What’s my name, fool!

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Club Soda) by Anitek (soundcloud.com/anitek/anitek-club-soda) (@soundcloud.com/anitek)

 


Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: ccMixter artist Alex (http://ccmixter.org/files/AlexBeroza/43800)

This song was inspired by the work of sportswriter Dave Zirin (www.edgeofsports.com/). Please check him out. He may be one of the most important sports analysts of our generation.

Lyrics:
verse one:
could have just been a heavyweight god in his prime
but his politics made him the greatest of all time
a ring marvel with the skill, this will to achieve
and the willingness to lose it all for what he believed

it was his mouth, yeah, that unmistakable voice
he showed the people that they had a choice
he showed a fighter was more than the crowd’s roar
and being American meant more than fighting in a war

and when his swagger was denounced across the newswire
on the streets that swagger caught fire
folks saw his name was worth more than money and fame
saw the prize he was fighting for was the same

as the one they had been fighting for all their lives
freedom and dignity, the power to assert their rights
they knew if the belts and praise would have gone to his head
he could have just stayed Cassius Clay, but he said

chorus

verse two:
now they gonna tell you – politics and sports don’t mix
just get rich and endorse these sweatshop kicks
but you’re more than an athlete, don’t be afraid to say it
you got privilege most can’t imagine, don’t betray it

you’re a citizen, it’s what you do with your shot
make your name burn long after your name is hot
like anyone else, you do with what you got
and what you got is a whole lot of light on your spot

for better or worse, you got celebrity, use it
for better or worse, you got a fortune, use it
and I ain’t just talking about charity bids for the kids
take that stack and do what Harry Belafonte did

support a movement aimed at solutions
help fund experiments with alternative institutions
transcend into something bigger than your gifts
and when they dismiss how you resist, stand up and insist

chorus

verse three:
shut up and play – it’s a familiar attack
like folks telling Danny Glover to shut up and act
telling Bruce Springsteen – shut up and sing
all different ways of saying the same thing

shut up and work, know your place
shut up and work, wipe that pride off your face
shut up and work, your conscience ain’t welcome here
and all you fans out there, well, just shut up and cheer

but if you love your sport, then why shouldn’t you fight
to keep it out of the muck or at least support the right
of players and fans who make the decision
to speak out against the influence of racism, sexism,

homophobia, militaristic violence
one of the most dangerous political acts is silence
just think about all the history we would have missed
if our political sports icons never existed

Imagine if Katherine Switzer hadn’t dared
The 68 Olympics without them 2 fists in the air
Martina and Billie Jean just playing dead
Now imagine if Muhammad had never have said

chorus:
What’s my name, fool! – words spoke from Ali
to the hearts of folks struggling against the powers that be
back when breaking free meant breaking the rules
they was feeling what Ali said, when he said – What’s my name, fool!

alt chorus:
What’s my name, fool! – words spoke from Ali
to the hearts of folks struggling against the powers that be
and you know breaking free still means breaking the rules
so remember what Ali said, he said – What’s my name, fool!

alt chorus:
What’s my name, fool! – words spoke from Ali
to the hearts of folks struggling against the powers that be
so when it’s deep in the rounds, and you’re shrinking on your stool
remember what Ali said, he said – What’s my name, fool!