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BAEZ, Joan. The Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti
Article published on 7 January 2006
last modification on 24 April 2015

by r-c.
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The Ballad Of Sacco And Vanzetti, Part One

"Give to me your tired and your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me."
 
Blessed are the persecuted
And blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the merciful
And blessed are the ones who mourn
 
The step is hard that tears away the roots
And says goodbye to friends and family
The fathers and the mothers weep
The children cannot comprehend
But when there is a promised land
The brave will go and others follow
The beauty of the human spirit
Is the will to try our dreams
And so the masses teemed across the ocean
To a land of peace and hope
But no one heard a voice or saw a light
As they were tumbled onto shore
And none was welcomed by the echo of the phrase
"I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
 
Blessed are the persecuted
And blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the merciful
And blessed are the ones who mourn

The Ballad Of Sacco And Vanzetti, Part Two

Father, yes, I am a prisoner
Fear not to relay my crime
The crime is loving the forsaken
Only silence is shame
 
And now I’ll tell you what’s against us
An art that’s lived for centuries
Go through the years and you will find
What’s blackened all of history
Against us is the law
With its immensity of strength and power
Against us is the law!
Police know how to make a man
A guilty or an innocent
Against us is the power of police!
The shameless lies that men have told
Will ever more be paid in gold
Against us is the power of the gold!
Against us is racial hatred
And the simple fact that we are poor
 
My father dear, I am a prisoner
Don’t be ashamed to tell my crime
The crime of love and brotherhood
And only silence is shame
 
With me I have my love, my innocence,
The workers, and the poor
For all of this I’m safe and strong
And hope is mine
Rebellion, revolution don’t need dollars
They need this instead
Imagination, suffering, light and love
And care for every human being
You never steal, you never kill
You are a part of hope and life
The revolution goes from man to man
And heart to heart
And I sense when I look at the stars
That we are children of life
Death is small

The Ballad Of Sacco And Vanzetti, Part Three

My son, instead of crying be strong
Be brave and comfort your mother
Don’t cry for the tears are wasted
Let not also the years be wasted
 
Forgive me, son, for this unjust death
Which takes your father from your side
Forgive me all who are my friends
I am with you, so do not cry
 
If mother wants to be distracted
From the sadness and the soulness
You take her for a walk
Along the quiet country
And rest beneath the shade of trees
Where here and there you gather flowers
Beside the music and the water
Is the peacefulness of nature
She will enjoy it very much
And surely you’ll enjoy it too
But son, you must remember
Do not use it all yourself
But down yourself one little step
To help the weak ones by your side
 
Forgive me, son, for this unjust death
Which takes your father from your side
Forgive me all who are my friends
I am with you, so do not cry
 
The weaker ones that cry for help
The persecuted and the victim
They are your friends
And comrades in the fight
And yes, they sometimes fall
Just like your father
Yes, your father and Bartolo
They have fallen
And yesterday they fought and fell
But in the quest for joy and freedom
And in the struggle of this life you’ll find
That there is love and sometimes more
Yes, in the struggle you will find
That you can love and be loved also
 
Forgive me all who are my friends
I am with you
I beg of you, do not cry
Japanese record of the Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti by Joan Baez
Picture: Eric Beaunie

The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti. Here’s to you

Here’s to you, Nicola and Bart
Rest forever here in our hearts
The last and final moment is yours
That agony is your triumph


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