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Blues for Emmett Till

Aaron Kramer
Language: English



I've got the blues, friend, don't know how to keep still;
The Mississippi blues, friend, won't let me keep still.
One name is moaned by every wind: the name of Emmett Till.

Been hearing a blue story--that's why I feel blue;
Emmett Till's story makes me feel so blue.
Can't breathe another day, friend, 'less I pass it on to you.

He went down South for the summer: Chicago's a boiling slum.
Flew down like a bird for the summer, but he should've stayed in the slum.
The South's no place for a Negro to buy a stick of gum.

Foolish little bird! His feathers were all brown ...
They should have warned that bird, if you happen to be brown
Better not chirp when Mrs. Bryant's around.

Poor young Emmett Till! He never will get his wish.
I'm sorry for Emmett Till---it was such a little wish.
He went down to the Tallahatchie, but he didn't go down to fish.

Seems like in Mississippi murder's doing all right;
In Money, Mississippi, to kill a young bird's all right
If the young bird is brown and the killer's white.

Jury knows who killed him--knows the place and the time.
Jury knows just who killed him, that terrible midnight-time.
But his face was crushed so bad, it couldn't be called a crime.

Next time you pass a courthouse, look at the marble word.
Slow down when you pass a courthouse, and laugh about that word
Laugh about "Justice," friend, and cry for a young brown bird.

I've got the blues, friend, don't know how to keep still;
The Mississippi blues, friend, won't let me keep still.
One name is roared by every wind: the name of Emmett Till.


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