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Gordon Lightfoot

Black Day In July lyrics

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Gordon Lightfoot – Black Day In July lyrics

Black day in July
Motor city madness has touched the countryside
And through the smoke and cinders
You can hear it far and wide
The doors are quickly bolted
And the children locked inside
Black day in July
Black day in July
And the soul of Motor City is bared across the land
As the book of law and order is taken in the hands
Of the sons of the fathers who were carried to this land

Black day in July
Black day in July
In the streets of Motor City is a deadly silent sound
And the body of a dead youth lies stretched upon the ground
Upon the filthy pavement
No reason can be found

Black day in July
Black day in July
Motor City madness has touched the countryside
And the people rise in anger
And the streets begin to fill
And there's gunfire from the rooftops
And the blood begins to spill

Black day in July

In the mansion of the governor
There's nothing that is known for sure
The telephone is ringing
And the pendulum is swinging
And they wonder how it happened
And they really know the reason
And it wasn't just the temperature
And it wasn't just the season

Black day in July
Black day in July
Motor City's burning and the flames are running wild
They reflect upon the waters of the river and the lake
And everyone is listening
And everyone's awake

Black day in July
Black day in July
The printing press is turning
And the news is quickly flashed
And you read your morning paper
And you sip your cup of tea
And you wonder just in passing
Is it him or is it me

Black day in July

In the office of the President
The deed is done the troops are sent
There's really not much choice you see
It looks to us like anarchy
And then the tanks go rolling in
To patch things up as best they can
There is no time to hesitate
The speech is made the dues can wait

Black day in July
Black day in July
The streets of Motor City now are quiet and serene
But the shapes of gutted buildings
Strike terror to the heart
And you say how did it happen
And you say how did it start
Why can't we all be brothers
Why can't we live in peace
But the hands of the have-nots
Keep falling out of reach

Black day in July
Black day in July
Motor city madness has touched the countryside
And through the smoke and cinders
You can hear it far and wide
The doors are quickly bolted
And the children locked inside



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/g/gordon_lightfoot/black_day_in_july.html

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    Joanne O'ShaughnessyNov 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    This song is about the race riot in July 1967 in Detroit. It began the evening of July 22nd. when the police raided an unlicensed bar where a party was going on for 2 black servicemen who had returned from Vietnam. The police arrested all 82 parties, and when they were removing them , a crowd of over 200 had gathered and began attacking the police with bricks and bottles. The city was put on a curfew. For 5 days there was looting, fires, sniper fire, etc. The Governor ordered in 8000 National Guard, and 800 State Police. And President Johnson ordered in 4,700 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. The riot ended July 27th. Forty-two people were killed, 1,189 people were injured and over 7,200 people were arrested. Over 2500 stores and businesses were destroyed. Property damages were estimated at $32 Million dollars. On August 1st. the curfew was lifted.

    I think Gord wrote amazing lyrics that tell us very clearly about what happened in Detroit in July 1967. These words in the song say what he felt: "And you say how did it happen / And you say how did it start / Why can't we all be brothers / Why can't we live in peace / But the hands of the have-nots / Keep falling out of reach...."

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