Rosa (From Jeff James Album "Two Hands")

 Rosa you lived
Deep in a world full of bitterness
 Surrounded by hatred and love  
You looked at the world from above  

(self explanatory line - living as an African American during the better half 
of the 20th Century where there were deep racial boundaries and injustices.
Througout the time Ms Parks held strong to her faith.)

Tired of it all you just sat
 Not even you could imagine that
 You’d change the world with a sigh
 And the courage to ask yourself why

Rosa Parks, to me, is one of the most influential people of our time. Notice I didn't say "women" or "African American", because to do that would place her in a class stereotype. I think that's wrong in any case. I subject myself to possible discrimination and judgement when I'm performing as many people do in their day to day lives. Here's a person who lived with two checks against her as a woman and an African American. Where people burned crosses and churches under their secure masks of whiteness and arrogance - who would take the law into their own hands whenever they saw fit. Yet, Rosa Parks remained steadfast in her demeanor and faith. She was very hard working and gained the respect of many around her before the boycott ever began.

For the Two Hands album I wanted to portray Rosa in the best way and tell a story from my point of view as "an outsider" a small town boy, naive and sheltered. Even I could see the grandness in Rosa.

After reading Douglas Brinkley's "Rosa Parks" part of the highly-touted Viking 'Penguin Lives' Series and seeing documentaries on her I began to develop a mood for the song and ended up writing it in 2 or 3 drives out to the Guesthouse by Opryland where I performed on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

(After a long day of working Rosa states she was tired and just wanted to sit.
She was currently already sitting in the colored section of the bus when she was being
forced to give up her seat to a white man. She remained sitting.)

 Rosa’s blues
 Not many people could stand in your shoes
 You’re a hero
 And the world’s a better place because of you


 History freeze-framed that scene
 40 years on I was 17
 The world has moved onward I know
 But we’ve still got a long way to go
 Through Rosa’s blues……

 (There isn't a more popular image of Rosa than the one of her boarding a city bus. Proudly, Rosa Parks takes a seat right up front.
It's an Historical image in my mind.)

 I’m looking forward to the end of it all
 There, then at last, as the curtain falls
 When every nation and tribe
 Stands hand in hand, side by side

(Stating the knowledge of things to come in as written in Revelation 7:9. When the curtain of oppression of every kind comes hurtling to the ground and the earth starts anew.)

     Rosa’s blues……

©2004 Johnny Golde Music (Jeff James Gjerde BMI)