How Coud I Forget?

Jim earlier asked us about trains. I blasted out the first song I thought of. A good song, don’t get me wrong, but how about train tracks? How about the tracks that separate whites from blacks?

It was 1989, the summer of my finals. The exams were the easy part, backed by sixteen-hour days at the university library. In the middle of a city, I was cut off from the world. I knew it was going well – we do – so I allowed a few chinks of light in. Song For Whoever. Was that The Beautiful South‘s first? And this wonderful new, young, raw American artist, who spoke about all the things we cared about. It wasn’t just me, all my friends had the album too. It was played constantly, one of those albums where every song carried a message. So, to single out one track is unfair. If you’ve time, listen to the album from start to finish. Just this album – her subsequent albums lost their cut – but this first album had all the pent-up energy of youth. I subsequently heard many covers of the songs on the album, but none ever came close. Tracy Chapman, Across the Lines.

Am I allowed to post twice? Well, who’s stopping me? 🙂

Across the lines
Who would dare to go
Under the bridge
Over the tracks
That separates whites from blacksChoose sides
Run for your life
Tonight the riots begin
On the back streets of America
They kill the dream of AmericaLittle black girl gets assaulted
Ain’t no reason why
Newspaper prints the story
And racist tempers fly
Next day it starts a riot
Knives and guns are drawn
Two black boys get killed
One white boy goes blindAcross the lines
Who would dare to go
Under the bridge
Over the tracks
That separates whites from blacksChoose sides
Run for your life
Tonight the riots begin
On the back streets of America
They kill the dream of AmericaLittle black girl gets assaulted
Don’t no one know her name
Lots of people hurt and angry, she’s the one to blameAcross the lines
Who would dare to go
Under the bridge
Over the tracks
That separates whites from blacksChoose sides
Run for your life
Tonight the riots begin
On the back streets of America
They kill the dream of America

Note to self – more haste, less speed.

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Formerly, designed and developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged pre-50! I have returned to developing from home, but some of my time is also spent volunteering with the UK charities Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk) and the [UK] Stroke Association (www.stroke.org.uk).

8 thoughts on “How Coud I Forget?”

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