Black day in July Motor city madness has touched the countryside And through the smoke and cinders You can hear it far and wide The doors are quickly bolted And the children locked inside
Black day in July Black day in July And the soul of Motor City is bared across the land As the book of law and order is taken in the hands Of the sons of the fathers who were carried to this land
Black day in July Black day in July In the streets of Motor City is a deadly silent sound And the body of a dead youth lies stretched upon the ground Upon the filthy pavement No reason can be found
Black day in July Black day in July Motor City madness has touched the countryside And the people rise in anger And the streets begin to fill And there's gunfire from the rooftops And the blood begins to spill
Black day in July
In the mansion of the governor There's nothing that is known for sure The telephone is ringing And the pendulum is swinging And they wonder how it happened And they really know the reason And it wasn't just the temperature And it wasn't just the season
Black day in July Black day in July Motor City's burning and the flames are running wild They reflect upon the waters of the river and the lake And everyone is listening And everyone's awake
Black day in July Black day in July The printing press is turning And the news is quickly flashed And you read your morning paper And you sip your cup of tea And you wonder just in passing Is it him or is it me
Black day in July
In the office of the President The deed is done the troops are sent There's really not much choice you see It looks to us like anarchy And then the tanks go rolling in To patch things up as best they can There is no time to hesitate The speech is made the dues can wait
Black day in July Black day in July The streets of Motor City now are quiet and serene But the shapes of gutted buildings Strike terror to the heart And you say how did it happen And you say how did it start Why can't we all be brothers Why can't we live in peace But the hands of the have-nots Keep falling out of reach
Black day in July Black day in July Motor city madness has touched the countryside And through the smoke and cinders You can hear it far and wide The doors are quickly bolted And the children locked inside
Writer/s: Gordon Lightfoot
Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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".
If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.