Hear a haunting tribute to Dr. King written and sung by a group of schoolchildren with their teacher

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When it comes to tribute songs, I tend to prefer ones written right after someone died, as you get the feeling that those songs had to be written, by people directly affected by that loss. It's not Bono standing on the top floor of some luxury hotel somewhere, ruminating twenty years later. Who needs that? Man, I sure don't. 

This remarkable recording is from a 1969 LP on Folkways, Ghetto Reality, credited to "Nancy Dupree with a group of Rochester, N.Y. youngsters." The simple repeated refrain of "They murdered him" is just stunning, and to the point, in only the way that kids can be. If you're interested in learning more about this record, the original liner notes are here. All of the lyrics to the song are printed there, and they're startlingly good. The vinyl was reissued recently so it's still available for cheap, here, if you like. The entire LP is pretty solid, especially the song about James Brown. 

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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