Virgil Caine Jr.

©2020 Garrett Clevenger

C riff Virgil Caine Jr. took the high road heading north.

C riff He was sure he left behind a dead end moving forth.

G    Bb  F G No matter what they say, the South won’t rise 

C riff again.

F If it’s stuck in Jim Crow, he won’t stick around.

C riff He’d seen one too many black men beat down.

G    Bb  F G He was different, too, he felt now and 

C riff then.

C riff His Aunt Matilda offered him a job.

C riff She ran a nightclub with her lover Bob.

G    Bb  F G The clientele were men. Virgil might like

C riff them.

F He’d serve them drinks, “Thanks!”, smiles and winks.

C riff She’d have someone she could trust how he thinks.

G    Bb  F G Virgil was a man his dad would con-

C riff demn.

F    Bb    C The night they drove old Virgil down.

F    Bb    C He told junior, “Make me proud.

G  F  G  F C “Marry Stonewall’s daughter. Give me a grandson named 

G  F  C  F  G “Lee after your brother. Make the South rise again, young Virgil

C riff Caine.”

C riff 1880 was a time a man must be a man. There 

C riff was no electricity. Your potty was a bedpan.

G    Bb  F G Women couldn’t vote. Forget the World Wide

C riff Web. Yet, 

F Virgil flew the coop. He left all he knew to 

C riff find support from family who was new.

G    Bb  F G Every hand that’s lent can change the world a-

C riff head. Like a 

C riff fish out of water who finds he can breath air,

C riff Virgil thrived like no other finding what’s fair.

G    Bb  F G You could say he was the happiest man a-

C riff round. Then, 

F bustin’ through the doors bigots with baseball bats

C riff swinging haphazardly, squealing like rats. They 

G    Bb  F G cracked the skull of Virgil’s beau who fell dead to the 

C riff ground.

F    Bb    C The night they drove young Virgil down to the 

F    Bb    C depth of despair. A sad sound.

G  F  G  F C History would be today for women, non-whites or if your gay.

G  F  C  F  G Tragedy can kill you, but he will rise again, young Virgil

C riff Caine.

C riff Today, class, we learn about Virgil Caine, Jr. We 

C riff wouldn’t be here today if not for the future

G    Bb  F G he looked towards despite his lack of

C riff means.

F Equal rights were granted in 1905 when 

C riff President Caine led the drive. By 

G    Bb  F G 1915 he brought world

C riff peace.

F    Bb    C The night he drove Old Dixie down

F    Bb    C we all feel free to be ourselves. We 

G  F  G  F C don’t all sing together, but it pulses like a vein.

G  F  C  F  G People help each other. Now we will rise and gain, thanks to Virgil

C riff Caine.

G We will rise and gain, thanks to Virgil

C riff Caine.

G We will rise again, just like Virgil

C riff Caine.


G We will rise and gain, thanks to Virgil

C riff Caine.