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!

Gil Scott-Heron Get Out Of The Ghetto Blues

(What we want to discuss here

are routes out of the ghetto.

This is called

the “Get Out of the Ghetto” blues.)

I know you think you’re cool–

LORD, if they bus your kids to school…

I know you think you’re cool,

Just cuz they bus your kids to school.

But you ain’t got a thing to lose;

You just got the get out of the ghetto blues.

I know you think you’re cool

If you’re gettin’ two WELFARE checks;

You done TOLD me you think you’re cool

Because you’re gettin’ two WELFARE checks.

Yea! But you got ten years to lose (if they catch you)

Just tryin’ to fight that get out of the ghetto blues.

(what it is, what it is.)

If he don’t catch you in the wash,

LORD knows he’ll catch you in the rinse.

I know you think you’re cool

Just ‘cuz you shooting that stuff in your arm.

I seen you nodding

‘Cuz you shoot that STUFF into your arm.

And it don’t matter which pine box you choose:

You got the get out of the ghetto blues.

Yeah.

Gil Scott-Heron Beginnings

Mmmmm

We’re sliding through

Completely new

Beginnings

We’re searching out

Our every doubt

We’re winning

We want to be free

Yet we have no idea

Why we are struggling here

Faced with our every fear

Just to survive

We’ve heard the sound

And come around

To listening

We’ve touched the vine

Time after time

Insisting

We know what life brings

Still we can find a way

From dues we’ve got to pay

We hope we’ll somehow say

That we’re alive

We’re sliding through

Completely new

Beginnings

We’re searching

Our every doubt

And winning

We want to be free

Yet we have no idea

Why we are struggling here

Faced with our every fear

Just to survive

Completely new [x2]

Beginnings

Completely new [x2]

Beginnings

Gil Scott-Heron The Klan

Countryside was cold and still

There were three crosses on the hill

Each one wore a burning hood

To hide its rotten core of wood

And I say father, father I hear an iron sound

Hoof beats on the frozen ground

And downhill the riders came

Lord it was a cryin’ shame

To see the blood upon their whips

To hear the snarlin’ from their lips

And I cried mother, mother I feel a stabbing pain

Blood runs down like summers rain

And each one wore a mask of white

To hide his cruel face from sight

And each one sucked a hungry breath

Out of the empty lungs of death

And I say sister, sister, I need you to take my hand

It’s always lonely when it’s time to stand

He who rides with the klan

Is a devil and not a man

For underneath his white disguise

I have looked into his eyes

And I say brother, brother, stand by me

It’s not so easy to be free

Father, mother, sister, brother, stand by me

It’s not so easy to be free

It’s not so easy to be free

It’s not so easy to be free

Nobody ever said it would be easy

Nobody ever said it would be easy

It’s not so easy, no it’s not so easy

Gil Scott-Heron Speed Kills

Speed on by, don’t seem to have the time

What about this life?

What about this life?

Can I come by?

Issues in the paper (somehow I’m not concerned)

Seems that I’ve been here before

Here before, but I never learn

Children

Slowly turn

Time stay gone, we never saw it go

Now what do we have?

Now what do we have, that we may show?

Friends you swore you’d never lose (melted from your style)

Down the tunnels of your youth, of your youth,

Now you never smile

Children

Learn to smile