Study Guide

Ballad of Birmingham Stanza 4

By Dudley Randall

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Stanza 4

Lines 13-16

"No, baby, no, you may not go,
For I fear those guns will fire.
But you may go to church instead
And sing in the children's choir."

  • Despite her child's plea, the mother isn't going to budge. She's too afraid that the police will fire on the crowd of marchers. (This gives you a sense of the fear and violence that pervaded life for African Americans in the South during this time.) 
  • Instead, she says that her child can go to church and sing with the other children in the choir. Doesn't get much safer than that, right?

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