Me and the Devil, R.I.P. Gil Scott Heron

The postscript to Gil Scott Heron’s “Me and the Devil” is as poignant an epigram as he could ever need:

Standing in the ruins of another black mans life
Or flying through the valley
Separating day and night
I am am Death,
Cried the Vulture,
For the people of the light
Caron brought his raft
From the sea that sails on souls
And I saw the scavenger departing
Taking warm hearts to the cold
He knew the ghetto was a haven
For the meanest creature ever known
In a wilderness of heart break
In a desert of despair
Evil’s clarion of justice
Shrieks a cry of naked terror
Taking babies from their mamas
Leaving grief beyond compare
So if you see the vulture coming
Flying circles in your mind
Remember their is no escaping
For he will follow close behind

Only promise me a battle
A battle
For your soul and mind
And mine
And mine

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