(chorus) Oh, people locked in jobs Or locked in middle-class minds Oh, people locked in sects Since when is love a crime?
(verses) There’s a prisoner in Clinton in Upstate New York The Murdoch press, it tried him The judge wouldn’t let him talk Like John Brown at Harper’s Ferry He put his life on the line To fight to free the slaves, since when is that a crime? (chorus)
There’s a prisoner in Clinton who resisted their brutal war Who was with you on their campus Who never forgot the poor Like John Brown at Harper’s Ferry He emerged from the Underground To fight to free the slaves and bring the System down. (chorus)
There’s a prisoner in Clinton, his sentence is our shame Betrayed by those who realize That the guilty smeared his name The ones who sat out the Sixties Alone came to his aid His case got lost in dogma, though he fought to free the slaves. (chorus)
There’s a prisoner in Clinton separated from the woman he loves While she’s tried before the judge That sentenced her husband What kind of law is this That deals with us all this way? And convenes an all-white jury to put Black rebels away. [chorus)
There’s a prisoner in Clinton whom the brutes labeled “terrorist” But no civilians were killed By the prisoner now locked up A prisoner of war Obvious to you and me And like Lolita Lebron and the rest, people now wish him free. (chorus)
The Prisoner In Clinton protest folk song was originally titled Prisoner In Auburn and was written in the early 1980s when David Gilbert www.prisonactivist.org/pps+pows/davidgilbert/ was imprisoned in Auburn State Prison. Since this protest folk song was written, Columbia SDS founder Gilbert has continued to serve time at Attica State Prison, at Comstock State Prison and at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, where he is still imprisoned in 2007.
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