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I’m Going to Get My Baby Out of Jail

Bernice Johnson Reagon
Language: English


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[1964]
Parole di Len Chandler
Sulla melodia di un’altra sua canzone, “I Had To Stand And Stare”
Testo pubblicato su in Broadside #51, 1964
Interpretata da Bernice Johnson Reagon nella raccolta “Broadside Ballads Vol. 6”, 1964
Poi nella raccolta “The Best of Broadside 1962-1988: Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of Broadside Magazine” realizzata dalla Smithsonian Folkways Recordings nel 2000.

Broadside Ballads Vol. 6
The Best of Broadside 1962-1988

Una canzone scritta su uno dei tanti, quotidiani episodi di discriminazione e segregazione razziale contro cui in quegli anni era impegnato il movimento per i diritti civili…

A Orangeburg, South Carolina, Gloria Rackley, un’afroamericana in stato di gravidanza inoltrata, si presentò in ospedale e chiese di essere visitata ma si rifiutò di accedere all’area riservata alle persone di colore. Anziché ricevere assistenza fu arrestata. Lei rifiutò di pagare la pur esigua cauzione per il rilascio, restò in cella, fu processata per direttissima e condannata ad una multa. Gloria Rackley rifiutò di pagare pure quella. Fuori del carcere ben presto fu organizzato un sit in di protesta e la notizia cominciò a circolare e la gente ad accorrere. Le autorità, imbarazzatissime non tanto perchè costrette a trattenere in prigione un’innocente, per giunta incinta, ma per i problemi di ordine pubblico che si stavano profilando, decisero per un appello immediato, nel corso del quale la sentenza di primo grado fu ribaltata.
Un altro piccolo passo verso una società di eguali, senza segregazione.
Ma a che prezzo! Il colpo di coda dei bianchi stizziti fu di licenziare in tronco Gloria e suo marito… (Dalla nota introduttiva alla canzone, in “The Best of Broadside 1962-1988”)



Gloria Rackley Blackwell è stata una dirigente della National Association for the Advancement of Colored People e negli anni 70 è diventata professoressa all’Università di Atlanta. E’ morta nel 2010 all’età di 83 anni.
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail
She said she wasn’t guilty, and she wouldn’t pay no bail
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

My baby wouldn’t pay her fine
My baby wouldn’t pay her fine
She said she wasn’t guilty and she wouldn’t pay one dime
But I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

I must have walked a valley on my floor
I must have walked a valley on my floor
Just waitin’ for her footsteps and her knockin’ at my door
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

They phoned and said the word had come today
They phoned and said the word had come today
I’m meeting at the courthouse all the lawyers right away
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

The highest courts they honored her appeal
The highest courts they honored her appeal
Said she wasn’t guilty, she got a dirty deal
Oh, I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

Every police in this county knows her name
Every police in this county knows her name
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail
Oh, I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

Just one more thing workin’ on my mind
Just one more thing workin’ on my mind
High court costs and lawyer fees ain’t something like a fine
Goin’ to get my baby outa jail

I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail
She said she wasn’t guilty, and she wouldn’t pay no bail
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

I must have walked a valley on my floor
I must have walked a valley on my floor
Just waitin’ for her footsteps and her knockin’ at my door
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

Just one more thing workin’ on my mind
Just one more thing workin’ on my mind
High court costs and lawyer fees ain’t something like a fine
I’m goin’ to get my baby outa jail

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2015/8/4 - 09:28



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