Requiem for a King.

Heartfelt song from the talented and sociopolitically outspoken Nina Simone. Simone is well known for the civil rights undertone she frequently integrates into her music. She often sang of equality, civil freedom and black empowerment.

She wasn’t shy about expressing her shock and disdain towards the condition and treatment of black America; and the apparent extermination of our prominent uplifting leaders. Although Nina believed in a more violent approach to attaining black liberation in the United States, she still felt the need to cry foul over Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

Three days after his death, April 7th, 1968, Simone performed live at the Westbury Music Fair and dedicated her entire performance to our extinguished King of Love. Including the song featured below titled “Why? (The King of Love is Dead)”, “a song written by her bass player directly after the news of King’s death had reached them.”

i.

What’s gonna happen now? In all of our cities?
My people are rising; they’re living in lies.
Even if they have to die
Even if they have to die at the moment they know what life is
Even at that one moment that ya know what life is
If you have to die, it’s all right
Cause you know what life is
You know what freedom is for one moment of your life

But he had seen the mountaintop
And he knew he could not stop
Always living with the threat of death ahead
Folks you’d better stop and think
Everybody knows we’re on the brink
What will happen, now that the King is dead?

We can all shed tears; it won’t change a thing
Teach your people: Will they ever learn?
Must you always kill with burn and burn with guns
And kill with guns and burn – don’t you know how we gotta react?

But he had seen the mountaintop
And he knew he could not stop
Always living with the threat of death ahead
Folks you’d better stop and think
Everybody knows we’re on the brink
What will happen, now that the King of love is dead?

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