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Tulsa 1921

Smokey and the Mirror
Language: English



A shot rings out in the middle of the night
There’s a dead man on Tulsa’s northside
But there ain’t nobody naming names
Except a newspaper man with an axe to grind
He says “Its real simple. It goes like this:”
“Black man gave a white woman a kiss”
“So let’s rise up and burn him down,
“cause there ain’t no room for that in our town”

But the truth is this ain’t about an embrace
It’s the age old struggle to hold down a race
They had the Black Wall Street, and millionaire Jews,
Native Nations worth billions in crude
Yeah the oil flowed with opportunity thick
There were too many people, and they were getting rich
And with some folks that don’t sit too well
So one day that axe it fell

The mob crossed Greenwood, Archer bound
They burned the Baptist Church of Zion down
They were shooting left, they were shooting right
The fire blocked the stars in the sky
There was blood in the streets and bodies everywhere
The carnage left 35 blocks bare
That paper said the dead were 23
But there were 500 missing families

Well the folks left standing they split fast
All the dreams they were building reduced to ash
Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers, and preacher men
Had seen their fair share of blood and sin
And there was this thing about history that they understood
Telling them to leave town while they still could

So if you’re in downtown Tulsa and your looking around
At all the empty lots where the highway’s laid down
With all the semis and the cars just passing through
You’ll know that path was laid by a wrecking crew
And if your cross the tracks that separate that town
There’s a mass grave buried in the ground
A disgrace they hid beneath the red dirt clay
You’ll hear nothing but a whisper today


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