(Words and Music by Joan Baez)

    Billy Rose was a low rider, Billy Rose was a night fighter
    Billy Rose knew trouble like the sound of his own name
    Busted on a drunken charge
    Driving someone else's car
    The local midnight sheriff's claim to fame

    In an Arizona jail there are some who tell the tale how
    Billy fought the sergeant for some milk that he demanded
    Knowing they'd remain the boss
    Knowing he would pay the cost
    They saw he was severely reprimanded

    In the blackest cell on "A" Block
    He hanged himself at dawn
    With a note stuck to the bunk head
    Don't mess with me, just take me home

    Come and lay, help us lay
    young Billy down

    Luna was a Mexican the law called an alien
    For coming across the border with a baby and a wife
    Though the clothes upon his back were wet
    Still he thought that he could get
    Some money and things to start a life

    It hadn't been too very long when it seemed like everything went wrong
    They didn't even have the time to find themselves a home
    This foreigner, a brown-skin male
    Thrown into a Texas jail
    It left the wife and baby quite alone

    He eased the pain inside him
    With a needle in his arm
    But the dope just crucified him
    He died to no one's great alarm

    Come and lay, help us lay
    Young Luna down
    And we're gonna raze, raze the prisons
    To the ground

    Kilowatt was an aging con of 65 who stood a chance to stay alive
    And leave the joint and walk the streets again
    As the time he was to leave drew near
    He suffered all the joy and fear
    Of leaving 35 years in the pen

    And on the day of his release he was approached by the police
    Who took him to the warden walking slowly by his side
    The warden said "You won't remain here
    But it seems a state retainer
    Claims another 10 years of your life."

    He stepped out in the Texas sunlight
    The cops all stood around
    Old Kilowatt ran 50 yards
    Then threw himself down on the ground

    They might as well just have laid
    The old man down
    And we're gonna raze, raze the prisons
    To the ground
    Help us raze, raze the prisons
    To the ground

    © 1971, 1972 Chandos Music (ASCAP)

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