2 About the song Assassination of Medgar Evers July 12th, 1963 Jackson, MississippiByron De La BeckwithWhite Supremacist
3 Only a Pawn in Their Game by Bob Dylan A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood.A finger fired the trigger to his name.A handle hit out in the darkA hand set the sparkTwo eyes took the aimBehind a man's brainBut he can't be blamedHe's only a pawn in their game.
4 Only a Pawn in Their Game (cont) A South politician preaches to the poor white man,'You got more than the blacks, don't complain.You're better than them, you been born with white skin,' they explain.And the Negro's nameIs used it is plainFor the politician's gainAs he rises to fameAnd the poor white remainsOn the caboose of the trainBut it ain't him to blameHe's only a pawn in their game
5 Only a Pawn in Their Game (cont) The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid,And the marshals and cops get the same,But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool.He's taught in his schoolFrom the start by the ruleThat the laws are with himTo protect his white skinTo keep up his hateSo he never thinks straight'Bout the shape that he's inBut it ain't him to blameHe's only a pawn in their game.
6 Only a Pawn in Their Game (cont) From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks,And the hoof beats pound in his brain.And he's taught how to walk in a packShoot in the backWith his fist in a clinchTo hang and to lynchTo hide 'neath the hoodTo kill with no painLike a dog on a chainHe ain't got no nameBut it ain't him to blameHe's only a pawn in their game.
7 Only a Pawn in Their Game (cont) Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught.They lowered him down as a king.But when the shadowy sun set on the oneThat fired the gunHe'll see by his graveOn the stone that remainsCarved next to his nameHis epitaph plain:Only a pawn in their game.
8 Aftermath 2 hung juries in 1963 All white juries Case reopened in 1990, found guilty in 1994Life ImprisonmentDied, 2001
9 Speaker of the SongThe Speaker of this song is a sympathetic and just citizen who knows the evil harm done but also knows the deeper trouble. The Speaker is passionate about civil rights but thinks that the person alone is not fully to blame for his or her actions.
11 Repetition“Only a Pawn in Their Game”“Poor white man”
12 Metaphor“A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood. A finger fired the trigger to his name. A handle hit out in the dark A hand set the spark Two eyes took the aim Behind a man's brain But he can't be blamed He's only a pawn in their game”.
13 Symbolism“And the poor white remainsOn the caboose of the train…”
14 Simile“But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool”.
15 Crucifixion by Paul Ochs Images of innocence charge Him go onBut the decadence of destiny is looking for a pawnTo a nightmare of knowledge he opens up the gateBinding revelation is laid upon His plateThat beneath the greatest love is a hurricane of hateAnd God help the critic of the dawnSo he stands on the sea and He shouts to the shoreBut the louder that He screams, longer He's ignoredFor the wine of oblivion is drunk to the dregsAnd the merchants of the masses almost have to be begged'Til the giant is aware, someone's pulling at His legAnd someone is tapping at the doorTo dance, dance, danceTeach us to be trueCome, dance, dance, dance'Cause we love you
16 Literature Connection De La Beckwith relates with Brutus from Julius CaesarBelieves it is for the common good of the people to commit the murderNot fully to blame for actions