Song for Oscar Grant

There was a man who had a little girl
She was his one and only daughter
Not every oyster has a little pearl
But this one did — they lived by the water
On the eastern side of San Francisco bay
Where the mountains meet the ocean
Together there they would greet the day
By Fruitvale Station
And now the trains seem louder than they used to be
There by the Oakland ocean side
When you look out at the horizon now what do you see
Since the day your daddy died

He dropped her off at school for the day
Looked for work, tried to make some money
Obstacles, road blocks in the way
In this land of milk and honey
Dad and mom went out one winter night
Their only plan, to greet New Year
Fireworks and blunts, it’s only right
Til 2009 was here
They were coming back from the celebration
On a train that rode beneath the rising tide
They got off at Fruitvale Station
On the day your daddy died

They just wanted to go home and go to bed
They stepped off the train onto the platform
Punches thrown, angry words were said
Then came the men in uniform
Face down, cuffs behind his back
No way to fight or run
That’s the time the cop chose to attack
That’s when he fired his gun
Prayers were prayed as the sun rose
And how his momma cried
Time stood still and the world froze
On the day your daddy died

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Sheet music:
Song for Oscar Grant

“Song for Oscar Grant” appears on the Bandcamp album, All the News That’s Fit to Sing (2014).

I had heard about the Bart cop shooting Oscar Grant when it happened, and the many protests that grew out of that extrajudicial execution.  The song came to me after I watched the movie about Oscar Grant, Fruitvale Station, on a plane to Ireland around January of 2014.