Sea Green Singers - Rosa Parks - lyrics and score - by Polly Bolton - organises workshops, many CD's. Personal recommendation: Settings of poems from A Shropshire Lad by A E Houseman by Polly Bolton Band with readings by Nigel Hawthorne. 25 tracks of songs and monologue settings of A E Houseman poems: LOVELIEST OF TREES, 1996 SHEPHERD MUSIC SHEP CD 01


Rosa Parks
Words and music Polly Bolton

Structure: A, B, A, C, A, B, A, Coda
suggested by composer: A, B, A, C, A, B&C together, A, Coda

A section
Oh Rosa Parks, she would not stand for the white folk
I said Oh Rosa Parks, she would not stand on the bus x2

B section
Oh what a difference that woman made x4

C section
I’m gonna sit, I’m gonna sit at the front of the bus
Ain’t gonna stand, ain’t gonna stand at the back of the bus
Ain’t gonna stand, ain’t gonna stand at the back of the bus
I’m gonna sit, I’m gonna sit at the front of the bus

Coda
She would not stand
Oh she would not stand
No she would not stand on the bus



Should this song be 'Oh Claudette' not 'Oh Rosa Parkes'?
Text from Wikepedia
Claudette Colvin
(born September 5, 1939) is a pioneer of the African American Civil Rights Movement. On March 2, 1955, she was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama.On March 2, 1955, she was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, not Rosa Parkes, now widely applauded for her stand .

Colvin was among the five plaintiffs originally included in the federal court case, filed by civil rights attorney Fred Gray on February 1, 1956, as Browder v. Gayle, and testified before the three-judge panel that heard the case in the United States District Court. On June 13, 1956, the judges determined that the state and local laws requiring bus segregation in Alabama were unconstitutional. The case went to the United States Supreme Court, which upheld the ruling on December 17, 1956. Colvin was the last witness to testify. Three days later the Supreme Court issued an order to Montgomery and the state of Alabama to end bus segregation, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott was called off.

For a long time, Montgomery's black leaders did not publicize Colvin's pioneering effort because she was a teenager who was pregnant by a married man; words like "feisty", "mouthy", and "emotional" were used to describe Colvin while her counterpart Parks was seen as calm, well-mannered, and studious. Given the social norms of the time and her youth, the NAACP leaders worried about using her to represent their boycott.[1][2]

Claudette Colvin: "Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn't the case at all."[1][3]

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".[1] Her birthday, February 4, and the day she was arrested, December 1, have both become Rosa Parks Day, commemorated in California and Missouri (February 4), and Ohio and Oregon (December 1).

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps, including Bayard Rustin in 1942,[2] Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1952, and the members of the ultimately successful Browder v. Gayle lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith) who were arrested in Montgomery for not giving up their bus seats months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, although eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts while the Browder v. Gayle case succeeded.[3][4]

Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement.