Black Day In July

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the Detroit Race Riots (also known as the 12th Street Rioting) that began Saturday July 23, 1967. 43 people died in the riots. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dave - Oak Park, IL

Comments: 6

  • Now 62 from Northwest OhioI was 9, we lived in NW Ohio, and Mom and Dad packed all of us kids into the station wagon, and went on our way to the Detroit zoo. We got part way through Toledo, and I heard the news on the radio.
    Dad turned us around and we went home. I didn't return to the Detroit Zoo until I was in my thirties.
  • Greg from Bc CanadaJuly 1 how relevant is this song now ? We need to learn from history
  • Mark from San Pedro, CaI grew up in Detroit and experienced the riots, which happened when I was 8 years old. I remember seeing Gordon Lightfoot perform the song on Canadian tv, Channel 9, soon after the riots. He was sitting alone on a stool on a bare stage, coolly switching from major to minor chord, singing his heart out about an injustice that was the fault of everyone yet no one. That impression of one person, with a guitar and a song, affected me deeply because he was singing about something relevant to me that I knew of and had experienced. It remains to this day my strongest paradigm of a folk singer. God bless Lightfoot and all the whiskey he drank and all the songs he wrote and sang. One man, one guitar.
  • P from Chicago, IlNathan, I don't know about this song being banned...I grew up in Detroit and I heard it on the radio, US station not CKLW.
  • Nathan from From The Country Of, CanadaThis song was actually banned in America for some time
  • Dave from Scottsdale, AzThe summers of the late 60s often were times of great racial unrest. The media referred to it as a "long, hot summer" in anticipation of race riots (Black day?). Hence, the line "it wasn't just the temperature and it wasn't just the season".
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