SPOKEN: Well, I think, whenever there's a deep tragedy,
There's also present something of the ridiculous.
So I'd like to do you a song now,
Called "Talking Birmingham Jam."
Walkin' down to Birmingham, 'way down South in Dixie land,
I thought that I would stop awhile,
Take a vacation, Southern style.
Got some Southern hospitality,
Down there in a Southern hospital.

Well, all the signs there said, "Welcome in,
Welcome, if you're White, my friend.
Come along, and watch the fights;
Well, we feed our dogs on Civil Rights.
We believe in Segregation --
Negroes in one mob,
Policemen, politicians, dogs in the other!"

Well, I've seen travelin' many ways,
I've traveled in cars and old subways.
But in Birmingham, some people chose
The flight on the street from a fire hose,
Doin' some hard travelin',
From hydrants a-plenty!

Well, a pack of dogs was standin' by,
I walked up to them and I said "Hi."
Well, I asked one dog what they all were doin';
He walked up to me and started chewin' --
It was a black dog,
Seems ev'rybody down there is prejudiced!

Well, I said, "There must be some man around,
There can't be only you dogs in town."
They said, "Sure, we have Old Bull Connor,
There he goes, walkin' yonder,
Throwin' some raw meat to the Mayor,
Feedin' bones to the City Council!"

Well, I said, "There's still something missing here,
You must have a Governor, somewhere."
"Sure, he's done his duty, he ain't no fool,
He's blocking our kids from our schools,
Standin' in the doorway, crackin' jokes,
Gettin' re-elected!"

So I asked 'em how they spent their time
With Segregation on their mind.
They said, "If you don't like to live this way,
Get outa here, go back to the U.S.A,
Live with all them Russians,
New York agitators!"

Some say they'd passed their darkest hour,
Those moderates are back in power.
They'll listen close, with open ears,
They'll help us out in a couple a-hundred years;
But don't push 'em, whatever you do,
Or else you get those extremists back in!

You see, Alabama is a sovereign state,
With sovereign dogs and sovereign hate.
They stand for the Bible, for the Constitution,
They stand against Communist revolution.
They say, "It's Pinkoes like you
That free the slaves!"

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Talking Birmingham Jam" as written by Phil Ochs

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Talking Birmingham Jam song meanings
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