• Nate Holder

Mississippi G*ddamn

Updated: Jun 10

Nina Simone recorded and performed this song in 1964 in response to two tragedies.


On the 12th June 1963, Medgar Evers was shot and killed by a white supremacist. He had lived for years under constant threat because of his activism, and involvement in with the NAACP. Despite the case going to trial in 1963 and 1964, it wasn't until 1994, that the perpetrator Byron De La Beckwith, was convicted of murder.


The second tragedy occurred on the 15th Sept 1963 when 4 black girls were killed when the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. One of the killers was convicted in 1977, while two others were convicted in 2001 and 2002. The other died in 1994.




Click here to find some excellent commentary on the lyrics.


  • What instruments can you see/hear?

  • What is the time signature of the song?

  • Do you think it would have been easy for Nina Simone to sing a song like this?

  • What happens at 2:05?

  • Is this in a major or minor key?

  • How would you describe the texture from 0:15-0:21?

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©2020 by Nate Holder