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The Black Lives Matter Song Collection

Download printable PDF

Answer with a Song

by Stuart Stotts

When the cops start shouting, we will still be strong (3X)
We will answer— with a song.
When they rig the justice system...
When the paddy wagons show up...
When they try to provoke us...
When fear starts creeping in...
When they try to divide us...

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody

Ain't gonna let nobody
turn me around (3x)
Ain't gonna let nobody
turn me around,
Gonna keep on a-walkin',
keep on a-talkin',
Gonna build a better world.

Ain't gonna let no racism...
no sexism...
no provocateurs...
no 1%...
no grand juries...

Carry It On

by Gill Turner

There's a friend by my side walking,
There's a voice inside me talking,
There's a word that needs a-saying,
Carry it on. (4x)

They will tell their lying stories,
Send their dogs to bite our bodies,
They will lock us in their prisons,
But we carry it on, carry it on (3x)

All their lies will turn to silence,
All their dogs will turn from violence
All their prison walls will crumble,
If we carry it on, carry it on (3x)

If you can't go on any longer,
Take the hand of your sister & brother,
Every victory's gonna bring another!
So we carry it on, carry it on. (2x)

Down by the Riverside

Gonna stand up for Michael Brown, down by the riverside...
Gonna stand up for Eric Garner...
Trayvon Martin...
Oscar Grant...
Gonna stand by my brothers...
Gonna stand by my sisters...
Gonna stand up to police power...
Gonna make it safe for everyone...

I Can't Breathe

I can hear my neighbor crying 'I can't breathe'
Now I'm in the struggle, and I can't leave
Calling out the violence of the racist police
We ain't gonna stop till people are free
We ain't gonna stop till people are free

It Isn't Nice

by Malvina Reynolds, new verses by
Reggie Harris and Joel Landy

It isn't nice to block the doorway,
It isn't nice to go to jail,
There are nicer ways to do it,
But the nice ways always fail.
It isn't nice, it isn't nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom's price,
We don't mind.
It isn't nice to carry banners
Or to sit in on the floor,
Or to shout our cry of Freedom
At the hotel and the store.
It isn't nice, it isn't nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom's price,
We don't mind.

We try to let the courts decide it
When the cops just shoot us down,
But we simply can't abide it
When no justice can be found.
You say that we don't make it right
By marching out here day and night,
But if that is freedom's price.
We don't mind!

It isn't nice to shout for justice,
It isn't nice to make demands,
Or to gather by the thousands
No matter what the law commands.
It isn't nice, it isn't nice
Well, thanks for your advice
Cause if that is freedom's price,
We don't mind.

Never Turning Back

by Pat Humphries

[We're] Gonna keep on
walking forward, Keep
on walking forward (2x)
Never turning back (2x)
Gonna keep on walking
proudly, Keep on walking
proudly, (2x) Never...
Gonna keep on singing
loudly... Gonna reach across
our borders...Gonna keep on
loving boldly...Gonna work
for change together...
Gonna show our children
courage...Gonna live with
peaceful justice...

This Little Light

This affects each one of us...
Black and white together...
Silence will not save us...
Make it safe for everyone...
No more mass
Free Marissa Alexander...

We Are Sending You Light

by Melanie deMore
We are sending you light
To heal you, to hold you,
We are sending you light
To hold you in love

We Shall Not Be Moved

Black lives matter, we shall not be moved...
Michael Brown matters...
Eric Garner matters...
Trayvon Martin matters
We will not be silent...
No more grand juries...
Stand up for the children...
Make police accountable...
Unidos en la lucha,
No nos moveran...
como_un árbol
firme junto al rio, no nos moveran.

We Who Believe in Freedom (Ella's Song)

by Bernice Johnson Reagon
Download printable version (revised 7/14/19)

We who believe in freedom cannot rest,
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Until the killing of Black men, black mothers’ sons,
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons.

That which touches me most is the chance to work with people,
Passing on to others, that which was passed on to me.

To me young people come first,
They have the courage where we fail,
And if I can shed some light as they carry us through the gale

The older I get, the better I know that the secret of my going on,
Is when the reins are in the hands of the young who dare
To run against the storm.

Not needing to clutch for power,
Not needing the light just to shine on me!
I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny

I'm a woman who speaks in a voice
And I must be heard
At times I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man's word

When the Saints

When we rise up and change our world (2x)
Oh how I want to be in that number
When we rise up and change our world
Oh when we march for human rights (2x)
Oh how I want to be in that number
When we rise up and change our world.
When we make peace instead of war...
When young black men can walk the streets...
When women walk out safe at night...
When we build schools instead of jails...
When neighborhoods are free from fear...