"Across The Line" as written by and Tracy L Chapman....
Across the lines
Who would dare to go
Under the bridge
Over the tracks
That separates whites from blacks

Choose sides
Or run for your life
Tonight the riots begin
On the back streets of America
They kill the dream of America

Little black girl gets assaulted
Ain't no reason why
Newspaper prints the story
And racist tempers fly
Next day it starts a riot
Knives and guns are drawn
Two black boys get killed
One white boy goes blind

Little black girl gets assaulted
Don't no one know her name
Lots of people hurt and angry
She's the one to blame

Lyrics submitted by Nelly

"Across the Lines" as written by Tracy L Chapman

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Across the Lines song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song speaks of segregation and racism. Race riots begin. People die on both sides yet blacks are blamed for everything because of racism
    chungjikon May 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally beautiful song.
    Clear meaning. was this about an actual inccident? anyone know?
    amazing how tracy can make a topic such as this sound so beautiful.
    Morticon September 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me think of the Tawana Brawley incident in New York in 1987 and the Crown Heights riot in Brooklyn in 1991. I always thought the song was based on the former, though I don't recall it causing any riots. Race was an issue because she is African-American and claimed to have been raped by Caucasian men. The album this song appears on was released in 1988, so the timing is good for the Brawley incident but not the Crown Heights one.
    smellykellyjayon February 13, 2007   Link

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