Phil Ochs Lyrics

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Talking Birmingham Jam Lyrics

"Talking Birmingham Jam" was written by Ochs, Phil.
"Talking Birmingham Jam" was written by Ochs, Phil.

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Walkin' down to Birmingham
Way down south in Dixie Land
Oh, I thought that I would stop awhile
Take a vacation southern style

Got some southern hospitality
Down there in a southern hospital
Oh, all the signs said welcome in
Signed by Governor Wallace and Rin-Tin-Tin

They said come along and watch the fights
While we feed our dogs on civil rights
Now, don't get us wrong
Some of our best Negroes are friends

Well I've seen travelin' many ways
I've traveled in cars and old subways
But in Birmingham some people chose
To fly down the street from a fire hose

Doin' some hard travelin'
From hydrants of plenty
Well, a pack of dogs was standin' by
I walked up to them and I said, "Hi"

I asked one dog what they all were doin'
He walked up to me and started chewin'
I said, "Hold it, I'm from the A.S.P.C.A.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Agitators"

And I said, "There must be some men around
There can't be only you dogs in town"
They said, sure, we have old Bull Conner
There he goes walkin' yonder

Throwin' some raw meat to the Mayor
Feedin' bones to the city council
You know Governor Wallace doesn't mean no harm
Can't you see he's got a lot of charm?

He protectin' us whites, both the rich and poor
Standin' in the schoolhouse door
Crackin' jokes, talkin' to Huntley Brinkley
Servin' jury duty, gettin' re-elected

So, I asked them why they spent their time
With segregation on their mind
They said, "If you don't like to live this way
Get out of here, go back to the U.S.A
Live with all them Russians and New York folksingers"

Some say they're past their darkest hour
Those moderates are back in power
Oh, they listen close with open ears
They'll help us out in a couple of hundred years

But don't push 'em whatever you do
Or else you'll get those extremists back in
You see, Alabama is a sovereign state
With sovereign dogs and sovereign hate

They stand for the Bible and Constitution
They stand against communist revolution
They say "It's Pinkoes like you that freed the slaves"
And they're right


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Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


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