IF YOU MISS ME FROM THE BACK OF THE BUS
Selma, AL
October 1963
Led by Betty Mae Fikes
This song also picked up new words and phrases in each local struggle. Here Betty Mae Fikes inserts the name of her school, Hudson High, after the opening line. Parrish High, the name of the White high school over which an integration battle was being fought, was places after the phrase "COme on over to..." Another verse says, "If you miss [Sheriff] Jim Clark, can't find him nowhere/Come on over to the graveyard, he'll be laying over there"; a third, "If you miss Govenor Wallace, can't find him nowhere/Come on over to the crazy house, he'll be resting over there."

In Selma, even songs used in church had a contemporary ring and were secularized. In other communities, it was rare to hear lyrics that wished someone dead. Throughout the South, however, mass meeting orators would often reiterate that God would "take care" of those who were blocking the progress of the Black community.
Courtesy of Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs, 1960-1966 a Smithsonian Folkways Recording1997.
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