Railway bridge across the Sunflower River. It is more a muddy creek then river, but it may swell during rains. It inspired few musicians to insert the name in the lyrics of their songs. The Blues Festival in Clarksdale carries it’s name.
The railway stopped running some years ago, as did the factory where this line used to lead. Sawmills were located at convenient places along the railroads in the Delta. The line is now called the Mississippi Delta Railroad was constructed in the 1890’s by the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. This line roughly paralleled the Mississippi River from Memphis to Vicksburg.
Contributed by Itallica said:
Boyce and Hart wrote this as a protest to the Vietnam War. They had to keep this quiet in order to get it recorded, but it is about a guy who gets drafted and goes to fight in the war. The train is taking him to an army base, and he knows he may die in Vietnam. At the end of the song he states, "I don't know if I'm ever coming home." Bobby Hart said of writing this song: "We were just looking for a name that sounded good. There's a little town in Northern Arizona I used to go through in the summer on the way to Oak Creek Canyon called Clarksdale. We were throwing out names, and when we got to Clarksdale, we thought Clarksville sounded even better. We didn't know it at the time, [but] there is an Air Force base near the town of Clarksville, Tennessee - which would have fit the bill fine for the story line. We couldn't be too direct with The Monkees. We couldn't really make a protest song out of it - we kind of snuck it in."