MEDGAR EVERS LULLABY

(RICHARD WEISSMAN) (1963-'64)

Photograph of Medgar Evers monument by kind permission of Scott Ealy.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s)

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (on my Bob Dylan "Roots+" page):

For a rather similar use of imagery, please check out excerpts from Lillian Smith's "Killers of the Dream" -- revised edition published in 1963 (coincidence?)

The album [The Judy Collins Concert] is marred by the inclusion of the extremely sentimental "Medgar Evers Lullaby." This song by Richard Weissman pretends to be a lullaby for Medgar Evers' son, about why his father was killed. The racial murder of Medgar Evers was a cruel and shameful event in American history, and does not need cheapening by this kind of treacly writing.

Vivian Claire, Judy Collins, New York/London, 1977, p. 47.

Lyrics as performed and recorded by Judy Collins, vocal/guitar, Chuck Israels, bass/cello, Steve Mandell, guitar/banjo, at Town Hall, New York, NY, Mar 21, 1964; released on "The Judy Collins Concert", (ELECTRA EKS-7280, Oct 1964.
Transcribed by Manfred Helfert.

We'd like to sing a song that was written by Dick Weissman
as a lullaby for Medgar Evers' son...

Bye, bye, my baby, I'll rock you to sleep,
Sing you a sad song, it might make you weep.
Your daddy is dead, and he'll never come back,
And the reason they killed him because he was black.

I'll tell you a story that you ought to know,
It happened in our town a short while ago.
Your daddy was walking alone for some air,
And a man in the bushes was waiting right there.

That man shot your daddy and laughed while he died.
Your daddy lay dying with tears in his eyes.
He cried for the things that a man leaves undone,
And he cried for the dreams that he had for his son.

What will you do, son, when you are a man?
Will you learn to live lonely and hate all you can?
Will you try to be happy and try not to see
That all men are slaves till their brothers are free?

Bye, bye, my baby, I'll rock you to sleep,
Sing you a sad song, it might make you weep.
Your daddy is dead, and he'll never come back,
And the reason they killed him because he was black.

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