23/10/16 – Laura Duncan – I’ve Got A Right – 1952

Song Of The Day

laura-duncan-ive-got-a-right-label-1952Laura Duncan was the first woman to perform Strange Fruit, one of the most powerful protest songs, originally written as a poem called Bitter Fruit in 1937 by Abel Meeropol and made famous by Billie Holiday. Duncan almost became an official member of The Weavers as she sang with them on recordings, Pete Seeger thinking she added an appropriate tonal and racial balance to the group.

This song from 1952 sees her still dealing with segregation and dignity and standing up to any kind of predudice and disrespect. Sadly for all the reach of the internet, I cannot find a picture of her.

You can find this and 59 more Protest Songs on the 3CD and 1DVD box set, The Little Red Box Of Protest Songs:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001QU9RNO/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Duncan_(American_singer)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abel_Meeropol

Boss tells me I’ve got to stay down
Where I belong
Tells me my place must be way down
And I’ll get along
Tells me that I should be humble
And mend my ways
But I say boss man will tumble
One of these days

I’ve got a right to lift my head up
I’ve got a right to lift it way up high
I’ve got a right to lift my head up
Got a right to look up at the sky

My heart has had double of grief and trouble
I want to know the reason why

I’ve got a right to change my blue song
Got a right to sing out clear and loud
I’ve got a right to sing a new song
Got a right to teach it to the crowd

There must be a showdown for all the low down
So they can stand up tall and proud

No Jim Crow laws
No more
No chain gangs on the levee

Swanee shore with no trees hanging heavy
So I can see the sky
Shining way up high

I’ve got a right to lift my head up
I’ve got a right to lift it way up high
‘Cause I’ve learned my lesson
Now I’ll hold my head high
Until the day I die

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