It was Freedom Summer when you took the bus
down to Greenwood, Mississippi.
Seegar came, along with Bikel,
and others long since forgotten.
The New York Times called you Bobby Dillon
and you were all of 19.
I had just turned 13, about the time
your Free Wheelin’ album came out. My brother,
just out college, brought home your album,
the one showing you and Suze walking down
a snowy street in the Village.
Kennedy would be shot four months later,
but on that scorching summer day
in Greenwood, crowds of people
gathered in a cotton field
to hear you sing about the murder of Medgar Evers.
Women with parasols were listening, while men
with sweat glistening on their brow,
vowed to make it right.
Today, they buried Medgar Evers from the bullet he caught.
They lowered him down like a King.
His daughter wore a white, starched dress,
cryin’ in the front pew.
Everybody was sippin’ Co-cola.
This was Freedom Summer, 1963.