24th 2012 !⃝

    I think its a very general reflection on his past adult life, his feelings towards it and those close to him. I think it encompasses all the interpretations you made to bob [maybe the christ interpretation isnt what it meant to bob]. Its his acceptance of his travelling past that he has accpeted and his only mistakes where getting stuck on some things 'a day too long'.
    It should be interpreted as an accpetance of change and aging along with all the relationships along the way.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 4th 2011 !⃝

    Bob is singing about about his behavior and treatment by fan and critics

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 13th 2011 !⃝

    Well the devil's in the alley
    mule is in the stall
    say anything you want to
    I have heard it all


    I was thinking about the things Rosie said
    I was dreaming I was sleeping in Rosie's bed


  7. anonymous
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    Jun 29th 2011 !⃝

    It's a song about a relationship. Like in the Johnny Cash song, there are ties that bind (I walk the line), but this also feels like imprisonment, confinement, constraint. The narrator is talking to a partner -- they are both close and distant. Sometimes he knows her, tonight he don't. There are regrets, and they are both sorry. The narrator thinks his ship (of life) is splintered and sinking, but he feels affection for the partner (and others) who have sailed with him. In the final stanza, he contemplates endless emptiness and the cold clay (death), but he knows there's no stepping backwards.
    Why was staying in Mississippi the one thing he done wrong? Because he has always got in trouble when he sets his suitcase down. And he overstayed by a day. It could have been a parole violation. More likely he stayed in Mississippi and met this partner, or met someone else who is replacing them as his partner.

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