Oh Father, my Father, Oh what must I do?
They're burning our streets and beating me blue.
"Listen my son, I'll tell you the truth:
Get a close haircut and spit-shine your shoes."
Oh Mother, my Mother, my confusions remove,
I long to embrace her whose hair is so smooth.
"Now listen my son, although you're confused,
Cut your hair close and shine all your shoes."
Oh Teacher, my Teacher, your life with me share.
What books ought I read? What thoughts do I dare?
"Oh Student, my Student, of dissent you beware.
Shine those dull shoes and cut short your hair."
Oh Preacher, my Preacher, does God really care?
Are all races equal? Are laws just and fair?
"Boy -- here's the answer, no need to despair:
Shine those new shoes and cut short that hair."