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Running for the Gold
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Artist
Genre
Charts
Peak: #11   (68,638 songs currently in Country)
Peak in sub-genre: #1   (1,556 songs currently in Americana)
Upload date
June 19, 2011
Meta data
Bitrate: 128 kbps. Runtime: 4:02. File size: 3.71 MB.
Writer (words/music)
Tom Neilson
Copyright
Tom Neilson
Story behind the song
Tom was invited by the Southern Anti-Racism Network to perform at an anti-racism gathering in Durham as a response to a white supremacist organization organizing in NC. He wrote Running For The Gold for that event.
Lyrics
He was a sharecropper’s son. He was the midnight express. When he was young his mother took a kitchen knife & cut a tumor from his chest He Went to Columbus for the Buckeyes to run & study at their school Then punched his tix in 36 to run where Nazis rule Slavery Avery told the world Jesse shouldn’t go Better he should stay at home in service to Jim Crow But Jesse knew not to do everything he was told He tied the laces on his shoes and went running for the gold. Hitler said he’d never shake a Black man’s hand & FDR didn’t call or even send a telegram Well he could run with whites in Germany, But not in Alabam Could ride up front on a Berlin train, but not in Texarkan Could eat with whites in Picadilly, but not in Caroline, Go to a show with whites in Paris, but not below the line. Brown shirts, black guards, & grey green waves 7 military miles long Jesse said he ran with the strength of his feet & the courage in his lungs In the Summer of 36 he was the fastest we ever saw By December he was a sideshow racing Julio Macaw. Now Mac Robinson won silver, but when he came back home All they gave him was a broom that he could call his own. But he paved the way for Jackie, for Hank and Willie, too & all of us keep pavin that road for me & you. Slavery Avery told the world Jesse shouldn’t go Better he should stay at home in service to Jim Crow But Jesse knew not to do everything he was told He tied the laces on his shoes and went running for the gold.