I SAW MY COUNTRY'S FLAG GO DOWN
(Bruce Utah Phillips)
CHO: I saw my country's flag go down, (repeat)
So many people standing silent all around,
I saw my country's flag go down.
Red for the blood of a young man true and brave,
White for the cross out on his grave,
Blue for the sky he nevermore will see,
And the stars for a crown of victory.
Red for blind hatred that shatters all our dreams,
White for the love that still redeems,
Blue for the patriots that mourn him everywhere,
And the stars are a cross we now must bear.
Red for the deserts where it seldom rains,
White for the snow out on the plains,
Blue for the mountains bright waters tumbling down,
And the stars for each state in the union bound.
I'm sure Bruce would just as soon forget that he wrote this song. As a matter
of fact I'm pretty sure he has forgotten it. I got it (taped it) from Rosalie
Sorrels many years ago. She remembers all the songs Bruce forgot! Rosalie
sang it into my recorder one night in the basement of SOMEBODY ELSE'S
TROUBLES----a grand club in Chicago. (That club was owned jointly by
Fred Holstein, Earl Pionke (the Earl of Old Town), Steve Goodman, Bill
Redhed and possibly more.) Many other bars had tried that location but
none lasted long. I remember being in a car with Steve Goodman, Earl,
Fred Holstein etc. one night and Steve asked me where he thought he ought
to put a new folk club called Somebody Else's Troubles---named for a
song Steve had written with that title? I recall saying right off the bat, "Put
it where those other clubs failed!" I'd hit it on the head; that's where they
planned to set up the new club.
One more thing: November 22, 1963 Bruce was having his lunch on the
lawn of the Utah State Archive (where he was working) when he saw the
flag being lowered because the president had just been killed. At least
that's how I recall hearing the story of this song's birth.) Art Thieme
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