Paul Simon – A Church is Burning – Lyrics about the Civil Rights movement and the Klu Klux Klan.

paulsimon-624-1387465055 Klux Klux Klan lynching

Paul Simon wrote this early on in his career when he was still a solo act. It is a brilliant song that captures the violence and ugliness of the terror tactics being used by the Klu Klux Klan to terrorise the black population in a vain attempt to stop the civil rights movement.

The civil rights movement came out of the Baptist Church and the white supremacists often targeted churches and the homes of activists for arson attacks. The stuck burning crosses in front of houses, rode through at night firing guns and actually lynched and shot people.

Fortunately a head of steam had been got up and people were not going to be intimidated. They wanted the vote and they wanted equality and freedom.

As Paul said – the idea of emancipation was not merely embellished in bricks and mortar; it was in the minds of the people and their bravery was indestructible.

There’s a way to go! We need more of that bravery now!

Help build a positive zeitgeist!

“A Church Is Burning”

A church is burning
The flames rise higher
Like hands that are praying
They grow in the sky
Like hands that are praying
The fire ascends
You can burn down my churches
But I shall be freeThree hooded men through the back roads did creep
Torches in their hands while the village lies asleep
Down to the church where, just hours before
Voices were singing, and
Hands were meeting, and
Saying, “I won’t be a slave anymore”A church is burning
The flames rise higher
Like hands that are praying
They glow in the sky
Like hands that are praying
The fire ascends
You can burn down my churches
But I shall be free

Three hooded men, their hands lit the spark
And they faded in the night, they vanished in the dark
And in the cold light of morning, there was nothing that remained
But the ashes of a Bible and a can of kerosene

A church is burning
The flames rise higher
Like hands that are praying
They glow in the sky
Like hands that are prayin’
The fire ascends
You can burn down my churches
But I shall be free

A church is more than just timber and stone
And freedom is a dark road when you’re walking it alone
But the future is now, and it’s time to take a stand
So the lost bells of freedom can ring out in my land

A church is burning
The flames rise higher
Like hands that are praying
They glow in the sky
Like hands that are praying
The fire ascends
You can burn down my churches
But I shall be free

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