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The Death Of Emmett Till 1

Bob Dylan © 1963, 1968 Warner Bros. Music, renewed 1991, 1996 Special Rider Music

(Official lyrics @ www.bobdylan.com)


13 Jan 1962
cd imgTHE ROAR OF A WAVE #3 (T-966)
cd imgFOLKSINGER'S CHOICE 1962
cd imgFOLKSINGERS CHOICE (T-200)
cd imgYOU DON'T KNOW ME (T-309)

  Cynthia Gooding's radio show - 13.jan.1962  

This one's called "Emmett Till"
By the way the melody here ... i stole the melody from Len Chandler ...
He's a funny guy, he's a folksinger, he uses a lot of funny chords ...

'Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago
When a young boy from Chicago town walked in a southern door
This boy's fateful tragedy you should all remember well
The color of his skin was black an' his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up
They said they had a reason but i disremember what
They tortured him and did some things too evil to repeat
There were screamin' sounds inside the barn, there was laughin' sounds out on the street.

Then they rode his body down a gulf amidst a blood red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screamin' pain
The reason that they killed him there an' i'm sure it ain't no lie
'Cause he was born a black skin boy, he was born to die.

And then to stop the united states of yellin' for a trial
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till
But on the jury they were men who had helped the brothers commit this awful crime
An' so this trial was a mockery but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the mornin' papers but i could not bear
To see the smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust
Your eyes are filled with dead man's clay an' your ears must be filled with dust
Your arms an' legs they must be in shackles an' chains an' your mind it must cease to flow
For you to let our human race fall down so godawful low.

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow men
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Klu Klux Klan
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we'd give all we could give
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.  up
    

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The Death Of Emmett Till 2


29 Jan 1962
cd imgTHE 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION #2
cd imgTHE MCKENZIE TAPES - HOME RECORDINGS 1961-62
cd imgGENUINE BOOTLEG SERIES Vol. 3 The Third One Now (T-636)

  First McKenzie tape part 3, Home of Eve and Mac McKenzie, NYC - 29.jan.1962  

'Twas down in Mississippi, not so long ago
When a boy from Chicago town walked in a southern's door.
This boy's fateful tragedy you should all remember well
The color of his skin was black an' his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn an' there they beat him up
They claimed to have a reason but i disremember what
They tortured him an' they did some things too evil to repeat
There were screamin' sounds inside the barn, there was laughin' out on the street.

Then they rode his body down a gulf amidst a blood red rain
An' they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screamin' pain.
The reason that they killed him there, i guess it ain't no lie
Because he was a black skin boy, he was born just to die.

An' then to cease the nation of yellin' for a trial
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till
But in the jury they were men who helped the brothers in this crime
So this trial was a mockery but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the mornin' papers but i could not bear
To see the brothers smilin' walkin' down the courthouse stairs
For the jury found them innocent an' the brothers they went free
While Emmett's body floats the foam in a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust
Your eyes are filled with dead man's dirt, your ears are filled with dust
Your arms an' legs must be chained an' your mind must cease to flow(!)
For you to let the human race fall down so godawful low.

This song is a reminder to remind you fellow men
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Klu Klux Klan
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we'd give all we could give
We'd make this great land of ours a better place to live.  up
    

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The Death Of Emmett Till 3


24 Apr 1962
cd imgTHE 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
cd imgTHE FREEWHEELIN' OUTTAKES 1962 SESSIONS
cd imgTHE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN OUTTAKES (T-304)
cd imgTALKING BEAR MOUNTAIN PICNIC BLUES (vinyl bootleg)

  The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan session 1, Columbia Studio A, NYC - 24.apr.1962, take 1, CO70089-1  

'Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago
When a young boy from Chicago town walked in a southern door
This boy's fateful tragedy you should all remember well
The color of his skin was black an' his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up
They said they had a reason but i disremember what
They tortured him and did some things too evil to repeat
There were screamin' sounds inside the barn, there was laughin' sounds out on the street.

Then they rode his body down a gulf amidst a blood red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screamin' pain
The reason that they killed him there an' i'm sure it ain't no lie
He was a black skin boy so he was born to die.

And then to stop the united states of yellin' for a trial
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till
But on the jury they were men who'd helped the brothers commit this awful crime
An' so this trial was a mockery but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the mornin' papers but i could not bear
To see the smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs
For the jury found 'em innocent and the brothers they went free
While Emmett's body still floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust
Your eyes are filled with dead man's dirt, your mind is filled with dust
Your arms an' legs they must be in shackles an' chains an' your blood it must cease to flow
For you to let this human race fall down so godawful low.

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow men
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Klu Klux Klan
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we'd give all we could give
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.  up
    

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The Death Of Emmett Till 4


May 1962
cd imgTHE ROAR OF A WAVE (T-966)
cd imgFOLK SINGER-HUMDINGER Just About As Good As It Gets!
cd imgDYLAN (LaserLight) (T-161)
cd imgBROADSIDE (T-441)
cd imgALL HALLOW'S EVE & MORE (T-067)
cd imgGREAT WHITE WONDER (vinyl bootleg)

  Broadside show, WBAI FM radio NYC, may 1962  

Bob where were your raised ? In Gallup New Mexico ...
This is a Len Chandler tune ...
Before i met him, i never sang one song in minor key ...

'Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago
When a young boy from Chicago town walked through a southern door
This boy's fateful tragedy you should all remember well
The color of his skin was black an' his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up
They said they had a reason but i disremember what
They tortured him and did some things too evil to repeat
There were screamin' sounds inside the barn, there was laughin' sounds out on the street.

Then they rode his body down a gulf amidst a blood red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screamin' pain
The reason that they killed him there an' i'm sure it ain't no lie
Was just for the fun of killin' him an' to slowly watch him die.

And then to stop the united states of yellin' for a trial
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till
But on the jury they were men who'd helped the brothers commit this awful crime
An' so this trial was a mockery but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the mornin' papers but i could not bear
To see the smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs
For the jury found 'em innocent and the brothers they went free
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust
Your eyes are filled with dead man's dirt an' your mind is filled with dust
Your arms an' legs they must be in shackles an' chains an' your blood it must refuse to flow
For you to let this human race fall down so godawful low.

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow men
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Klu Klux Klan
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we'd give all we could give
We'd make this great land of ours a greater place to live.  up
    

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The Death Of Emmett Till 5


2 July 1962
cd imgTHE 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION #3
cd imgFINJAN CLUB 1962
cd imgMONTREAL 1962 NEW YORK 1961 (T-103)
cd imgLIVE / FINJAN CLUB MONTREAL QUEBEC JULY 2 1962 (T-156)
cd imgHISTORICAL ARCHIVES Vol. 2 (vinyl bootleg)

9 Oct 1962
cd imgTHE ROAR OF A WAVE #2 (T-966)
cd imgPARANOID BLUES (T-106)
cd imgBEFORE THE FLOOD AND AFTER THE FIRE (T-305)

Dec 1962
cd imgTHE BOOTLEG SERIES Vol. 9 THE WITMARK DEMOS
cd imgTHROUGH A BULLET OF LIGHT (WITMARK DEMOS) (T-378)
cd imgGWW THE DEMO TAPES (vinyl bootleg)

  Live, Finjan club, MontrŽal, QuŽbec - 2.jul.1962  
  Billy Faier Show, WBAI-FM radio, NYC - 9.oct.1962  
  Witmark demo, NYC - december 1962  

Three slightly differing lyrics 

'Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago
When a young boy from Chicago [town] [stepped | walked] [in | through] a southern door
This boy's fateful tragedy [i can still | you should all] remember well
The color of his skin was black an' his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up
They said they had a reason but i [disremember | can't remember] what
They tortured him and did some things too evil to repeat
There were screamin' sounds inside the barn, there was laughin' sounds out on the street.

Then they rode his body down a gulf amidst a blood red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screamin' pain
The reason that they killed him there an' i'm sure it [ain't | was] no lie
[The cause is for the fun of killin' him and to slowly watch him die.
  |  Was just for the fun of killin' him and to watch him slowly die.]

And then to stop the united states of yellin' for a trial
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till
But on the jury they were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime
An' so this trial was a mockery but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the mornin' papers but i could not bear
To see the smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust
Your eyes are filled with dead man's dirt, your mind is filled with dust
Your arms an' legs they must be in shackles an' chains an' your blood it must refuse to flow
For you to let this human race fall down so godawful low.

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow men
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Klu Klux Klan
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we'd give all we could give
We'd make this great land of ours a greater place to live.  up
    

 Recording dates & record list

13 Jan 1962 1 THE ROAR OF A WAVE (b) #3
FOLKSINGER'S CHOICE 1962
FOLKSINGERS CHOICE (b)
YOU DON'T KNOW ME (b)
29 Jan 1962 2 THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION #2
THE MCKENZIE TAPES - HOME RECORDINGS 1961-62
GENUINE BOOTLEG SERIES Vol. 3 The Third One Now (b)
24 Apr 1962 3 THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
THE FREEWHEELIN' OUTTAKES 1962 SESSIONS
THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN OUTTAKES (b)
TALKING BEAR MOUNTAIN PICNIC BLUES (vb)
May 1962 4 THE ROAR OF A WAVE (b)
FOLK SINGER-HUMDINGER Just About As Good As It Gets!
DYLAN (LaserLight) (b)
BROADSIDE (b)
ALL HALLOW'S EVE & MORE (b)
GREAT WHITE WONDER (vb)
2 July 1962 5 THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION #3
FINJAN CLUB 1962
MONTREAL 1962 NEW YORK 1961 (b)
LIVE / FINJAN CLUB MONTREAL QUEBEC JULY 2 1962 (b)
HISTORICAL ARCHIVES Vol. 2 (vb)
9 Oct 1962 5 THE ROAR OF A WAVE (b) #2
PARANOID BLUES (b)
BEFORE THE FLOOD AND AFTER THE FIRE (b)
Dec 1962 5 THE BOOTLEG SERIES Vol. 9 THE WITMARK DEMOS
THROUGH A BULLET OF LIGHT (WITMARK DEMOS) (b)
GWW THE DEMO TAPES (vb)