from the Chol Soo Lee Defense Committee 1978
vocals and copyright: Siu Wai Anderson, Sam Takimoto, Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo
THE BALLAD OF CHOL SOO LEE
This is a story about a man named Chol Soo Lee.
His case is not uncommon; it reflects on you and me.
Chol Soo Lee came to this country to walk the streets of gold
All he found were broken glass alleys where the gangs were pushin dope
He tried to find an honest job to try to make ends meet
Do you sell your soul tryin' to earn that gold?
Do you hustle in the street?
Strange ways in a foreign land made it difficult to belong
The Chinatown scene for a Korean man was a dream that had gone wrong A captured bird in a gilded ghetto
What did he hope to be?
What did he hope to see?
Chorus: He's not the only one
Nor does he stand alone
Joined by us all
His spirit will carry on
There are things to see, truths to hear, there is life to be sung.
But a shot rang out in the alley
A man was lying cold dead
Witnesses - three out-of-town tourists - barely recollected
He kind of looked like this one, but they look alike you see
Cons in a hurry want to close the case so they handcuffed Chol Soo Lee.
The courts convicted Chol Soo on a hot Sacramento day
By a frosty white judge and a stone-cold D.A.
He's been in jail since '73 a soul on ice
Can you call it blind justice? You better start thinking twice.
This is a story of a prisoner and a man
Though a prisoner may be chained down, the spirit will always stand There are captured birds behind barbed wire
The cage may stop their wings, but a voice will always sing
There is work to be done.