1960's Protest Music "Only a Pawn in their Game"

Who is the artist? Bob Dylan

What is the name of the Song? Only a Pawn in Their Game

When was it recorded/released? 1964

What other (if any) famous songs do they sing? ‘Visions of Johanna’, 'Blowin' in the Wind', and 'Like a Rolling Stone'

What do you think the lyrics of the song mean? (Line by line, verse by verse) This song refers to the death of Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist. The song then explains the poor white man is as victimized as a poor black man. The murderer of Medgar Evers is said to be "only a pawn in their game". The game the song is talking about is the fight for black civil rights. The song ends by saying that the real people to blame are the wealthy whites who wont help either the poor whites, or poor blacks.

How do they relate to or reflect the time period? Dylan reflects on the killing of a civil right activist Medgar Evers and the injustice there was for poor blacks and poor whites.

What is taking place in history when the song was recorded or popular? The March on Washington was taking place when Dylan first sang it there.

What was the overall inspiration and message of the lyrics of the song? The inspiration was the death of Medgar Evers. The message is that this is life is right now, and it must change.

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 name

Is used, it is plain

For the politician's gain

As he rises to fame

And the poor white remains

On the caboose of the train

But it ain't him to blame

He's only a pawn in their game

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