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A SIMPLE SONG FOR TRACY CHAPMAN

by Ivan Antonio

 


Sometimes we write a song

and when we play it on the piano we cry

sometimes I hear Tracy Chapman

and I think: could she be my sister?

Sometimes I remember and miss my grandparents

and see in dreams that great ship and great chains

binding their feet

sometimes I feel a cold wind

as if blowing off the ocean waves

it gives me an immense wish to cry

and I think: could Tracy Chapman be my sister?

Each time I play so that God will free me

and free those who try to imprison me...


Tracy, Tracy, Tracy

I think you're my sister

I feel that in my heart

Tracy, Tracy, Tracy

our brothers on that old ship

sang sad songs

songs of tears and loneliness. (bis)


Sometimes I think of stopping

of singing only songs of joy

so that no one, hearing me, can say:

"This again! He bawls like a negro

being whipped at the pillory

and chants litanies

and dances as they used to dance in the terreiros.

Sometimes I grow tired, sometimes I cry

and sometimes I grow tired of crying with no one hearing me

does history repeat?

Sometimes I have doubts

But I see a child trying to change the course of history

A Martin (Luther King) yesterday, a Nelson (Mandela) Obama and a Zumbi dos Palmares

I see Bob Marley in my dreams

and then I can't stop any longer.

 

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