Only A Pawn In Their Game

Album: The Times They Are a-Changin' (1964)
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  • A bullet from the back of a bush
    Took Medgar Evers' blood
    A finger fired the trigger to his name
    A handle hid out in the dark
    A hand set the spark
    Two eyes took the aim
    Behind a man's brain
    But he can't be blamed
    He's only a pawn in their game

    A South politician preaches to the poor white man
    "You got more than the blacks, don't complain
    You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain
    And the Negro's name
    Is used, it is plain
    For the politician's gain
    As he rises to fame
    And the poor white remains
    On the caboose of the train
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game

    The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
    And the marshals and cops get the same
    But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool
    He's taught in his school
    From the start by the rule
    That the laws are with him
    To protect his white skin
    To keep up his hate
    So he never thinks straight
    'Bout the shape that he's in
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game

    From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
    And the hoofbeats pound in his brain
    And he's taught how to walk in a pack
    Shoot in the back
    With his fist in a clinch
    To hang and to lynch
    To hide 'neath the hood
    To kill with no pain
    Like a dog on a chain
    He ain't got no name
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game

    Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
    They lowered him down as a king
    But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
    That fired the gun
    He'll see by his grave
    On the stone that remains
    Carved next to his name
    His epitaph plain
    Only a pawn in their game Writer/s: Bob Dylan
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 2

  • Vincent Ferraro from Hesperia, CaThis is the song that first turned me on to Dylan's early works. Definitely a great song.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaIn my mind, this is one of the first songs that established the brilliance of Bob Dylan. The author was a very thoughtful and insightful young man. Brilliantly-worded!
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