Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)

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Nina Simone

Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), better known by her stage name Nina Simone /ˈniːnə sɨˈmoʊn/, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. more »


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We want to do a tune
Written for today, for this hour
For Dr. Martin Luther King
We've stated before that the whole program is dedicated to his memory
But this tune is written about him, and for him and so
We had yesterday to learn it and so we'll see

Once upon this planet earth
Lived a man of humble birth
Preaching love and freedom for his fellow man

He was dreaming of a day
Peace would come to earth to stay
And he spread this message all across the land

Turn the other cheek he'd plead
Love thy neighbor was his creed
Pain humiliation death, he did not dread

With his Bible at his side
From his foes he did not hide
It's hard to think that this great man is dead (oh yes)

Will the murders never cease
Are thy men or are they beasts?
What do they ever hope, ever hope to gain?

Will my country fall, stand or fall?
Is it too late for us all?
And did Martin Luther King just die in vain?

Cos he'd seen the mountain top
And he knew he could not stop
Always living with the threat of death ahead

Folks you'd better stop and think
'Cause we're heading for the brink
What will happen now that he is dead?

He was for equality
For all people, you and me
Full of love and good will, hate was not his way

He was not a violent man
Bigotry had sealed his fate
We can all shed tears but 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?
Don't you know what it will bring?

Well see he'd 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
Cause everybody knows were on the brink
What's will happen now that the king of love is dead?

Cause see he'd 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 and feel again
For we're headed for the brink
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
What's gonna happen now that the King is dead?

I heard, that um, well we've heard all kinds of stories
But I heard That this was his favorite song near the end of his life

Last year or a year ago, maybe a little longer than that now
Lorraine Hansberry left us, and she was a dear friend
She had her favorite song, that Langston Hughes left us
Coltrane left us, Otis Redding left us
Who can go on, do you realize how many we have lost?

Then it really gets down to reality, doesn't it?
Not a performance, not microphones and all that crap
But really something else

We've lost a lot of them, in the last two years
But we have remaining, Monk, Miles

Audience: Nina!
Ms. Simone: I love you too

And of course, for those we have left we are thankful
But we can't Afford any more losses, oh no, oh my god
They're shooting us down one by one
Don't forget that
Because they are
Killing us one by one

Well all I have to say is that those of us who 
Know how to protect those of us that we love
Stand by them and stay close to them
And I say that if there'd been a couple of more a 
little closer to Dr. King he wouldn't have got it
Just a little closer to him, stay there, stay there
We can't afford any more losses

He had seen the mountain top
And he knew he could not stop
Always living with the threat of death ahead
Folks you'd better stop and think
For we're almost to the brink
What will happen, now that the King is dead?

 Watch: New Singing Lesson Videos Can Make Anyone A Great Singer


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Written by: Calvin E. (gene) Taylor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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