Mudcat Café message #3807169 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113441   Message #3807169
Posted By: Jim Carroll
28-Aug-16 - 06:36 AM
Thread Name: What murder ballad is the saddest? [songs]
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF SHARPEVILLE (Ewan MacColl)
"and so deserved what he got"
Depends on whether you support the barbaric practice of state induced murder, of course!!
"Sad" is an odd word - it certainly isn't the only emotion evoked by murder.

THE BALLAD OF SHARPEVILLE (1960)
Written by Ewan MacColl

From the Cape to Southwest Africa,
From the Transvaal to the sea,
In farm and village, shanty town,
The Pass Law holds the people down,
The pass of slavery, DOM PASS!
The pass of slavery.

The morning wind blows through the land,
It murmurs in the grass;
And every leaf of every tree
Whispers words of hope to me:
'This day will end the pass, DOM PASS!
This day will end the pass.'

The sun comes up on Sharpeville Town
And drives the night away;
The word is heard in every street:
'Against the Pass Law we will meet,
No-one will work today, DOM PASS!
No-one will work today.'

It was on the twenty-first of March,
The day of Sharpeville's shame;
Hour by hour the crowd did grow,
One voice that cried, 'The pass must go!'
It spoke in freedom's name, DOM PASS!
It spoke in freedom's name.

Outside the police headquarter's fence,
The Sharpeville people stand;
Inside the fence the white men pace,
Drunk with power and pride of race,
Each with a gun in hand, DOM PASS!
Each with a gun in hand.

The Sharpeville crowd wait patiently,
They talk and laugh and sing;
At eleven-fifteen the tanks come down
Roll through the streets of Sharpeville town
To join the armoured ring, DOM PASS!
To join the armoured ring.

Neighbour talks to neighbour
And the kids play all around,
Until, without a warning word,
The sound of rifle fire is heard
And men fall to the ground, DOM PASS!
And men fall to the ground.

The panic-stricken people run
To flee the wild attack;
The police re-load and fire again
At running women, children, men,
And shoot them in the back, DOM PASS!
And shoot them in the back.

Sixty-seven Africans
Lay dead there on the ground;
Apartheid's harvest for a day,
Three times their number wounded lay,
Their blood stained all around, DOM PASS!
Their blood stained all around.

There's blood on the men who fired the guns,
On the men who made the laws;
There's blood on the hands of the Whitehall ranks
Who gave the thugs their guns and tanks,
Who help in oppression's cause, DOM PASS!
Who help in oppression's cause.

Jim Carroll