Stiff Little Fingers — Half A Life Away lyrics


Gill and Galloway were working late
On a summers night in '58
In a small town Alabama hideaway
In the U.S.A.
The two cops were knocking on the door
Of a young black boy
It was a quarter to four
They said:
"Hey nigger! Hit the floor.
You're about to be history."

Pop Bickham was the young black man
He couldn't work it out, he didn't understand
But when they come with their guns you do what you can
So he picked up his rifle and he shot them down
They said he killed them in cold blood
And the jury they agreed
They said: "you'll be sorry for what you've done"
And the whole town they agreed

They picked you up and they sent you down
A poor black boy in a rich white town
And for 38 years you never made a sound
That was half a life away

You see one of the cops had something to hide
He'd raped Pop's sister more than once or twice
And Pop wasn't going to let it go this time
So the cops had to take him out
But the courtroom didn't hear all of the story
They held back facts from the all white jury
No doubt what the verdict would be
Take him down, he's guilty


All these years in a prison cell
Never once complaining
Half your life gone to hell
All because of hatred and bigotry
You're a better man than me

(Chorus x2)
[ Lyrics from: ]

Songwriters: BURNS, JAKE
Half A Life Away lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group