Tim Barry - Prosser's Gabriel
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TIM BARRY


Prosser's Gabriel Lyrics

A blacksmith by trade up at Brookfield Plantation,
A Henrico County slave born of owner Thomas.
If you listen closely you'll hear the words perfect,
The Caribbean uprising caught fire in this land.

Up and down the James River, Pamunky and Appomattox,
Tobacco soil gone bad deferred a movement for the blacks.
Nine years before, down in Santo Domingo,
Slaves refused to submit and took the right of all men.

Virginia whites got nervous and hired more militias,
As blacks inspired, plotted and passed on their plans.
Mister Prosser's Gabriel was smart as he was strong,
A head of keloid scars and a mind of knowing right and wrong.

Voted general at twenty-four in the year of eighteen-hundred,
Haunted by the hymns and wailing of his fellow slaves.
Now does anyone know the name Gabriel Prosser?
My conscience says he's the one that history missed.

A blacksmith by trade up at Brookfield Plantation,
A Henrico County slave born of owner Thomas.
It was on an August night just North of Richmond, Virginia,
Gabriel's men gathered as their owners they slept.

Some would burn the Capital to distract residents and masters,
While others took the city and freed the convicts.
Well the whites they knew nothing, never seen what could hit 'em,
Nothing like this could happen to their carefree black men.

But think about freedom, now think about slavery.
Blacks armed themselves with muskets and homemade bayonets.
With a white flag on the Capital, all blacks they would rise.
All whites spared, would lose but an arm.

You're a coward if you own men for profit and greed,
You're the coward of all and for all you must bleed.
Now does anyone know the name Gabriel Prosser?
My conscience says he's the one that history missed.

A blacksmith by trade up at Brookfield Plantation,
A Henrico County slave born of owner Thomas.
Pharaoh and Tom ratted out Gabriel Prosser,
Their owner was Mosby, and neighbor of him.

They say the sky seemed seized with rain and lightning,
On the night of August thirtieth one could see nor stand.
The militias' let loose to hunt Gabriel Prosser,
Who took to the swamps as they imprisoned his men.

Flagged a boat whose captain was a Methodist preacher,
But a traitor slave turned him in in the end.
They hung Gabriel down at Broad and 15th Street,
Lord he would not give a word up on his men.

But he took that noose and he took it with honor,
He's buried beneath a lot of parked cars, now, and pavement.
There's no monument, there's no stone here to see him,
Just black asphalt planked by high-rise hospital chains.

If I had it my way we'd see memorials climbin',
To a true and honest hero, Prosser's Gabriel.
Now does anyone know the name Gabriel Prosser?
My conscience says he's the one that history missed.

A blacksmith by trade up at Brookfield Plantation,
A Henrico County slave born of owner Thomas.

these lyrics are submitted by kaan

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