Pinwheel of Death

Gil Scott-Heron


SONGS

Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Bernard Purdie

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Pop Jazz, Americana, Spoken Word

Recorded 1971

Lyrics DEAR PRESIDENT NIXON,
I AM WRITING YOU
THIS HERE LETTER
AS A RESULT
OF WAKING UP THIS MORNING,
HUNG OVER,
AND LEFT BY MY WIFE
WHO SAID:
DEAR X AS IN HUSBAND,
I AM AT MY MOMMAS,
COME AND GET ME
IF YOU DARE.

NOW, MISTER PRESIDENT,
I CONSIDER MYSELF A VICTIM
OF THE VIETNAM WAR
WHEN I ENTERED THE LIVING ROOM
THIS MORNING
THAT IS THE LIVING ROOM
WE CALL THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE,
MY WIFE WAS STANDING THERE
WITH ROLLERS IN HER HAIR
AND A ROLLING PIN
IN HER HAND.
I WENT INTO
A PREVENTATIVE REACTION STRIKE,
STRIKING HER
BEFORE SHE COULD STRIKE ME.
I THEN CHECKED HER
INTO THE LATETRAIN HOTEL
AND LOCKED THE DOOR,
WHEN I WOKE UP
THIS MORNING,
SHE WAS GONE!

NOW, MISTER PRESIDENT,
I ASK THIS FAVOR:
DONT PUBLICIZE
YOUR NEXT WAR,
BECAUSE
WHEN WE EMPLOY YOUR STRATEGY,
WE ALSO EMPLOY
YOUR ARTIFICIALNESS.

YOURS TRULY,
GEORGE WASHINGTON BROWN, ESQUIRE
Writers Gil Scott-Heron

Genres Pop, Rhythm & Blues, Soul

Recorded 1971

Lyrics THE FIRST THING
THAT YOU NOTICE
IN THE MORNING
IS THAT
THERE IS NOT A CLOUD
IN THE SKY,
AND LORD,
YOU CAN'T HELP
BUT REMEMBER
YOUR WOMAN
AND HOW SHE CRIED
ALL NIGHT.

HOW MUCH LONGER
CAN THIS GO ON?
YOU PUSHED ME
PAST THE POINT
OF BEING STRONG
I'VE GOT TO GET AWAY,
YEAH,
FROM THESE CHAINS,
I'VE GOT TO GET AWAY,
YEAH,
FROM THESE CHAINS.

STANDING OVER YOUR DOOR
IS A LUCIFER,
YOU KNOW
HE WILL BE THERE
EVERY MORNING
CRACKING A WHIP
IN HIS HAND.
AND MY BACK IS BENT
FROM DAWNING
TO SUNSET,
I DON'T KNOW
HOW MUCH MORE
OF THIS
I CAN STAND.

LORD, EVERY DAY
THERE IS SOMEBODY NEW
HOLDING ME DOWN,
BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
WHAT IS THIS HELL ON EARTH
I HAVE FOUND?

I'VE GOT TO GET AWAY
FROM THESE CHAINS,
I'VE GOT TO GET AWAY
FROM THESE CHAINS,
FROM THESE CHAINS,
FROM THESE CHAINS,
FROM THESE CHAINS,
FROM THESE CHAINS!
Writers Gil Scott-Heron

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Ballad, Americana

Recorded 1972

Lyrics DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID?
THEY SAID,
ANOTHER BROTHER'S DEAD.
THEY SAID HE'S DEAD,
BUT HE CAN'T BE BURIED,
THEY SAID HE'S DEAD,
BUT HE CAN'T BE BURIED
COME ON,
COME ON,
COME ON,
COME ON,
THIS CAN'T BE REAL.

DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID?
THEY SAID,
THEY SHOT HIM IN HIS HEAD.
A SHOT IN THE HEAD
TO SAVE HIS COUNTRY,
A SHOT IN THE HEAD
TO SAVE HIS COUNTRY
COME ON,
COME ON,
COME ON,
COME ON,
THIS CAN'T BE REAL.

DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
YEAH, DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY SAID,
ABOUT HIS MOTHER,
AND HOW SHE CRIED?.
THEY SAID SHE CRIED
BECAUSE HER ONLY SON WAS DEAD,
THEY SAID SHE CRIED
BECAUSE HER ONLY SON WAS DEAD.
WOMAN,
COULD YOU IMAGINE
IF YOUR ONLY SON WAS DEAD
AND SOMEBODY TOLD YOU
HE COULDN'T BE BURIED?
HEY,
COME ON,
COME ON,
COME ON,
COME ON,
THIS CAN'T BE REAL!
Alt. Title Everyday

Writers Gil Scott-Heron

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Ballad

Recorded 1970

Lyrics I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND
THE WORDS TO SAY,
I DON'T HAVE STRENGTH
TO PLAY THE GAMES
YOU NEED TO PLAY.
EVERY DAY
I SEEM TO BE RUNNING
FROM THE TRUTH,
I ASK MYSELF QUESTIONS
BUT IT JUST AIN'T NO USE,
BECAUSE IT SEEMS NO MATTER,
NO MATTER,
WHAT I TRY TO DO,
I'M STILL LOVING
AND LIVING,
LYING AND LOSING
EVERY DAY.

I'VE GOT A JOB
AND TO SAY THE LEAST
IT DON'T MEAN A THING,
IT DON'T BEGIN TO COMPARE
WITH THE HURT
AND DESPAIR
THAT I'VE SEEN.
SOMETIMES I KNOW
I CAN'T TELL WRONG
FROM RIGHT,
I DON'T SEEM TO KNOW
DAY FROM NIGHT.
IT'S NO WONDER
THAT THE WHOLE WORLD
IS UPTIGHT,
THEY'RE JUST LOVING
AND LIVING,
LYING AND LOSING
EVERY DAY.

STOP ON THE WAY HOME
FROM WORK
TO HAVE A DRINK,
JUST TO GIVE MYSELF
A LITTLE TIME TO THINK,
BECAUSE IT SEEMS
THAT MORE AND MORE
I START TO REALIZE
THAT THE TRUTH
THAT I WANTED,
THE LOVE
THAT I NEEDED,
HAS SOMEHOW DISAPPEARED
BEFORE MY EYES.

I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND
THE WORDS
I NEED TO SAY,
I CAN'T FIND
STRENGTH ENOUGH
TO PLAY THE GAMES
YOU NEED TO PLAY.
BECAUSE EVERY DAY
YOU GOT ME,
GOT ME RUNNING
FROM THE TRUTH,
AND NO MATTER,
NO MATTER WHAT
I TRY TO DO,
IT SEEMS
THAT SOMEHOW
IT JUST AIN'T NO USE.
I'M STILL LOVING
AND LIVING,
LYING AND LOSING,
CAN'T SEEM TO REMEMBER,
GOD,
IT'S SO CONFUSING
I'M STILL LOVING
AND LIVING,
LYING AND LOSING
EVERY DAY.
Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Pop Jazz

Recorded 1971

Lyrics FIND A SHADOW
CAST BY RAINBOWS,
THERE YOULL MEET THE SAGE,
FEEDING RABBITS
BITS OF LETTUCE
OR CLEANING OUT THE CAGE,
HE CAN GIVE YOU MORE DIRECTION
THAN YOUVE EVER KNOWN.
SHOW YOU
YOUR BRONZED BABY SHOES
NOW,
MY HOW YOU HAVE GROWN!
AINT IT NICE TO FLY?
YOURE WAVING
AS SOFT CLOUDS GO BY,
BUT PEACE WONT BE STILL
OF ITS OWN FREE WILL.
SAY YOU WANT TO GO
EXPLORING
YOU GOT TO FIND SOME TRUTH.
CANT STAND ONE MORE DAY
OF CHRISTIANS
SHOUTING DOWN
AT YOU.
YOU SAY
YOU DONT DIG POLITICS
THAT NEVER WAS YOUR BAG,
PEOPLE WHO COULD RUN
FOR OFFICE
WAVE THEIR PRIVATE FLAG.
AINT IT NICE TO FLY?
YOURE WAVING
AS SOFT CLOUDS GO BY,
BUT PEACE WONT BE STILL
OF ITS OWN FREE WILL.
AINT IT NICE TO FLY?
YOURE WAVING
AS SOFT CLOUDS GO BY,
BUT PEACE WONT BE STILL
OF ITS OWN FREE WILL.
Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Pop Jazz, Blues, Americana, Spoken Word

Recorded 1972

Lyrics WHAT WE WANT TO DISCUSS HERE
ARE ROUTES OUT OF THE GHETTO.
THIS IS CALLED
THE GET OUT OF THE GHETTO BLUES.

I KNOW YOU THINK YOU'RE COOL,
LORD,
IF THEY BUS YOUR KIDS
TO SCHOOL,
I KNOW YOU THINK YOU'RE COOL,
JUST BECAUSE THEY BUS YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL
BUT YOU AIN'T GOT A THING TO LOSE,
YOU JUST GOT
THE GET OUT OF THE GHETTO BLUES.

I KNOW YOU THINK YOU'RE COOL
IF YOU'RE GETTING
TWO WELFARE CHECKS,
YOU DONE TOLD ME
YOU THINK YOU'RE COOL
BECAUSE YOU'RE GETTING
TWO WELFARE CHECKS
YEAH, BUT YOU GOT TEN YEARS TO LOSE
IF THEY CATCH YOU
JUST TRYING TO FIGHT
THAT GET OUT OF THE GHETTO BLUES.

WHAT IT IS,
WHAT IT IS.

IF HE DON'T CATCH YOU
IN THE WASH,
LORD KNOWS HE'LL CATCH YOU
IN THE RINSE.

I KNOW YOU THINK YOU'RE COOL,
JUST BECAUSE
YOU SHOOTING THAT STUFF
IN YOUR ARM,
I SEEN YOU NODDING
BECAUSE YOU SHOOT THAT STUFF
INTO YOUR ARM
AND IT DON'T MATTER
WHICH PINE BOX YOU CHOOSE:
YOU GOT
THE GET OUT OF THE GHETTO BLUES.

YEAH!
Writers Gil Scott-Heron

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Pop Jazz, Americana

Recorded 1971

Lyrics A JUNKIE WALKING
THROUGH THE TWILIGHT,
I'M ON MY WAY HOME.
I LEFT THREE DAYS AGO
BUT NO ONE
SEEMS TO KNOW
I'M GONE.

HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS,
HOME
IS FILLED WITH PAIN,
AND IT MIGHT NOT BE
SUCH A BAD IDEA
IF I NEVER,
NEVER WENT HOME AGAIN.

STAND AS FAR AWAY
FROM ME AS YOU CAN,
AND ASK ME WHY.
HANG ON
TO YOUR ROSARY BEADS,
CLOSE YOUR EYES
TO WATCH ME DIE.

YOU KEEP SAYIN',
KICK IT!
QUIT IT!
KICK IT!
QUIT IT!
KICK IT!
QUIT IT!
GOD,
BUT DID YOU EVER TRY
TO TURN YOUR SICK SOUL
INSIDE OUT
SO THAT THE WORLD
CAN WATCH YOU DIE.

HOME IS WHERE
I LIVE INSIDE
MY WHITE POWER DREAMS,
HOME WAS ONCE
AN EMPTY VACUUM
THAT'S FILLED NOW
WITH MY SILENT SCREAMS.
HOME IS WHERE
THE NEEDLE MARKS
TRY TO HEAR
MY BROKEN HEART,
AND IT MIGHT NOT BE
SUCH A BAD IDEA
IF I NEVER,
NEVER WENT HOME AGAIN.

HOME AGAIN,
HOME AGAIN,
HOME AGAIN,
KICK IT QUIT IT,
KICK IT QUIT IT,
KICK IT QUIT IT,
KICK IT,
CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN.
Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Pop Jazz

Recorded 1974

Lyrics I'M GONNA TAKE MYSELF
A PIECE OF SUNSHINE
AND PAINT IT
ALL OVER MY SKY
BE NO RAIN,
BE NO RAIN.
I'M GONNA TAKE THE SONG
FROM EVERY BIRD
AND MAKE THEM SING IT
JUST FOR ME.
BIRD'S GOT SOMETHING
TO TEACH US ALL
ABOUT BEING FREE,
YEAH,
BE NO RAIN,
BE NO RAIN.

AND I THINK I'LL CALL IT MORNING
FROM NOW ON.
WHY SHOULD I SURVIVE
ON SADNESS
AND TELL MYSELF
I GOT TO BE ALONE?
WHY SHOULD I SUBSCRIBE
TO THIS WORLD'S MADNESS?
KNOWING THAT I'VE GOT TO LIVE ON,
YEAH,
I THINK I'LL CALL IT MORNING
FROM NOW ON.

I'M GONNA TAKE MYSELF
A PIECE OF SUNSHINE
AND PAINT IT ALL OVER MY SKY
BE NO RAIN,
BE NO RAIN.
I'M GONNA TAKE THE SONG
FROM EVERY BIRD
AND MAKE THEM SING IT
JUST FOR ME.
BECAUSE WHY SHOULD I HANG MY HEAD,
WHY SHOULD I LET TEARS
FALL FROM MY EYES,
WHEN I'VE SEEN EVERYTHING
THERE IS TO SEE?
AND I KNOW
THERE IS NO SENSE IN CRYING,
I KNOW
THERE AIN'T NO SENSE IN CRYING.
YEAH,
I THINK I'LL CALL IT MORNING
FROM NOW ON,
I'LL CALL IT MORNING
FROM NOW ON,
YEAH,
BECAUSE
THERE AIN'T GONNA BE NO RAIN,
BE NO RAIN,
BE NO RAIN,
FROM NOW ON.
Writers Gil Scott-Heron

Genres Soul, Jazz

Recorded 1971

Lyrics EVER FEEL KIND OF DOWN
AND OUT
AND DON'T KNOW
JUST WHAT TO DO?
LIVING ALL OF YOUR DAYS
IN DARKNESS,
LET THE SUN SHINE THROUGH.
EVER FEEL THAT SOMEHOW,
SOMEWHERE
YOU LOST YOUR WAY?
AND IF YOU DON'T GET HELP
YOU WON'T MAKE IT
THROUGH THE DAY.
YOU COULD CALL
ON LADY DAY!
YOU COULD CALL
ON JOHN COLTRANE!
THEY WILL WASH YOUR TROUBLES,
YOUR TROUBLES AWAY.

PLASTIC PEOPLE
WITH PLASTIC MINDS
ON THEIR WAY
TO PLASTIC HOMES.
THERE'S NO BEGINNING,
THERE AIN'T NO ENDING -
JUST ON AND ON
AND ON AND ON...
IT'S ALL BECAUSE
WE ARE SO AFRAID
TO SAY
THAT WE ARE ALL ALONE
UNTIL OUR HERO RIDES IN,
RIDES IN
ON HIS SAXOPHONE.
YOU COULD CALL
ON LADY DAY!
YOU COULD CALL
ON JOHN COLTRANE!
THEY WILL WASH YOUR TROUBLES,
YOUR TROUBLES AWAY.
Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

Genres Soul, Ballad, Pop Jazz

Recorded 1972

Lyrics OVER THE HILL YOU SEE
THE MIDDLE OF YOUR DAY,
AND THE SUN SAYS,
ITS TIME,
FOR YOU TO GO YOUR WAY.
GO AND TELL YOUR MAMA,
THAT YOU NOW KNOW WHAT TO DO,
HER LOVE WILL COME IN HANDY,
SHE'S ALWAYS SEEN YOU THROUGH.
BUT THERE'S NO ONE HERE
TO GUIDE YOU,
YOU GOT TO DO IT BY YOURSELF.
MINUTES FAIL YOU DAY BY DAY,
AND THERE'S REALLY NOTHING ELSE,
WHERE WERE YOU ALL MORNING?
DODGING LIFE INSIDE YOUR HEART,
NEVER DARING FACE TO DANGER,
THEN ATTACK RIGHT FROM THE START.
GO AND TELL YOUR DADDY
HE WAS RIGHT IN WHAT HE SAID,
BECAUSE THE LAWS OF INDEPENDENCE
DON'T APPLY UNTIL YOU'RE DEAD.
AND THOUGH YOU'D LIKE HIM HERE
TO PUSH YOU
BECAUSE YOU FEEL
A NEED FOR HELP.
MINUTES FAIL YOU DAY BY DAY
AND THERE'S REALLY NOTHING ELSE,
HOW LONG MUST WE LIVE INSIDE?
CHANGE THAT ?
HOW LONG MUST WE JUST SIT BY?
WHEN THERE'S REALLY NOTHING HERE,
ITS THE MIDDLE OF YOUR DAY
WAKE UP TO THE MIDDLE,
WHY DON'T YOU WELCOME
THE MIDDLE OF YOUR DAY?
Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Pop Jazz, Americana

Recorded 1974

Lyrics A CIRCLE SPINNING FASTER
AND GETTING LARGER
ALL THE TIME,
A WHIRLPOOL SPELLED DISASTER
FOR ALL THE PEOPLE
WHO DON'T RHYME.

HIM WHO DON'T FIT
THROUGH THE NEEDLE'S EYE,
HIM WHO JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND,
UNDERSTAND,
UNDERSTAND,
UNDERSTAND.

A BRAND NEW SENSE OF FREEDOM,
A BRAND NEW SENSE OF TIME,
HIM MAY GO
AND STAND ALONE NOW,
AND LEAVE THE HATE
AND FEAR BEHIND.

ALL THE MILLIONS
SPENT FOR KILLING,
SEEMS THE WHOLE WORLD
MUST BE DYING,
ALL THE CHILDREN
WHO GO HUNGRY,
HOW MUCH FOOD
WE COULD BE BUYING?

PEOPLE WAKE UP EVERY MORNING
AND SIMPLY PUSH THEIR LIVES ASIDE,
THEY SEEM TO CARRY ALL THEIR FEELINGS
CRUSHED AND CRUMBLED UP INSIDE,
INSIDE,
INSIDE,
INSIDE.

SO I WENT TO SEE MY FATHER,
MANY QUESTIONS ON MY MIND,
BUT HE DIDN'T WANT TO ANSWER ME,
GOD,
THE WHOLE WORLD MUST BE BLIND.

HIM WHO DON'T FIT
THROUGH THE NEEDLE'S EYE,
HIM MAY SOMEDAY GO INSANE,
INSANE,
INSANE,
INSANE.

A BRAND NEW SENSE OF FREEDOM,
A BRAND NEW SENSE OF TIME,
HIM MAY GO
AND STAND ALONE NOW,
AND LEAVE THE HATE
AND FEAR BEHIND.
Writers Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

Genres Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Pop Jazz

Recorded 1974

Lyrics I SAIL OUT ON MY PAPER SHIP,
THE SEA IS MADE OF FIRE,
I RIDE MY HORSE
OF NUTS AND BOLTS,
WE MADE TO NEVER TIRE.

THE WORLD IS JUST A SIMPLE CIRCLE
I'VE GOT TO KEEP ON TURNING,
YEAH,
I'VE GOT TO KEEP ON TURNING
UNTIL I FALL.

DOWN TO THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN,
INSIDE A HOLLOW STONE,
I PRETEND
THAT I'M AN IRON MAN,
YEAH,
INSTEAD OF FLESH AND BONE.

THE WORLD IS JUST A SIMPLE CIRCLE
I'VE GOT TO KEEP ON TURNING,
YEAH,
I'VE GOT TO KEEP ON TURNING
UNTIL I FALL.

GO AWAY,
I CAN'T STAND TO SEE YOUR FACE,
BECAUSE YOU'VE SEEN
THE WEAKEST ME
AND NOW YOU KNOW
I'M ONLY HUMAN,
INSTEAD OF ALL THE THINGS
I'D LIKE TO BE.

THE WORLD IS JUST A SIMPLE CIRCLE
I'VE GOT TO KEEP ON TURNING,
YEAH,
I'VE GOT TO KEEP ON TURNING
UNTIL I FALL.
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