BALLAD OF MEDGAR EVERS
Phil Ochs
© 1964

In the state of Mississippi, many years ago,
A boy of 14 years got a taste of Southern law.
He saw his friend a-hangin', his color was his crime;
The blood upon his jacket put a brand upon his mind.

CHORUS

Too many martyrs and too many dead,
Too many lies, too many empty words were said,
Too many times for too many angry men,
Oh, let it never be again.

Then the boy became a man, the man became a cause;
The cause became the hope for the country and its laws.
The tried to burn his home and they beat him to the ground;
But deep inside they both knew what it took to bring him down.

ALTERNATE VERSE:

His name was Medgar Evers, and he walked his road alone,
Like Emmett Till and thousands more whose names we'll never know.
They tried to burn his home and they beat him to the ground;
But deep inside they both knew what it took to bring him down.]

The killer waited by his home, hidden by the night,
As Evers stepped out from his car into the rifle sight.
He slowly squeezed the trigger, the bullet left his side;
It struck the heart of every man when Evers fell and died.

They laid him in his grave while the bugle sounded clear,
They laid him in his grave while the victory was near.
While we waited for the future for freedom through the land,
The country gained a killer, and the country lost a man,

CHORUS

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