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Emmylou Harris — My Name Is Emmett Till
Album: Hard Bargain
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 92









Released: 2011
Length: 4:45
Plays (last 30 days): 0
(no lyrics available)
Comments (17)add comment
I was born a black boy, my name is Emmett Till
Walked this earth for 14 years, one night I was killed
For speaking to a woman whose skin was white as dough
That's a sin in Mississippi but how was I to know?

I'd come down from Chicago to visit with my kin
Up there I was a cheeky kid, I guess I'd always been
But the harm they put upon me was too hard for what I'd done
For I was just a black boy and never hurt no one

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

They took me from my uncle's house, Mose Wright was his name
He'd later stand and without hesitation point the blame
At the ones who beat and cut me and shot me with a gun
And threw me in the river like I was trash when they were done

I was sent back to my mother, at least what was left of me
She kept my casket open for the whole wide world to see
The awful desecration and the evidence of hate
You could not recognize me, the mutilation was so great

There came a cry for justice to be finally fulfilled
All because of me, a black boy, my name was Emmett Till

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Oh, but I'd have rather lived till I was too old to die young
Not miss all I left behind and all that might have come
Summer clouds above my head, the grass beneath my feet
The warmth of a good woman, her kisses soft and sweet

Perhaps to be a father with a black boy of my own
Watch him grow into a kinder world than I had known
Where no child would be murdered for the color of his skin
And love would be the only thing inside the hearts of men

They say the horror of that night is haunting heaven still
Where I am one more black boy, my name is Emmett Till
There is hardly an emoji in the set that is suitable for this song. Lord almighty...  
Good god, beyond moving.  This is such a vividly sad song.  And sung by our National Treasure ELH.
I am too old to die young.
The song is not really about murder, or it's about much more than that. It's about a profound American tragedy that almost as much as any other incident or symbol — Rosa Parks on the bus, whites-only lunch counters — drove civil rights to its inevitable conclusion less than a decade later. Young Emmett was innocent, in both senses of the word, and the defilement was so grave that it shocked even white people who had never given the rights of blacks much thought. 
A novella based on the Emitt Till incident is called Wolf Whistle by Mississippi native and University of Pittsburgh professor
Lewis "Buddy" Norton.  Well worth reading.  Some of it is narrated by a crow on a telephone wire who witnessed the initial event.
This breaks my heart.
 
 LizK wrote:


A true story.  Emmet Till, a Detroiter,  was visiting relatives in Mississippi, where he saw the wife of a white shopkeeper.  The story goes that he whistled at her.  The husband was so incensed that he and a friend went out that night, kidnapped Till, tortured and then killed him.  The northern press was so aghast at the brutality of the crime that they printed pictures of Till in his coffin, the marks of torture clearly on his face. The shopkeeper and his friend were caught, and an all-white jury acquitted them. Justice in the South in the 50's
 
Emmett Till was 14 years old when he was murdered.
chilling
I'm just not in the mood for a song about murder.   I'm not sure when I will be, either.
 fredriley wrote:
Poignant. A heart-wrencher. Simple and effective, and a tale that needs telling even these days. Is this a cover of a folk song? 7 from the Nottingham jury.
 

A true story.  Emmet Till, a Detroiter,  was visiting relatives in Mississippi, where he saw the wife of a white shopkeeper.  The story goes that he whistled at her.  The husband was so incensed that he and a friend went out that night, kidnapped Till, tortured and then killed him.  The northern press was so aghast at the brutality of the crime that they printed pictures of Till in his coffin, the marks of torture clearly on his face. The shopkeeper and his friend were caught, and an all-white jury acquitted them. Justice in the South in the 50's
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmett_Till

Truly a shame.
kinder world - what a notion {sigh}


Profound...  this is a truly great song...


Really beautiful, but too sad! Made me cry. I would like to hear more from this album, nonetheless. Her voice sounds great.
Perfectly poignant.  Takes a difficult story and still leaves a beautiful song.

It pains me to say this, but Emmylou's solo efforts have never (to my thinking) matched her background singing. She can make virtually any artist's song better by handling background harmonies. But her solo work just seems so...anemic. 



Poignant. A heart-wrencher. Simple and effective, and a tale that needs telling even these days. Is this a cover of a folk song? 7 from the Nottingham jury.