"Anne Braden" as written by Andrew Guerrero, Stephen Brackett, Jamie Laurie, Mackenzie Roberts, Jesse Walker and Kenneth Ortiz....
[Spoken]
What I've realized since is that it's a very painful process but it is not destructive. It's the road to liberation. The what really happened in the sixties was that this country took just the first step toward admitting that it had been wrong on race, and creativity burst out in all directions.

From the color of the faces in Sunday songs
To the hatred they raised all the youngsters on
Once upon a time in this country, long ago
She knew there was something wrong
Because the song said "yellow, red, black, and white
Every one precious in the path of Christ"
But what about the daughter
Of the woman cleaning their house?
Wasn't she a child they were singin' about?

And if Jesus loves us, black and white skin
Why didn't her white mother invite them in?
When did it become a room for no blacks to step in?
How did she already know not to ask the question?
Left lasting impressions
At a lesson, comfort's gone
She never thought things would ever change
But she always knew there was something wrong

Always knew there was somethin' wrong.
She always knew there was somethin' wrong

Years later, she found herself
Mississippi bound to help
Stop the legalized lynching of Mr. Willy McGee
But they couldn't stop it
So they thought that they'd talk to the governor about what'd happened
And say, "We're tired of being used as an excuse to kill black men"
But the cops wouldn't let 'em past
And these women, they struck 'em as uppity
So they hauled 'em all off to jail
And they called in protective custody

Then from her cell
She heard her jailers
Grumblin' about "outsiders"
When she called 'em out
And said she was from the south, they shouted,
"Why is a nice, Southern lady makin' trouble
For the governor?"
She said, "I guess I'm not your type of lady
And I guess I'm not your type of Southerner
But before you call me traitor,
Well it's plain as just to say
I was a child in Mississippi
But I'm ashamed of it today"

She always knew there was somethin' wrong
She always knew there was somethin' wrong
She always knew there was somethin' wrong
She always knew there was somethin' wrong
([spoken] And, all of a sudden, I realized I was on the other side)

Imagine the world that you're standing within
All of your neighbors, they're family-friends
How would you cope facing the fact
The flesh on their hands was tainted with sin?
She faced this every day
People she saw on a regular basis
People she loved, in several cases
People she knew were incredibly racist

It was painful, but she never stopped loving them
Never stopped callin' their names
And she never stopped being a Southern woman
And she never stopped fighting for change
And she saw that her struggle was
in the tradition of ancestors never aware of her
It continues today:
The soul of a Southerner
born of the other America

She always knew there was somethin' wrong
She always knew there was somethin' wrong
She always knew there was somethin' wrong
She always knew there was somethin' wrong

[Spoken]
What you win in the immediate battles is little compared to the effort you put into it but if you see that as a part of this total movement to build a new world, you know what could be (????? "oooh, ooooh"). You do have a choice. You don't have to be a part of the world of the lynchers. You can join the other America. There is another America!


Lyrics submitted by deepseadiver

"Anne Braden" as written by Jamie Laurie Andrew Guerrero

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Anne Braden song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI love this song! It's nice that it tells a story that is not commonly heard from the Civil Rights Era. I love the voice overs of her speaking, very meaningful song.
    hatteapearon June 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe line with the question mark is "adolescent comfort's gone".

    The second line with the question mark is "it's plainest just to say"

    This is easily the best song on the album. It's about one of the earliest and most dedicated white allies to the civil rights movements. But it's also about the South today, how racism hasn't really changed much in many places, and it's a portrait of how other movements (queer rights, homophobia) will have to advance. "Another america" is a slogan the queer rights movement has picked up on, actually. One day we'll get there.
    alphabravoon July 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. Love this album. Really makes you think and I like that.

    This song doesn't need any explanation though. Very simply telling her story.
    Takunon August 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLove this song. Here are the corrected lyrics for it:

    [spoken]
    What I've realized since is that it's a very painful process but it is not destructive. It's the road to liberation. And what really happened in the sixties was that this country took just the first step toward admitting that it had been wrong on race, and creativity burst out in all directions.

    From the color of the faces and Sunday songs
    To the hatred they raised all the youngsters on
    Once upon a time in this country, long ago
    She knew there was something wrong
    Because the song said "yellow, red, black, and white
    Every one precious in the path of Christ"
    But what about the daughter
    Of the woman cleaning their house?
    Wasn't she a child they were singin' about?
    And if Jesus loves us, black and white skin
    Why didn't her white mother invite them in?
    When did it become a room for no blacks to step in?
    How did she already know not to ask the question?
    Left lasting impressions
    Adolescence comfort gone
    She never thought things would ever change,
    But she always knew there was something wrong.

    Always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.

    Years later, she found herself
    Mississippi bound to help
    Stop the legalized lynching of Mr. Willy McGee.
    But they couldn't stop it,
    So they thought that they'd talk to the governor about what'd happened
    And say, "We're tired of being used as an excuse to kill black men."
    But the cops wouldn't let 'em past
    And these women, they struck 'em as uppity
    So they hauled 'em all off to jail
    And they called it protective custody.
    Then from her cell
    She heard her jailers
    Grumblin' about "outsiders".
    When she called 'em out
    And said she was from the south, they shouted,
    "Why is a nice, Southern lady makin' trouble
    For the governor?"
    She said, "I guess I'm not your type of lady,
    And I guess I'm not your type of Southerner,
    But before you call me traitor,
    Well it's plainest just to say
    I was a child in Mississippi
    but I'm ashamed of it today."

    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    ([spoken] And, all of a sudden, I realized I was on the other side)

    Imagine the world that you're standing within
    All of your neighbors, and family-friends.
    How would you cope facing the fact
    The flesh on their hands was tainted with sin?
    She faced this every day.
    People she saw on a regular basis;
    People she loved, in several cases;
    People she knew were incredibly racist.
    It was painful, but she never stopped loving them,
    Never stopped callin' their names
    And she never stopped being a Southern woman
    And she never stopped fighting for change.
    And she saw that her struggle was
    in the tradition of ancestors never aware of her
    It continues today:
    The soul of a Southerner
    born of the other America.

    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.
    She always knew there was somethin' wrong.

    [spoken]
    What you win in the immediate battles is...is little compared to the effort you put into it but if you see that as a part of this total movement to build a new world, you know what cathedral to build and where to put your stone in . You do have a choice. You don't have to be a part of the world of the lynchers. You can join the other America. There is another America!
    Vava78on September 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGod, listening to this song sends shivers up my spine and makes me hair stand on end. It's a really moving song, and the story it tells is really incredible.
    rainbowcrayonon February 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMay I suggest
    "if you go ahead and put your stone in"
    for the unknown part.
    Please let me know if there are differing opinions for this. Though it seems to fit with the building of a new world line...
    Apopheniacon July 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttoday's musicians need to write more songs like this
    scrumptiouson July 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe intro part is wrong that says "It's the world deliberation."

    It's really: "It's the road to liberation"
    nobrakes90on July 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI rather like the way the story is told within the song.
    Nice voiceovers being used aswell. adds to the atmosphere of the song
    boy_named_davidon January 10, 2009   Link

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