As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

And his mama cries
'Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

People, don't you understand
The child needs a helping hand
Or he'll grow to be an angry young man some day?
Take a look at you and me
Are we too blind to see?
Do we simply turn our heads and look the other way?

Well, the world turns
And a hungry little boy with a runny nose
Plays in the street as the cold wind blows
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

And his hunger burns
So he starts to roam the streets at night
And he learns how to steal, and he learns how to fight
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

Then one night in desperation
The young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car
Tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries

As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

And as her young man dies (in the ghetto)
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
Another little baby child is born
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

And his mama cries (in the ghetto)
(In the ghetto)
(Ah)


Lyrics submitted by emu

In the Ghetto Lyrics as written by Mac Davis

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, RALEIGH MUSIC PUBLISHING

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In The Ghetto song meanings
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29 Comments

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  • +5
    General Commentthis song is so sad. It's about not being able to get out of poverty; being subjected to crime, hatred, prejudice; and when you finally die(probably after being in the mids of a gang shooting), another baby has born and he/she is to lead the same life you did.
    Chamigaon January 01, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Commentone of the best songs of elvis
    cervanteon August 23, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree
    surely one of his greatest
    cervanteon March 07, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentdear la_femme_morte89,
    so you're saying that as soon as a person becomes rich and famous, they're no longer allowed to discuss social and political issues?
    i'd say that if anyone should be discussing life in the ghetto, it is someone like elvis who has a large enough platform to influence/educate a lot of people
    in the words of bill hicks, "you fucking moron. you FUCKING moron."
    seshwaron October 01, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentla_femme_morte89, Elvis was dirt poor growing up. Did you ever see the shack he lived in for the first 18 years of lhis life? And now you begrudge him for singing about the visciuos cyle of poverty? One that he know s and is grateful to have escaped. He gave millions to charity, how much do you give? And as Elvis sang, "Walk a mile in my(his) shoes" Bee-ahhch.
    ephilbrookon January 17, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is easily one of the greatest songs of all time!
    DAVIDINTELon October 05, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is an amazing song while also being an incredibly sad song, it's amazing what it portrays. These children have no help, they are born into a situation that they can't help and do things that they have to do to survive. We talk of the horrible things that happen yet we turn a blind eye to the things we could have an impact on. These kids need people who care about them and can help them but we don't do it.
    HowBoutDemPatson December 24, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAs the snow flies
    On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
    A poor little baby child is born
    In the ghetto
    And his mama cries
    'cause if there's one thing that she don't need
    it's another hungry mouth to feed
    In the ghetto

    Child born in the ghetto which mom will have a hard time tryin' to take care of.

    People, don't you understand
    the child needs a helping hand
    or he'll grow to be an angry young man some day
    Take a look at you and me,
    are we too blind to see,
    do we simply turn our heads
    and look the other way

    Help the kid or he'll grow up to be an enemy. Do you just ignore him?

    Well the world turns
    and a hungry little boy with a runny nose
    plays in the street as the cold wind blows
    In the ghetto

    Most of you turn and he's hungry and sick.

    and his hunger burns
    so he starts to roam the streets at night
    and he learns how to steal
    and he learns how to fight
    In the ghetto

    the stage when he grows to be an enemy.

    Then one night in desperation
    a young man breaks away
    He buys a gun, steals a car,
    tries to run, but he don't get far
    And his mama cries

    The climax; he dies trying to get the heck out of the ghetto.

    As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
    face down in the street with a gun in his hand
    In the ghetto

    Crowd watches him dead

    As her young man dies,
    on a cold and grey Chicago mornin',
    another little baby child is born
    In the ghetto
    And his mama cries

    As he dies another mom has a baby and the process starts all over again

    Just my attempted interpertation. To shorten it up. I could be wrong I could be right.
    L0zzixlikesrocklotson March 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentStrong lyrics. I think chamiga hit the nail on the head. Elvis himself came up poor but I don't think he was a criminal. But he did know about poverty.
    MrLongroveon March 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlso, listen to, "If I can dream" maybe if the dead woman (La Femme mort) had that kind of optimism, as others should, we'd all be living in a better world. Obtuse troglodytes like her should just go live in France, spoonge off thier socialism and fade away.
    ephilbrookon January 17, 2006   Link

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