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Swimming Against The Stream

Latin Quarter
Language: English



They're growing pines now in cotton soil
Still making boxes for the sons of toil
Still bend your back to pick you food stamps up
Black coffee still comes in a tall white cup
They took the signs down but it's loud and it's clear
You want to eat? Well now, it can't be here

Tell me how long the train's been gone
Tell me again about the dream
Tell me the story of glory hallelujah
And how we're swimming against the stream

More talk of marching on Washington
It never really seems to get things done
Along the way we maybe make good friends
But they can't tell us where the rainbow ends
It's getting more now than just out of reach
And don't go looking down at Howard Beach

Montgomery and Selma - go ask Congress
25 years, change hasn't meant progress
In Chicago you live on the south or the west side
But just like the townships - try moving in outside
Notes:

Train: Symbol for the road to freedom.
Glory hallelujah: a phrase in many black songs that doesn't only express the hope of a solution in Heaven, but also freedom in life; amongst others in the song 'Battle Hymn Of The Republic', also known as 'John Brown's Body'.
Where the rainbow ends:
1. reference to the saying, 'at the end of the rainbow you find gold', transformed by the blacks into, 'you find equality'.
2. allusion to the 'Rainbow Alliance' in which Jesse Jackson, the most popular black politician of the 1980's, tried to organise the disadvantaged minorities. Jackson made several attempts to gain the vice-presidential nomination of the Democratic party, but failed every time.
South Side, West Side: Black ghettos in Chicago.
Townships: Black ghettos in the industrial cities of South Africa.


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