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Sabertooth Swing — Free Day

Artist: → Sabertooth Swing




 

 

 

Sabertooth Swing — Free Day — lyrics

 

 

 

{Verse 1}
Back in those days, it was like I said
Sundays was free for the slaves
They’d be sleeping and they’d never know the time
But there was a clock for them in the dawn when it would come
And the dawn that woke them natural like
All they felt, all that struggle to wake them up
Was knowing there was work all day until night
Sometimes if they dreamed, things would come to them out of Africa
Things they had heard about or had seen
And in all that recollecting
Somehow there wasn’t any of it that didn’t have part of a music form in it
Maybe they’d hear someone from some tribe signalling to another
Beating the drums for a feast maybe
They’d sleep
And it would come to them out of the bottom of their dream
They’d hear the drums of it
All sizes and all kinds of drums
They’d hear the chants and the dance calls
And always they’d hear that voice from the other tribe calling
Talking across the air from somewhere else

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Verse 2}
That was how the Negro communicated when he was back in Africa
He had no house, he had no telegram, no newspaper
But he had a drum, and he had a rhythm he could speak into the drum
And he could send it out through all the air to the rest of his people
And he could bring them to him
And when he got to the South, when he was a slave
Just before he was waking, before the sun rode out into the sky
When there was just that morning silence over the fields with maybe a few birds in it
Then, at that time, he was back there again, in Africa
Part of him was always there
Standing still with his head turned to hear it
Listening to someone from a distance
Hearing something that was kind of a promise, even then

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Verse 3}
And when he awoke and remembered where he was
That chant, that memory, got mixed up in a kind of melody that had a crying inside itself
The part of him that was the tribe and the drums
That part moved on and became a spiritual
And the part of him that was where he was now, in the South, a slave
That part was the melody
The part of him that was different from his ancestors
That melody was what he had to live
Every day, working, waiting for rest and joy
Trying to understand that the distance he had to reach was not his own people
But white people
Day after day, like there was no end to it

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Verse 4}
But Sunday mornings it was different
He’d wake up and start to be a slave
And then maybe someone would tell him
Hell, no
Today’s Sunday, man (Sunday)
It ain’t Monday and it ain’t Tuesday
Today’s free day (Sunday)
And then he’d hear drums from the square
First one drum, then another one answering it
Then a lot of drums
Then a voice, one voice (It’s my day)
And then a refrain (Ahh ah)
A lot of voices joining and coming into each other (Sunday)
And all of it having to be heard (Beautiful Sunday)
The music being born right inside itself
Not knowing how it was getting to be music (Ahh)
One thing being responsible for another
Improvisation (Sunday)
That’s what it was
It was primitive and it was crude (My day is Sunday)
But down at the bottom of it
Inside it, where it starts and gets into itself
Down there it had the same thing there is at the bottom of ragtime
It was already born and making in the music they played at Congo Square

 

 

 

 

 

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