Hurray For The Riff Raff, “Everybody Knows (for Trayvon Martin)”

hurray for the riff raff

On her 26th birthday, Hurray For The Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra has offered up a stark, beautiful video for a new song called “Everybody Knows,” filmed in her home in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, with her friend Kate Cavazos.

Long ago in Memphis town
Streets were filled with a glorious sound
You could still see an old woman just standing there
Magnolia blossoms shining in her hair

Those kinds of lines don’t come along often to songwriters, though they seem to come with ease to Segarra. She wrote “Everybody Knows” after visiting the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. There, she found a parallel to modern Florida, where Trayvon Martin drew suspicion in a hooded sweatshirt, and was shot dead by a man who later claimed self-defense.

By the end of Segarra’s bluesy dirge, we’re all guilty in some way for the death of Trayvon Martin. “Everybody knows what’s waiting at the end of the road / And everybody sees but they don’t care to believe,” she sings, letting that last syllable drift off in the breeze.