Shel Silverstein

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999 / Chicago/ Illinois)

Hey Nelly Nelly - Poem by Shel Silverstein

Hey Nelly Nelly, come to the window
Hey Nelly Nelly look at what I see
He's riding into town on a sway back mule
Got a tall black hat and he looks like a fool
He sure is talkin' like he's been to school
And it's 1853

Hey Nelly Nelly, listen what he's sayin'
Hey Nelly Nelly, he says it's gettin' late
And he says them black folks should all be free
To walk around the same as you and me
He's talkin' 'bout a thing he calls democracy
And it's 1858

Hey Nelly Nelly hear the band a playing
Hey Nelly Nelly, hand me down my gun
'Cause the men are cheerin' and the boys are too

They're all puttin' on their coats of blue
I can't sit around here and talk to you
'Cause it's 1861

Hey Nelly Nelly, Come to the window
Hey Nelly Nelly, I've come back alive
My coat of blue is stained with red
And the man in the tall black hat is dead
We sure will remember all the things he said
In 1865

Hey Nelly Nelly, come to the window
Hey Nelly Nelly, look at what I see
I see white folks and colored walkin' side by side
They're walkin' in a column that's a century wide
It's still a long and a hard and a bloody ride
In 1963

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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