Back of the Bus: Remix

Write a new verse for an anti-racist protest song

Instructions

Throughout history protest songs have brought people together and inspired action for social change. One such song is Back of the Bus.

It is a song which Woodcraft Folk groups sing around their campfires. Listen to it here:

It tells the story of the fight for civil rights for African Americans in the 1960s. A time when people were not allowed to go to swimming pools, or vote in elections or even choose which part of the bus they sat on because of the colour of their skin.

Look at the lyrics below… what do they mean? Are they telling a story? How do we continue to tell that story, including what is happening in the world now?

Write a new verse for this song to express the struggle for equal rights as it goes on today.

Back of the Bus

If you miss me at the back of the bus
And you can’t find me nowhere
Come on over to the front of the bus
I’ll be riding up there

If you miss me in the Mississippi Mud
And you can’t find me nowhere
Come on over to the swimming pool
I’ll be swimming right there

If you miss me in the cotton fields
And you can’t find me nowhere
Come on over to the courthouse
I’ll be voting right there

If you miss me on the picket line
And you can’t find me nowhere
Come on over to the jailhouse
I’ll be rooming right there

If you miss me at the back of the bus
And you can’t find me nowhere
Come on over to the front of the bus
I’ll be riding up there

Take it further

Listen to and learn about some more songs from around the globe with the activity World of song.

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