lifeblood: songs: the rise of the black messiah


they called you the rise
of the black messiah
like so many boys before you
and they'll be more
more to follow
threatening and hard to swallow

i'm sitting underneath
that hanging tree
just me and the ghost of the kkk
poor man's gallows
in the middle of the woods
the saddest tree that ever stood

oooo oooo oooo

my friend i heard you tell
of slavery's end
but have you heard of mass incarceration
that ol jim crow
he just keeps getting born
with a new hanging rope for the black man's scourge

ol man river
what do you know
about a plantation they called angola
the devil spawned
a prison there
it's the saddest farm that ever lived

now your great granddaddy
he worked that land
with shackles on his feet
and on his hands
he built them levees
he chopped that cane
he died in the mud
in his chains
and now you stand where he once stood
shackles on you all the same

oooo oooo oooo

yeah but he's gonna rise
he's gonna rise
and all them lynchers are gonna be damned
when outta that mud walks a brand new man

oooo oooo oooo
oooo oooo oooo

they called you the rise
of the black messiah
said they'd do any damn thing they could to keep ya
you and your brothers
from spreading the word
the gospel of freedom and the black man's worth

40 years in solitary
consider the man
that they just can't bury
i got this letter
in my hand
saying tell this story when you can

yeah but he's gonna rise
yeah he's gonna rise
and all them lynchers are gonna be damned
when outta that hole walks a brand new man

oooo oooo oooo
aaaa aaaa aaaa
aaaa aaaa aaaa

words and music by amy ray


home | appearances | articles | bootlegs | fun | releases | search | songs | videos