Burning in Birmingham

by Amy León

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Burning in Birmingham

Bloody blows to my face
Call me out on my race
At war making love to you

Broken spines down the line
They say nothing’s mine
It’s the joke of racism

We’re burning in Birmingham, we are
We’re burning in Birmingham, we are

Bloody blows to my face
Call me out on my race
At war making love to you

Broken spines down the line
They say that nothing’s mine
It’s the joke of racism

We’re burning in Birmingham, we are
We’re burning in Birmingham, we are

Dear God,
I’ve been here before
This place is the opposite of light
To love in a world like this
Is to love without breathing
Sometimes I love without breathing

I heard somewhere that black women
Are impossible to love
Most likely to lead a single life, unmarried
The last of the crop in every season
Black women are still picked, though

When you touch them
Your hands bleed from the thorns
Cotton sticking to their hips like Genesis
And they expect us to
Sit back
And swallow
They expect us to
Sit back
And ease
They expect us to
Sit back
And break every single bone in our body
Till we learn how to follow their lead

We are always second to some
White mans apology
Our children are always second
To some white mans wink, smirk and nod
I am a wink, smirk and nod
The laughing stock amongst the angels
As they await their newest sacrifice

Dear God,
I have some questions about the rumbling in my heart
This questionable shatter
How easy it was for me to sink to the bottom of the ocean
Ancestors wailing out in complaint
Askin questions like

Didn’t I die for them?
Didn’t we do this already?
Who let Jim back in the White House?
I thought we got rid of that nigga?

No
Nigger be electric
Nigger be black
Nigger be the only one
In the wrong place at the wrong time
And I am the only one left singing

Dear God,
What happens-
When I lose my voice?
When the sun refuses to rise?
When my son refuses to die?
When the jury refuses to acknowledge the history in my cry?
When it’s three days later and no one’s coming?

Dear God,
What then?
What happens?
I need to know
Because this looks a whole lot like Revelations
And I can’t tell if we’re being killed or saved
All I know is
I am blood stained
And that these men
Keep telling me about my body
Force me to have a baby
Then kill it for me
A different kind of pillaging

You know, I heard somewhere that
Black women are impossible to love
And I get that
Because once we love you
Your days are n u m b e r e d
And the eulogy
I’ve
Memorized
Line
For
Line
willbedelivered

early,

credits

released June 16, 2016
Lyrics by Amy Leon
Music by Chris Gaskell, Mike Haldeman,
Seth Kaplan, Amy Leon, Jake Pinto, Dillon Treacy

Recorded & Engineered by Alex Pyle

Mastered by Lucas Hanson

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Amy León New York, New York

Musician, poet, & educator. Amy Leon is a Harlem Native living in Brooklyn, tryna make sense of all this madness by sharing it with you.

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