fresh in the miracle of birth, your eyes were the universe

Attica

I wrote this song over 40 years ago, on the day of the slaughter, but I think of it as the best song I never wrote. I’d just finished the day shift at Frazier Boilerworks, and I bought a newspaper at the bus stop. The front page headline told it all. I sat in the back row of the bus where no one could see me cry. I heard a voice inside my head. It seemed to me it was the voice of a dead prisoner. I wrote down the words just as I heard them…

They call me a criminal, put me in prison
Lock me up, throw away the key
I’d rather be free than go on livin’
I know my people will remember me

Attica Prison, upstate New York, 1971.

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