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Editorial: Singing about Cape

Monday, May 10, 2004

A folk song about the Mississippi River that was chosen to help promote Cape Girardeau's Fourth of July celebrations could become the city's new theme song.

And residents are invited to join in the refrain at a recording today. But you need to make an appointment to do so.

The song by folk artist Kevin Danzig will be re-recorded at IBS Studios using area musicians and vocalists as backup. Residents, regardless of their musical ability, are invited to join in the singing at the studio.

Danzig's tune "The Great Mississippi" has been commissioned by the Convention and Visitors Bureau to use in tourism promotions about the city.

After hearing Danzig's song, area residents thought it would be a perfect fit for a theme song. So they asked Danzig if he'd change the lyrics and re-record the song. He agreed and will use local musicians and vocalists as his backup band.

This project is both the brainchild of local residents and incorporates the community in its design. What a fun way to recognize Cape Girardeau's river heritage.

When residents join in the singing, they'll be recording the refrain, which takes the tune of "Old Man River" and should be somewhat familiar to most people.

One of the things city promoters like about Danzig's original song was its refrain -- "Many a tale has been told of the great Mississippi" -- because it was so close to the city's new slogan: "Where the river turns a thousand tales." The slogan will be used in the newly recorded song.

The song connects with the community and the project organizers are hoping that connection resonates with residents. Anyone who sings on the chorus recording will have an opportunity to sing on stage with Danzig at the Liberty Fest events on the Fourth of July.


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