On Sunday, September 15, 1963, the KKK bombed of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Four children on their way to Bible study were killed.
The (white) folksinger Richard Fariña wrote a song to commemorate the tragedy, “Birmingham Sunday”:
The tune of Fariña’s song is taken from the Scottish folksong “I Loved A Lass.”
Incidentally, Furry Lewis’s song, “Turn Your Money Green,” was covered by other white folksingers.
Richard Fariña’s “Birmingham Sunday” was made famous by his sister-in-law, Joan Baez:
Rhiannon Giddens covers it on her recent album Freedom Highway:
Giddens’s arrangement of the song begins with a quotation from Mozart’s Piano Sonata no. 11 in A Major:
Why do you think Giddens references Mozart in her version of “Birmingham Sunday”?
Why do you think that, until Giddens, only white artists recorded the song?
A contemporary response to the bombing and other Southern atrocities by a black artist: