Fairmont 1969

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(c) 2007 Bill Kostelec
Storyteller 2

It’s everyman’s country, it’s no man’s land
Streets full of chuckholes gravel and sand.
A stray dog trots cross the weary grass Of Junked cars and broken glass
The sewer runs long side the road A yard with a border of ancient rose
A screen door dented patched and torn
Where a young man’s dreams are being born

Welcome to this no-man’s land the poor whites from the South
Living in the border land cigarettes hang from weary mouths.
Across the street the angry street, another nation takes its stand
Another tribe of southern emigrants Black women, Black children Black men

Dirty air from dying factories and the black flies buzzing round Where the air always stinks of poverty as dreams keep crashing down
No city wants to claim this land, the politicians look away
They leave it to its troubles and the sewer runs where children play
There’s a street named Green Garden Place, reminiscing of another time
It’s a neighborhood called Fairmont and it’s 1969

Welcome to this no-man’s land the poor whites from the South
Living in the border land cigarettes hang from weary mouths
Across the street the angry street, another nation takes its stand
Another tribe of southern emigrants Black women, Black children Black men

There’s no swimming pool for Summer kids, it closed down a few years ago
After the buses passed by the colored kids all standing in a row
The little ice cream and candy shop proudly displays its sign Their rights as Americans to live in another time
“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone we please
This is by God America, keep your damned government decrees!”

Old Biggie was a garbage man He stood tall like a proud black tree
They found him with his heart cut out with the trash in a dark alley
They say it was cause of some Mexican girl, he’d gone where he shouldn’t be
He’d left his place in no man’s land and gone to some other man’s country.

It’s everyman’s country, it’s no man’s land
Streets full of chuckholes gravel and sand
A stray dog trots cross the weary grass Of Junked cars and broken glass
The sewer runs long side the road A yard with a border of ancient rose
Old brick homes with peeling paint And flower beds that only grow regret

Dr.King was in his tomb, beneath the cycles of the moon
So many boys went off to the war. Black and white and brown and poor
And for every young man’s grave they made, was another bitter nickel paid
Another drughead made it home, while nobler hearts were turned to stone.
So much has changed, It seems so strange, so many years of bitter blame
It’s us against them, against them still, it seems as if it always will
So much has changed, It seems so strange, so many years of bitter blame
It’s us against them against them still, it seems as if it always will.

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