Monday, January 16, 2006

Songs to Remember Dr. King with

Only a Pawn in Their Game” by Bob Dylan from the album The Times They Are A Changin' (1963, 3:32)

A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood.
A finger fired the trigger to his name.
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man's brain
But he can't be blamed
He's only a pawn in their game.

A South politician preaches to the poor white man,
"You got more than the blacks, don't complain.
You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain.
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid,
And the marshals and cops get the same,
But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool.
He's taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
'Bout the shape that he's in
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks,
And the hoof beats pound in his brain.
And he's taught how to walk in a pack
Shoot in the back
With his fist in a clinch
To hang and to lynch
To hide 'neath the hood
To kill with no pain
Like a dog on a chain
He ain't got no name
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught.
They lowered him down as a king.
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
That fired the gun
He'll see by his grave
On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
Only a pawn in their game.

Too Many Martyrs” by Phil Ochs (1963, 2:44)

In the state of Mississippi many years ago,
A boy of 14 years got a taste of southern law.
He saw his friend a hanging and his color was his crime
And the blood upon his jacket put a brand upon his mind.

CHORUS:
Too many martyrs and too many dead
Too many lies too many empty words were said
Too many times for too many angry men
Oh let it never be again

Then the boy became a man, the man became a cause
The cause became the hope for the country and it's laws
They tried to burn his home and they beat him to the ground,
But deep inside they both knew what it took to bring him down
*chorus*

The killer waited by his home hidden by the night
As Evers stepped out from his car into the rifle sight.
He slowly squeezed the trigger, the bullet left his side
It struck the heart of every man when Evers fell and died.
*chorus*

And they laid him in his grave while the bugle sounded clear
laid him in his grave when the victory was near
While we waited for the future for freedom through the land
The country gained a killer and the country lost a man
*chorus*

“That's What I Want To Hear” by Phil Ochs from the album I Ain't Marching Anymore (3:12)

Oh you tell me that your last good dollar is gone
and you say that your pockets are bare.
And you tell me that your clothes are tattered and torn
and nobody seems to care.

Now don't tell me your troubles,
no I don't have the time to spare.
But if you want to get together and fight
good buddy that's what I want to hear.

And you tell me that your job was taken away
by a big ol' greasy machine.
And you tell me that you don't collect no more pay
and your belly is growing lean.

Now if I had the jobs to give
you know I'd give them all away.
But don't waste your breath calling out my name
if you don't have nothing to say.

And you tell me that you don't have nothing to do
and you keep on wasting your time.
And you say when you want to get your family some food
you gotta stand in a relief line.

Now it's a sin and a bloody shame
'bout the way they're pushing you 'round.
But when you decide not to take no more
you know I'll put my money down.

'Cause I've seen your kind many times before
And I'll see 'em many times again.
Oh but every bad thing that's happened to you
has happened to better men.

So don't explain that you've lost your way
that you've got no place to go.
You've got a hand and a voice and you're not alone
Brother that's all you need to know.

And if you're still wondering what I'm trying to say
let me tell you what it's all about.
Now nobody listens to a single man
when he's walkin' 'round down and out.

So if you're looking for an answer
he's standing there by your side.
And you'll never really know how far you'll go
'til you join together and try.

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” by Bob Dylan from the album The Times They Are A Changin' (1963, 5:47)

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath'rin'.
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland,
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling,
In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Hattie Carroll was a maid of the kitchen.
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level,
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room,
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle.
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom,
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'.
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished,
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance,
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence.
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.

When I'm Gone” by Phil Ochs from the album Phil Ochs In Concert (4:13)

There's no place in this world where I'll belong when I'm gone
And I won't know the right from the wrong when I'm gone
And you won't find me singin' on this song when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't feel the flowing of the time when I'm gone
All the pleasures of love will not be mine when I'm gone
My pen won't pour out a lyric line when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't breathe the bracing air when I'm gone
And I can't even worry 'bout my cares when I'm gone
Won't be asked to do my share when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't be running from the rain when I'm gone
And I can't even suffer from the pain when I'm gone
Can't say who's to praise and who's to blame when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

Won't see the golden of the sun when I'm gone
And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I'm gone
Can't be singing louder than the guns when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

All my days won't be dances of delight when I'm gone
And the sands will be shifting from my sight when I'm gone
Can't add my name into the fight while I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't be laughing at the lies when I'm gone
And I can't question how or when or why when I'm gone
Can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here