Gil Scott-Heron Push Comes To Shove

Push comes to shove to find exactly what you’re made of

Ain’t nobody seen you

Can nobody scold you

Can nobody blame you,

And make you feel bad

Nobody should tie you

Tell you I told you

Nobody should ride you,

About the commitments you had.

Cuz they done learned you

And they done burned you

Showed you idealistic is all you were

Everybody gotta realize

That we all had to compromise

Had to put on suit and ties

When push came to shove

(it’s seems like)

Push comes to shove once in your lifetime (yes and)

Push comes to shove to find out just what’s on your mind

Push comes to shove to find exactly what you’re made of

Nobody can know

Nobody should tease you

Not try to disown you (bizown?)

And make you feel strange

Nobody got to explain

Ain’t nothing really to explain

Everything that rearrange— (?)

and the weather can change (?)

But they done taught you

Cuz they done caught you

Showed you unrealistic is all you was

So everybody once believed

Was only showing how naive

Gotta give up to be free

When push came to shove.

Push comes to shove once in your lifetime (yes and)

Push comes to shove to find out just what’s on your mind

Push comes to shove to find exactly what you’re made of

Well, everybody knew somehow we was somehow running late

And with the captains overboard, who was handling a ship of fate?

And all we knew was what we really did not know

And that’s when push was sure ‘nough coming to shove

Push comes to shove to find exactly what you’re made of…

Cuz they done learned you

And they done burned you

Showed you idealistic is all you was

Everybody gotta realize

That we all had to compromise

Had to put on suit and ties

When push came to shove

Push comes to shove once in your lifetime (yes and)

Push comes to shove to find out just what’s on your mind

Push comes to shove to find exactly what you’re made of

Gil Scott-Heron Grandma’s Hands

Grandma’s hands clapped to church on Sunday mornings

Grandma’s hands played the tambourine so well

Grandma’s hands used to issue out a warning

She say, “Scotty why you run so fast,

Might fall on a piece of glass,

Might be snakes there in that grass?”

Grandma’s hands, they keep on calling to me.

Grandma’s hands soothed the local unwed mothers

Grandma’s hands used to ache sometimes and swell

Grandma’s hands, lord they’d really come in handy

She say, “Bobbie why you want to whip that boy?

What you want to whip him for?

He didn’t throw no apple core.”

Grandma’s hands, they keep on calling to me.

Grandma’s hands soothed the local unwed mothers

Grandma’s hands used to ache sometimes and swell

Grandma’s hands, well they really came in handy

She say, “Bobbie why you want to whip that boy?

What you want to whip him for?

He didn’t throw no apple core.”

But I don’t have grandma anymore

When I get to heaven I’ll look for grandma’s hands.

Gil Scott-Heron Three Miles Down

Here come the mine cars; it’sdamn near dawn.

Another shift of men, some of my friends, comin’ on.

Hard to imagine workin’ in the mines;

Coal dust in your lungs, on your skin and on your mind.

I’ve listened to the speeches,

but it occours to me politicians just don’t understand;

the thoughts of isolation, ain’t no sunshine underground.

It’s like workin’ in a graveyard three miles down.

Damn near a legend as old as the mines:

things that happen in the pits just don’t change with the times.

Work ’till you’re exhausted in too little spacwe.

a history of desastrous fears etched on your face.

Somebody signs a paper, ev’ry body thinks it’s fine,

but Taft and Hartley ain’t done one day in the mines.

You start to stiffen! You heard a crackin’ sound!

It’s like workin’ in a graveyard three miles down.

Gil Scott-Heron Billy Green Is Dead

The economy is in an uproar

The whole damn countries is in the red

Tax and fairs are going up

You say, “Billy Green is dead”?

The government can’t decide on bussin’

or at least thats what they said

Yea I heard you, when you told me

You said, “Billy Green was dead”

But let me tell you bout these hot-pants that this big legged sister wore

when i partied with the alphas

what?

Billy took an overdose

well now junkies will be junkies

but did you see Gunsmoke last night?

man they had themselves a shootout and folks was dyin’ left and right

At the end when Matt was cornerd i had damn near give up hope

What you? Why you keep on interrupting me? you say, My son is taking dope?

Call the law and call the doctor!

What you mean i shouldn’t scream?

My only son is taking dope?

Should i sit here like I’m pleased?

Is that familiar anybody?

Check out whats inside your head

Because it never seems to matter

when it’s Billy Green who’s dead

Gil Scott-Heron Lady Day And John Coltrane

Ever feel kinda down and out, you don’t know just what to do–

Livin’ all of your days in darkness let the sun shine through–

Ever feel that somehow, somewhere, you’ve lost your way–

And if you don’t get help quick you won’t make it through the day–

Could you call on Lady Day,

Could you call on John Coltrane

Now ‘cause they’ll

They’ll wash your troubles

Your troubles your troubles

Your troubles away!

Plastic people with plastic minds are on their way to plastic homes–

No beginning there ain’t no ending just on and on and on and on and on, it’s

All because they’re so afraid to say that they’re alone–

Until our hero rides in, rides in on his saxophone.

Could you call on Lady Day,

Could you call on John Coltrane

Now ‘cause they’ll,

They’ll wash your troubles,

Your troubles, your troubles

Your troubles away!

Ever feel kinda down and out, you don’t know just what to do–

Livin’ all of your days in darkness let the sun shine through–

Ever feel that somehow, somewhere, you’ve lost your way–

And if you don’t get help quick you won’t make it through the day–

Could you call on Lady Day,

Could you call on John Coltrane

Now ‘cause they’ll,

They’ll wash your troubles,

Your troubles, your troubles

Your troubles away!

Your troubles, your troubles

Your troubles away…

Your troubles, your troubles

Your troubles…

Gil Scott-Heron Enough

It was not enough that we were bought and brought to this home as the slave, locked in the bowels of a floating shithouse, watching those we love eaten away by plauge and insanity, flesh falling like strips of bark from a termite-infested tree, bones rotting turning first to brittle ivory then to resin.

that was not enough.

it was not enough that we were chained to leg irons, black on black with a piss stained wall forced to heed nature’s call through and inside of tattered rags that strained our privates, and evidently years of slavery did not appease your need to be superior to something like a crazed lion hung up on being the king of his corner of the cage, backs bent under the wieght of being everything and having nothing, minds too like bomerrangs curving back into themselves kicked and carved by the face-straining smiles that saved my life.

that was not enough.

somehow i can not believe that it would be enough for me to melt with you and integrate without the thoughts of rape and murder. i cannot conceive of peace on earth until i have given you a piece of lead or pipe to end your worthless motherfucking exitence. imagine your nightmares of my sneaking into a vieled of satin bedroom and attacking your daughter, wife and mother at once ripping open their bowels sexually like a wishbone. imagine that magnified a million times when you realize that the blinders have been stripped from my eyes and I realize that slavery was no smiling happy-fizzy party. your ancestors raped my foremothers and i will not forget. i will not forget that Yale or Harvard or Princeton or In-Hell because you are on my mind. i see you everytime my woman walks down the street with her ass on her shoulders. i see you everytime i look in the mirror and think about the times that i would pat myself on the back for not being too black afterall. i think of you morning, noon and night and i wonder, “just exactly what in hell is enough?” everytime i see a rope or gun i remember, and to top it all of you ain’t through yet. over fifty you have killed in mississippi since 1963. that doesn’t even begin to begin all of those you have maimed, hit and run over, blinded, poisoned, starved, or castrated. i hope you do not think that a vote for John Kennedy took you off my shit-list because in the street there will only be black and white. there will be no Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, or any other of the rest of that shit you have used to make me forget to hate.

there ain’t no enough. there ain’t no surrender. there is only plot and plan, move and groove, kill. there is no promise land. there is only the promise. the promise is not vowel until we have been nerve gassed, shot down and murdered, or done some of the same ourselves. look over your shoulder motherfucker, i am coming.

Gil Scott-Heron A Legend In His Own Mind

Well he loved plenty women from Canada to Mexico

They would to love to see him coming and hated when he had to go

A macho man before macho ever came to town

The only problem was not enough of him to go around

You know he had had more romances than L.A.’s got stars

He had had more romances than Detroit’s got cars

He’s a, a legend in his own mind and God’s gift to women

On a day God wasn’t giving up a thing

Well you hate to see him coming when you’re grooving at your favorite bar

He’s the death of the party and a self-proclaimed superstar

Got permanent Jones to assure you he’s been everywhere

A show stopping name dropping answer to the ladies’ prayers

To hear him telling he had more romances than doctors got bills

He had had more romances than Beverly got Hills

He’s a, a legend in his own mind and God’s gift to women

On a day God wasn’t giving up a thing

You don’t have to listen when he’s rattling on, yeah

You don’t have to listen, he’s telling everybody else

You don’t have to believe him, I don’t think I’ll ever believe him

Matter of fact he may well not believe himself

Well he loved plenty women from Canada to Mexico

And they loved to see him coming and hated when he had to go

A macho man before macho ever came to town

The only problem was not enough of him to go around

You know he had had more romances than airplanes got gauges

He had had more romances than phone books got pages

He’s a, a legend in his own mind and God’s gift to women

On a day God wasn’t giving up a thing

He’s a, a legend in his own mind and God’s gift to women

On a day God wasn’t giving up, wasn’t giving up, wasn’t giving up

He’s a, a legend in his own mind and God’s gift to women

On a day God wasn’t giving up a thing

Gil Scott-Heron Home Is Where The Hatred Is

A junkie walking through the twilight

I’m on my way home

I left three days ago, but no one seems to know I’m gone

Home is where the hatred is

Home is filled with pain and it,

might not be such a bad idea if I never, never went home again

Stand as far away from me as you can and ask me why

hang on to your rosary beads

close your eyes to watch me die

you keep saying, kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it

God, but did you ever try

to turn your sick soul inside out

so that the world, so that the world

can watch you die

Home is where I live inside my white powder dreams

home was once an empty vacuum that’s filled now with my silent screams

home is where the needle marks

try to heal my broken heart

and it might not be such a bad idea if I never, if I never went home again

home again

home again

home again

kick it, quit it

kick it, quit it

kick it, quit it

kick it, can’t go home again

Gil Scott-Heron Shut ‘Um Down

Did you hear that rumble? Did you hear that sound?

Well it wasn’t no eartquake, but it shook the ground.

It made me think about power, like it or not:

I got to work for earth for what it’s worth,

‘Cause it’s the only earth we’ve got.

Shut ‘um Down!

If that’s the only way to keep them from melting down!

Shut ‘um Down!

If that’s the only way to keep them from melting down!

I’ve heard a lot about safety and human error.

A few dials and gauges is just a wing and a prayer.

If you need perfection, and that’s what it takes,

Then you don’t need people, can’t use people,

You know people make mistakes…

Shut ‘um Down!

If that’s the only way to keep them from melting down!

Shut ‘um Down!

If that’s the only way to keep them from melting down!