Monday, August 25, 2008

In the ghetto

Hear Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley perform 'In the Ghetto' on YouTube

Words and music by MAC DAVIS
Released as a single by ELVIS PRESLEY (1969)

Mac Davis originally wrote this song as In the Ghetto (The Vicious Circle, but record producers took off the subtitle before they presented it to Elvis. Having been a drugs worker, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear it. The video, where Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie duets with him, shows guns in cradles with babies. It would be equally valid of instead of guns there were syringes - either way, some kids just don't get a chance.

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto

And his mama cries
'Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto

People, don't you understand
The child needs a helping hand
Or he'll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me
Are we too blind to see
Do we simply turn our heads
And look the other way

Well the world turns
And a hungry little boy with a runny nose
Plays in the street as the cold wind blows
In the ghetto

And his hunger burns
So he starts to roam the streets at night
And he learns how to steal
And he learns how to fight
In the ghetto

Then one night in desperation
A young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car
Tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries

As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto

As her young man dies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
Another little baby child is born
In the ghetto

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