Rosa (From Jeff James Album "Two Hands")
Rosa you lived
(self explanatory line - living as an African American during the better half
Deep in a world full of bitterness
Surrounded by hatred and love
You looked at the world from above
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
(After a long day of working Rosa states she was tired and just wanted to sit.
osa 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.
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.)
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
(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.
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……
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.)
©2004 Johnny Golde Music (Jeff James Gjerde BMI)