River Songs

Background on Our River Songs

Charlie Maguire, was hired by the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area to be the "Singing Ranger." He worked for the NPS until Fall 2003, writing and performing songs about the Mississippi River and the people that have been--and continue to be-- affected by its many faces. Here we present some of Charlie's song along with the lyrics and stories that mirror Charlie's message. In order to listen to Charlie's music you will need an audio player (iTunes, Winamp, Quicktime...) installed.


The Great Mississippi speaks to the importance of the Mississippi in the culture and geography of America. From it's beginning at Lake Itasca to the Mississippi Delta in the Gulf of Mexico has had many names, carved many backwaters and continues to roll "through the hearts of us all."

Rising Tide presents a more ominous side of the river. For thousands of years, the river has pulsed with the annual cycle of high water in Spring and low water in Fall. Occasionally, that high water devastates the farms, towns and cities that line the Mississippi's banks.

Light the River commemorates one of the thousands of people who worked the river. From 1885 to 1921, evenings would see Ms. Jane Robinson set out in her boat. On each shore were two kerosene lanterns to guide river travelers safely between the treacherous banks. it was Mrs. Robinson's job to keep those flames alight.

The Birding Boat Song was written to tell everyone about the Birding Boat trips. No detail is left out, from the beautiful Mississippi river where the journey begins to the beautiful birds that make the trip so special.

Last updated: November 22, 2019

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Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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