Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)

Album: Nuff Said! (1968)
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  • We want to do a tune
    Written for today, for this hour
    For Dr. Martin Luther King
    We've stated before that the whole program is dedicated to his memory
    But this tune is written about him, and for him and so
    We had yesterday to learn it and so we'll see

    Once upon this planet earth
    Lived a man of humble birth
    Preaching love and freedom for his fellow man

    He was dreaming of a day
    Peace would come to earth to stay
    And he spread this message all across the land

    Turn the other cheek he'd plead
    Love thy neighbor was his creed
    Pain humiliation death, he did not dread

    With his Bible at his side
    From his foes he did not hide
    It's hard to think that this great man is dead (oh yes)

    Will the murders never cease
    Are thy men or are they beasts?
    What do they ever hope, ever hope to gain?

    Will my country fall, stand or fall?
    Is it too late for us all?
    And did Martin Luther King just die in vain?

    Cos he'd seen the mountain top
    And he knew he could not stop
    Always living with the threat of death ahead

    Folks you'd better stop and think
    'Cause we're heading for the brink
    What will happen now that he is dead?

    He was for equality
    For all people, you and me
    Full of love and good will, hate was not his way

    He was not a violent man
    Bigotry had sealed his fate
    We can all shed tears but it won't change a thing

    Teach your people, will they ever learn
    Must you always kill with burn and burn with guns
    And kill with guns and burn
    Don't you know how we gotta react?
    Don't you know what it will bring?

    Well see he'd seen, the mountaintop
    And he knew he could not stop
    Always living with the threat of death ahead

    Folks you'd better stop and think
    Cause everybody knows were on the brink
    What's will happen now that the king of love is dead?

    Cause see he'd seen, the mountaintop
    And he knew he could not stop
    Always living with the threat of death ahead

    Folks you'd better stop and think and feel again
    For we're headed for the brink
    What's gonna happen now? In all of our cities?
    My people are rising; they're living in lies
    Even if they have to die
    Even if they have to die at the moment they know what life is
    Even at that one moment that ya know what life is
    If you have to die, it's all right
    Cause you know what life is
    You know what freedom is for one moment of your life
    What's gonna happen now that the King is dead?

    I heard, that um, well we've heard all kinds of stories
    But I heard That this was his favorite song near the end of his life

    Last year or a year ago, maybe a little longer than that now
    Lorraine Hansberry left us, and she was a dear friend
    She had her favorite song, that Langston Hughes left us
    Coltrane left us, Otis Redding left us
    Who can go on, do you realize how many we have lost?

    Then it really gets down to reality, doesn't it?
    Not a performance, not microphones and all that crap
    But really something else

    We've lost a lot of them, in the last two years
    But we have remaining, Monk, Miles

    Audience: Nina!
    Ms. Simone: I love you too

    And of course, for those we have left we are thankful
    But we can't Afford any more losses, oh no, oh my god
    They're shooting us down one by one
    Don't forget that
    Because they are
    Killing us one by one

    Well all I have to say is that those of us who
    Know how to protect those of us that we love
    Stand by them and stay close to them
    And I say that if there'd been a couple of more a
    little closer to Dr. King he wouldn't have got it
    Just a little closer to him, stay there, stay there
    We can't afford any more losses

    He had seen the mountain top
    And he knew he could not stop
    Always living with the threat of death ahead
    Folks you'd better stop and think
    For we're almost to the brink
    What will happen, now that the King is dead? Writer/s: Calvin E. (gene) Taylor
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 1

  • Mike from Berkeley, CaThis is just about the saddest song I've ever heard. There are other lyrics that start this song:

    Once upon this planet earth,
    Lived a man of humble birth,
    Preaching love and freedom for his fellow man,

    He was dreaming of a day,
    Peace would come to earth to stay,
    And he spread this message all across the land.

    Turn the other cheek he’d plead,
    ‘Love thy neighbor’ was his creed,
    Pain, humiliation, death, he did not dread,

    With his Bible at his side,
    From his foes he did not hide,
    It’s hard to think that this great man is dead. (Oh yes)

    Will the murders never cease?
    Are they men or are they beasts?
    What do they ever hope, ever hope to gain?

    Will my country fall, stand or fall?
    Is it too late for us all?
    And did Martin Luther King just die in vain?

    ‘Cause he’d seen the mountain top,
    And he knew he could not stop,
    Always living with the threat of death ahead.

    Folks you’d better stop and think
    ‘Cause we’re heading for the brink.
    What will happen now that he is dead?

    He was for equality,
    For all people you and me,
    Full of love and good will, hate was not his way.

    He was not a violent man.
    Tell me folks if you can,
    Just why, why was he shot down the other day?

    Well see he’d seen, the mountain top.
    And he knew he could not stop,
    Always living with the threat of death ahead.

    Folks you’d better stop and think… and feel again,
    For we’re heading for the brink.
    What’s gonna happen now that the King of Love is dead?
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