My Name Is Emmett Till

Album: Hard Bargain (2011)
  • I was born a black boy
    My name is Emmett Till
    I walked this earth for fourteen years
    Then one night I was killed
    For speaking to a woman
    Whose skin was as white as dough
    That's a sin in Mississippi
    But how was I to know

    I'd come down from Chicago
    To visit with my kin
    Up there I was a cheeky kid
    I guess I always been
    But the harm they put upon me
    Was too hard for what I done
    For I was just a black boy
    I never hurt no one

    They took me from my uncle's house
    Mose Wright was his name
    He'd later stand and without hesitation
    Point the blame
    At the ones who beat and cut me
    And shot me with a gun
    Then threw me in the river
    Like I was trash when they were done

    I was sent back to my mother
    At least what was left of me
    She kept my casket open
    For the whole wide world to see
    The awful desecration
    And the evidence of hate
    You could not recognize me
    The mutilation was so great

    There came a cry for justice then
    To be finally fulfilled
    All because of me, a black boy
    My name is Emmett Till

    But I'd have rather lived
    'Til I was too old to die young
    Not miss all I left behind
    All that might have come
    The summer clouds above my head
    The grass beneath my feet
    The warmth of a good woman
    Her kisses soft and sweet

    Perhaps to be a father
    With a black boy of my own
    And watch him grow into
    A kinder world than I had known

    Where no child would be murdered
    For the color of his skin
    And love would be the only thing
    Inside the hearts of men

    They say the horror of that night
    Is still haunting heaven still
    Where I am one more black boy
    My name is Emmett Till Writer/s: EMMYLOU HARRIS
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

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