Black, Brown and White Blues

Trots den tydliga blinkningen till John Steinbecks och även Woody Guthries Tom Joad har Ry Cooder på ”My Name Is Buddy – another record by Ry Cooder” (Nonesuch 7559-79961-2, 2007) åstadkommit en inte bara utmärkt utan också aktuell kampsång med

Sundown Town (The Reverend Tom Toad)

Text och musik: Ry Cooder och Joachim Cooder, 2007

Mine eyes have seen the beauty of a land bright and fair
My soul looked out and wondered, can we make the journey there
But I’ve lost my sight and I have to be led
I mean to work for justice till I’m dead

Sundown town, sundown town
Don’t let ‘em catch you, Buddy, when the sun goes down
There won’t be no more friends around
Don’t let ‘em catch you, Buddy, when the sun goes down

I used to preach and I used to pray
Was the prayinest man that you ever did see
But they ran my people off one day
Now there ain’t nobody round that looks like me

Sundown town…

We used to sing and we used to shout
Was the shoutinest church that you ever did see
But I didn’t going to preach and I didn’t going to sing
And I don’t feel at home in this town no more

Sundown town…

If you black, you better get back
If you brown, don’t hang around
If you red, you might be dead
If you ain’t white, son, you just ain’t right

Sundown town…

Och banne mig, är inte sista strofen en blinkning åt Josh White och Big Bill Broonzy, två gamla radikaler ur kretsen kring Seeger och Guthrie!

Black, Brown and White Blues

Amerikansk text och musik: Big Bill Broonzy, 1951

This little song that I´m singin´ about,
People, you know it´s true.
If you´re Black and gotta work for a living,
This is what they´ll say to you.

Chorus:
They says, “If you was White, you´d be all right,
If you was Brown, stick around,
But as you´s Black, oh brother, get back, get back, get back.”

I was in a place one night.
They was all having fun.
They was all buyin´ beer and wine,
But they would not sell me none.

Chorus

I went to the employment office,
Got a number and I got in line.
They called everybody´s number,
But they never did call mine.

Chorus

Me and a man was workin´ side by side.
This is what I meant –
They was paying him a dollar an hour,
And they was paying me fifty cent.

Chorus

I helped build this country,
And I fought for it too.
Now I guess that you can see
What a black man has to do.

Chorus

I helped win sweet victory
With my plough and hoe.
Now I want you to tell me, brother,
What you gonna do about the old Jim Crow.

Chorus

Den här utmärkta låten kan du lyssna på på Josh White’s CD ”Free and Equal Blues” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW 40081, 1998).

Jag och Jan Hammarlund spelade den vid vårt gemensamma program i ABF-huset i Stockholm, ”Ett annat USA är möjligt”.

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