Digital Tradition Mirror

Talking Birmingham Jam

Talking Birmingham Jam
(Phil Ochs)

Walking down to Birmingham
Way down south in Dixie Land
I thought that I would stop awhile
Take a vacation southern style
Got some southern hospitality
Down there in a southern hospital.

Oh all the signs said "Welcome In"
Signed by Governor Wallace and Rin-Tin-Tin
They said "Come along and watch the fights
While we feed our dogs on civil rights.
Now, don't get us wrong-
Some of our best Negroes are our friends!"

Well I've seen travelling many ways
I've travelled in cars and old subways
But in Birmingham some people chose
To fly down the street from a fire hose.
Doin' some hard travelling
From hydrants of plenty.

Well a pack of dogs was standing by
I walked up to them and I said "Hi".
I asked one dog what they all were doin'
He walked up to me and started chewin'
I said "Hold it! I'm from the A.S.P.C.A-
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Agitators".

I said "There must be some men around
There can't be only you dogs in town."
They said "Sure, we've got old Bull Conner
There he goes, walking yonder
Throwing some raw meat to the Mayor
Feeding bones to the City Council."

You know Governor Wallace doesn't mean no harm
Can't you see he's got a lot of charm
He's protecting us Whites, both the rich and poor
Standing in the schoolhouse door
Crakin jokes, talking to Huntley/Brinkley, serving jury duty,
getting re-elected.

So I asked them why they spent their time
With Segregation on their minds.
They said "If you don't like to live this way,
Get out of here! Go back to the U.S.A.
Live with all them Russians.. & New York folksingers."

Some say they're passed their darkest hour
Those moderates are back in power.
Oh, they listen close with open ears
They'll help us out in a couple of hundred years.
But don't push 'em- whatever you do
Or else you'll get those extremists back in.

You see, Alabama is a Sovereign State,
With sovereign dogs and sovereign hate
They stand for the Bible and the Constitution
They stand against Communist Revolution.     (continued.....)
They say "Its Pinkoes like you that freed the slaves!"
And they're right.

Recorded on "I Ain't Marching Anymore" Elektra EKS-7287 (1965)
Copyright Phil Ochs

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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