Track 1 - Mississippi Woman

Hello and welcome to the first Ol' Big Bear Blog!   This is one of a series of  blogs where I will attempt to convey the inspiration and background of each of the 12 songs on my album Iowa Weather.  I hope you enjoy and are somewhat entertained.

Mississippi Woman was one of several songs that I wrote when my (soon to be) wife, Ellen was pregnant with our daughter Quinn.  I was enjoying writing fingerstyle guitar pieces and once Ellen and I teamed up and started a family the lyrics presented themselves readily.

To back up a bit, Ellen is from Dubuque, Iowa and I'm from Norwalk, Iowa a suburb of Des Moines.  For those of you not from these parts it's a good 3 1/2 hour drive from the Mississippi River town to the state capital. Although it's reasonable that we could have met in our homeland it actually wasn't until we were both living in the San Francisco Bay Area that we crossed paths.  I moved there to play music and she to work as a flight attendant.  We were good friends for many years before joining forces.  I knew right away that she was the "the marrying kind" but I also knew I wasn't ready for such endeavors.  It took me years before I finally wised up but once I did we made up for lost time.  Rather immediately we multiplied into a trio.  Definitely one of the best things to ever happen to me.  It was a no brainer for us both that we needed to get back to the heartland to raise our baby, and that's what we did.

To back up a bit more, our families had crossed paths in many ways in the past.  My grandparents grew up and met in Dubuque.  Ellen's parents grew up and met in Dubuque. My dad went to Holy Trinity grade school as did his mom and her brother and sister. Ellen's dad went there too. In fact he would reminisce fondly of when those cute blonde Stierman girls moved into town.  One of them would become my Grandma Trilk years later. Ellen and I both have grandparents buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque. As a kid my family used to go to family reunions every summer at Eagle Point Park in Dubuque.  Ellen's family met there for special occasions as well.  I wonder if we were ever there at the same time?

We decided to move from the bay area to Dubuque as her folks were quite a bit older than mine and we wanted our new baby girl to be a daily part of their lives.  It was so nice to get to know Ellen's wonderful family and the city that I grew up visiting and hearing about.  It was strange to hear of Trilks that I had never met too!  

So, back to the song.  I had this kind of Mississippi John Hurt inspired guitar thing that was begging for words. What shall I write about?   I decided that I wanted to express in the song how blessed I felt to have Ellie in my life and also to convey the serendipitous nature of us meeting and the fact that there were ties long before we were ever born.   The fact that it all started in a town on the Mississippi was compelling to me too.  I had to go to California to do it but (just like my grandpa) I found me a Mississippi Woman.  Man us Trilk boys are blessed!  Mississippi Woman it is!!

Stay tuned for the next Ol' Big Bear Blog,  TRACK 2 - I'M GONNA DRINK. This will reveal a whole different side of me!

 This is my Mississippi Woman.  Love her sparkly eyes.

This is my Mississippi Woman.  Love her sparkly eyes.

Mississippi Woman

by Dan Trilk
 
I’ve been blessed
With a Mississippi woman
Her love flows
In a Mississippi way
Just like my grandpa
I got a Mississippi woman
Her love flows
Far beyond the gulf bay
 
She makes my coffee
Every early, early morning
And makes sure that I’m comfy
At the end of each day
She loves me
Although I’m scraggly and I’m scruffy
She’s my strawberry muffin, I’m her ol’ big bear
 
She knows what to say
When I fidget and I fumble
And knows what the hell I’m talking about
When I can’t get it out
She knows what to do
To keep my heart booming
Yeah, she got a way
To keep those flowers blooming
 
I’ve been blessed
With a Mississippi woman
Her love flows
In a Mississippi way
Just like my grandpa
I got a Mississippi woman
Her love flows
Far beyond the gulf bay