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Archive for the ‘1972’ Category

Remarks:

Roberta Flack’s cover of Kitty White’s 1962 song. An utter classic, what can I say?

Lyrics:

The first time, ever I saw your face,
I thought the sun rose in your eyes.
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave,
To the dark and the endless skies, my love.
To the dark and the endless skies.

And the first time, ever I kissed your mouth,
I felt the earth move in my hand.
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird,
That was there at my command, my love.
That was there at my command, my love.

And the first time, ever I lay with you,
I felt your heart, so close to mine.
And I knew our joy would fill the earth,
And last ’till the end of time, my love.
And it would last ’till the end of time, my love.

The first time ever I saw your face.
Your face.
Your face.
Your face.
Your face.

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BE021354The trial of Angela Davis, a black American Communist revolutionary, lasted 13 weeks and ended on June 5th 1972. She was found not guilty of all three charges by an all-white jury: kidnapping, conspiracy and murder.

The crime: Her gun had been used by a friend to kidnap a judge in order to free three prisoners. In the shoot-out that followed her friend, the judge and two of the prisoners died.

Under California law at the time she was, strictly speaking, party to murder since it was her gun. But they could not prove she wanted anyone dead or knew what her friend was up to (conspiracy).

A white service station owner said he saw her with her friend on the morning of the shoot-out but it turned out that he had a hard time telling black women apart, even light-skinned ones with Afros.

When they arrested her the state hoped to prove she had political motives to use violence to free the Soledad Brothers and others from prison, thus the shoot-out (though it was not the Soledad Brothers themselves who were being freed in that instance).

Libertad_angelaBut when it came time for the trial they could no longer use that argument: by then she had become world famous as a political prisoner, putting America to shame, a country that prides itself on supposedly not having any political prisoners.

Besides, it would have been a hard thing to prove: while she had given plenty of speeches urging the freedom of the Soledad Brothers and against the police and the prisons, she always pushed for peaceful protests, never violence. She knew blacks were hopelessly outgunned. She was not the violent revolutionary some made her out to be.

So instead the state wound up trying to prove she had fallen in love with one of the Soledad Brothers and was therefore driven by passion to desperate measures to free him. It was sad: while she had written many letters to the Soledad Brothers there was no sign of a love affair in any of them.

She had been in prison a year and a half, having been hunted down and arrested by the FBI after two months on the run across the country. She was denied bail because it was a capital case.  During the trial, however, California overturned capital punishment and she got out on bail.

On the last day of the trial during lunch word came from the FBI that some black men had hijacked a plane in Seattle and, landing in Oakland, were waiting for her. They wanted her to stand at the end of the runway in a white dress with a half million dollars and parachutes enough for them and her. What a great Hollywood ending – I imagine them parachuting into Cuba as their plane crashes into the sea – but none of it was true.

Then the jury gave the verdict. After she heard the third not guilty after the third charge she broke down and cried.

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Remarks:

Not quite as big as “Treat Her Like a Lady”, but I like this one way better.

Lyrics:

My Mama told me
She said, Son, please beware
There’s this thing called love
And it’s everywhere
She told me, It can break your heart
And leave you in misery
Since I met this little woman
I feel it’s happened to me
And I’m tellin’ you

It’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m fallin’ in love
Oh, it’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m falling in love

I found myself wanting her
At least ten times a day
You know, it’s so unusual for me
To carry on this way
I’m tellin’ you
I can’t sleep at night
Wanting to hold her tight
I’ve tried so hard to convince myself
That this feeling just can’t be right
And I’m tellin’ you

It’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m fallin’ in love
It’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe I believe
I’m falling in love
It’s too late to turn back now
Ooooh, baby
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m falling in love
It’s too late, baby (to turn back now)
I tell ya
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m falling in love

I wouldn’t mind it
If I knew she really loved me too
But I hate to think that I’m in love alone
And nothing that I can do
Whoa, oh

It’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m fallin’ in love
It’s too late, baby (to turn back now)
I tell ya
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m falling in love
It’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m fallin’ in love
Oooooh, baby
I tell ya
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m falling in love
It’s too late to turn back now
I believe, I believe, I believe
I’m fallin’ in love

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If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me

All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me like I understand you
Now girl I know the difference between right and wrong
I ain’t gonna do nothing to break up our happy home
Oh don’t get so excited when I come home a little late at night
Cos we only act like children when we argue fuss and fight

If you don’t know me by now (If you don’t know me)
You will never never never know me (No you won’t)
If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me

We’ve all got our own funny moods
I’ve got mine, woman you’ve got yours too
Just trust in me like I trust in you
As long as we’ve been together it should be so easy to do
Just get yourself together or we might as well say goodbye
What good is a love affair when you can’t see eye to eye, oh

If you don’t know me by now (If you don’t know me)
You will never never never know me (No you won’t)
If you don’t know me by now (You will never never never know me)
You will never never never know me (ooh)

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This is from “No Name in the Street” (1972) by James Baldwin. It seems as true to me now as the day when I first read it years ago:

White children, in the main, and whether they are rich or poor, grow up with a grasp of reality so feeble that they can very accurately be described as deluded – about themselves and about the world they live in. White people have managed to get through entire lifetimes in this euphoric state, but black people have not been so lucky: a black man who sees the world the way John Wayne, for example, sees it would not be an eccentric patriot, but a raving maniac. … People who cling to their delusions find it difficult, if not impossible, to learn anything worth learning: a people under the necessity of creating themselves must examine everything, and soak up learning the way the roots of a tree soak up water. As people still held in bondage must believe that “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make ye free”.

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