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Birmingham Sunday Lyrics

Artist: Joan Baez
Album: Joan Baez 5

Lyrics as reprinted in Guy and Candie Carawan, Sing for Freedom: The Story of
the Civil Rights Movement through its songs, Bethlehem, PA, 1990, pp. 122-123.

Come round by my side and I'll sing you a song.
I'll sing it so softly, it'll do no one wrong.
On Birmingham Sunday the blood ran like wine,
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.
That cold autumn morning no eyes saw the sun,
And Addie Mae Collins, her number was one.
At an old Baptist church there was no need to run.
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom,
The clouds they were grey and the autumn winds blew,
And Denise McNair brought the number to two.
The falcon of death was a creature they knew,
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom,
The church it was crowded, but no one could see
That Cynthia Wesley's dark number was three.
Her prayers and her feelings would shame you and me.
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.
Young Carol Robertson entered the door
And the number her killers had given was four.
She asked for a blessing but asked for no more,
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.
On Birmingham Sunday a noise shook the ground.
And people all over the earth turned around.
For no one recalled a more cowardly sound.
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.
The men in the forest they once asked of me,
How many black berries grew in the Blue Sea.
And I asked them right with a tear in my eye.
How many dark ships in the forest?
The Sunday has come and the Sunday has gone.
And I can't do much more than to sing you a song.
I'll sing it so softly, it'll do no one wrong.
And the choirs keep singing of Freedom.
Comments/Interpretations
by virginia apsannah gurley on 7/5/2008 11:14pm
just finished watching 4 little girls. grew up listening to joan because of my mom. i am from birmingham and am 26 years old. cannot believe no comments posted about this song. one of the most beautiful and poetic songs ever written. most moving line is about the earth turning around and no one recalled a more cowardly sound. so true. rest in peace little girls.
by (Pastor) Roger Newton on 10/30/2008 5:02am
I just saw Virginia's comment and I share her feelings about this song. I am 67 years old and a semi retired pastor and I cried over the song when I first heard it on "Joan Baez 5" years ago. I hope Virginia also enjoys Joan's new album "Day After Tomorrow"
by Katherine Lilley on 9/28/2010 5:29pm
I heard this song years ago and it has stayed in my head ever since, it still makes me cry to this day.
by Elizbabeth on 1/10/2011 9:46pm
I keep a sticky note on my computer with there names on it and i can't find any where to download this song
by Elizabeth on 1/15/2011 6:23am
I found a website to download it free!! Here it is:
www.imusicz.net
by Robert on 12/29/2011 4:41am
I grew up in Apartheid South Africa and this song was alwas an inspiration. I first heard it as a boy and held on to the choirs singing of freedom regardless.
by KaySP Sept. 11, 2012 on 9/11/2012 4:46pm
Next year will be 50 years. The tragedy truly changed my life; I wish I had the voice to give it the pathos that Joan does. But why doesn't this site say that Richard Farina, married to Joan's sister Mimi, was the author of the lyrics?
by Monica McGregor on 3/11/2013 1:10am
So sad and so beautiful. This came up in my iPod mix, followed by Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." What else is there to say?
by devan Murphy on 9/14/2014 9:08am
Became aware of joan baez after watching four little girls


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