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In 1970, Across Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo Broke the Black Panther Party

from Numberless Needs by Virgin of the Birds

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In 1970, across Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo broke the Black Panther party
He raided their bases and stripped them down naked on the streets before all of their neighbors
"Imagine the Panthers with their pants down" he said
He wanted control, and they wanted him dead
And President Nixon called Rizzo a model police chief

In 1985, I stood in my school uniform and watched West Philadelphia burn
From a bomb that was dropped by the mayor and the cops
the people inside were at war, they were warned
By then, white flight had shuttled nearly all of the Irish out of West Philadelphia
To the row homes and twins in the town where I lived filled with Irish, some Polish, Italians

In 1844, in Lower Manhattan, Protestants threatened the Irish
Who came to America, broken and starving from suffering under the English
But Bishop John Hughes stood up and he warned
touch one Catholic Church and New York will all burn
A century later, an Irishman sat in the White House

In 417, Augustine of Hippo corrected Pelagian errors
On original sin, which we all are born in, and grace and free will that's within us
T.S. Eliot told us, "Ours is in the trying, the rest is none of our business"
And the warnings and burnings are only a part of our nature


from Numberless Needs, released November 16, 2018


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Virgin of the Birds San Francisco, California

Named after a poor English translation of a Salvador Dali painting, Virgin of the Birds treads a line between intimate, lo fi folk and the occasional grandeur of early art rock.

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