Song – Ballad of Fred and Mark

WRITER

  • Bob Gibson
  • Marian Fischer

PUBLISHER(S)

  • Robert Josiah Music

Song Licensing information

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • None

On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided Fred Hampton’s apartment and killed him in his bed. He was 21 years old. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid. While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire, the evidence told a very different story:  the FBI, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago police conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton.

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Ballad Of Fred And Mark

LYRIC

Ballad of Fred and Mark

‘Twas black as night at five a.m. on a cold December mornin’
The dawn arrived to find two glorious sons of freedom dead
The fowl assassins’ band numbered fourteen vicious killers
Like jackals used the darkness when they came to murder Fred

And they’ve taken off their masks, you can see the face they’ve hidden
They don’t seem anymore to care to play at masquerades
See the bullet ridden bodies of Mark Clark and poor Fred Hampton
See the killers smiling faces as they carry them away

They have papers in their hands that the judge had put his mark on
That said that they might search for guns and other contraband
But they were used by madmen and made licenses to murder
Now fascist hordes of hell have now been loosed upon our land

They’ve taken off their masks, you can see the face they’ve hidden
They don’t seem anymore to care to play at masquerades
See the bullet ridden bodies of Mark Clark and poor Fred Hampton
See the killers smiling faces as they carry them away

Ah, freedom loving people get ready to do battle
Against these tyrants who control the cruel wars they make
We’ll win this fight for peace ‘cause we must stop this deceit now
The world must have a future, our liberty’s at stake

We’ve taken off our masks, crying, “Power to the people”
We’re holding up our guns, we’ll charge their barricades
Sing a battle cry for freedom, keep your mighty legions marching
For the tide is swiftly turning and new hist’ry’s being made

Words & music by Bob Gibson and Marion Fischer
© 1970 Robert Josiah Music / Melody Trials