Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Nine

As we approach the anniversary of the tragedy in Charleston, I thought I'd put this out there.  I wrote it last summer.  While it recounts some of the terrible events, I like to think there is hope here too.

The Nine – Tim O’Keefe 7-15

Charleston in the month of June
At Mother Emmanuel
Good people met to share their prayers
But one man came to kill

They invited him to share their time           
To pray, to learn, to teach
They welcomed him with open arms
But his heart was out of reach

Maybe some good will happen
Maybe some kind of spark
Maybe we’ll move a little closer to the light 
Maybe come in from the dark
Maybe we’ll seek some honest answers
That would be so fine
Maybe we’ll speak some truth to power
We owe so much to The Nine

He shot and killed those precious ones
To start some kind of war
He thought his hate would conquer their love
But he’ll get no reward

‘Cause when the families of the victims spoke
Their strength came from their faith
Forgiveness was the message they shared,
“There’s no room in my heart to hate.” CHORUS

It was no trouble for that young man
To get himself a gun
Like chains and whips and ropes of old
He carried a Glock .41

They prayed and talked that mid June night
A young stranger in their midst
Singing those old Halleluiah songs
They couldn’t know what to expect                       

We met this evil man before
His face was there on Africa’s shore
In the Dark Middle Passage and Hate’s awful course
We’re familiar with his terrible face
His gun and his rope and his hanging place
His Jim Crow laws, his higher race
We know this wretched man all right
His tired flag, his speeches trite
His endless battle against Civil Rights
His chains, his whip, his hate, his gun
He’s been in this land since we’ve begun
Now let us pray that his time is done

Along with the Birmingham girls
Mississippi and young Emmett Till
The Freedom Riders back in ‘61
We remember their stories well

“Come Ye That Love The Lord,” they sang
And, “We are marching to beautiful Zion”
We sing their songs, we raise our voices

To the memory of The Nine


Nic E said...

Ah, Tim, this is so lovely and heart-felt. Lovely to see you singing. What a gorgeous voice you have! We'll have to do a duet! My thoughts are with you all out there. :) N

Ruthie O'Keefe said...

This is beautiful. Thank you very much.