Song for Ferguson

by An Historic

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This album is released as a Pay-What-You-Can download. All proceeds from the sale of this release will be donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank, which has been helping to address the food desert conditions of Ferguson, MO in the last several months.

I began writing this song on Monday night after the grand jury decision was announced. Like many, I was overwhelmed by anger and pain, but in my heart I knew I was expecting this, despite the valiant efforts of protestors in Ferguson and many on the Internet trying to keep attention on the story and expose the corruption of the Ferguson police department and the legal apparatus that led us to this point.

This keeps happening, and with increasing frequency, and there continues to be no accountability in this. As a light-skinned black man I am relatively lucky to have avoided a lot of the harassment and violence that has left us with so many dead Black children, women and men - victims both of police aggression and of vigilantism that refuses to recognize the humanity of Black Americans across this country. The murder of Michael Brown is only an exception with regards to media coverage, the way Travyon Martin's murder was - and even still, most coverage is slanted against the victims and against the people rallying in their memory. So many more murders like this go completely uncovered and forgotten by the media - and even more so when you factor in intersections of identity, as with the many stomach-turning cases of violence against Black transgender women. This is not just a Southern issue or a Midwestern issue, as many people believe in various places I've lived in the Northeastern US. I wrote this song to reflect on this situation and my position in it, and I've posted the lyrics in the individual song page to be 100% clear on what I mean.

The album also includes a cover of "Strange Fruit", penned by Abel Meeropol and made famous with versions by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The song was written in reaction to the climate of lynching of Black Americans in the 1930s, and continues to be relevant today - it is hard not to draw parallels between the lynchings of the Jim Crow era, and the extrajudicial murders of Black Americans in the present day. The statistics are indicating that they happen at about the same rate, and are punished about as infrequently.

Thank you for reading and listening.

credits

released November 28, 2014

An Historic is:
Adam Matlock - Accordion, Voice, Percussion, Guitar, Glockenspiel, Viola

"Song for Ferguson" written by Adam Matlock, 2014. Dedicated to Michael Brown, Jr., VonDerrit Myers, Deandre Joshua, and the countless other Black victims of police brutality nationwide.

"Strange Fruit" written by Abel Meeropol, 1937.

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An Historic New Haven

Matlock writes increasingly narrative and frenzied songs under the name An Historic, and dark ambient music under the alias G. Zarapanecko, and frequently writes and performs compositions under his own name solo or with
various partners or small ensembles. Matlock can also be seen performing with free improv trio Broadcloth and avant-traditionalists Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of
Clairvoyant Claptraps.
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Track Name: Song for Ferguson
Had a craving for the taste of blood
for the last few years, since I crawled out of the mud
Seems these days I want it more and more
turn the TV on, have to pick myself off the floor
Spent the last few months clenching my teeth
When I get sick it feels like relief
Sometimes I’m picking a fight when I sing
but there’s too much rage, I can’t do nothing

But Oh I can’t believe it
You heard the audio they caught him breathing his last
how quick you forget the past
how short your memory

It makes me wonder
when will the thunder come
it makes me wonder
when we won’t have to run

I know that I am lucky to still be breathing
I got arrested once and didn’t even catch a beating
Hold my breath a lot to keep down the stress
only works sometimes, don't know what to do with the rest
I could never put my faith in a system or a god
that could not recognize his many flaws
Sometimes I’m picking a fight when I sing
but there’s too much rage, I can’t do nothing

but oh I can’t believe it
another killer with a badge and his freedom
I know my wallet could be a gun
even with hands above my head

It makes me wonder
when will the thunder come
We're going under
Twenty eight hours gone