I just had to write this one to get it out of my system. Fueled by anger, the words poured out quickly after the patently flawed 2000 presidential (s)election. Before I was finished, though, 9/11 intervened and I decided to put it to rest for a while; vitriolic outbursts didn't seem appropriate under the circumstances. Within six months, though, it became obvious to me that the Bushies' extreme right-wing agenda was advanced by those events assuming they didn't have a hand in making or letting it happen, which wouldn't surprise me one bit, given that the evangelicals and neocons in the Bush White House felt anointed by God and history to dominate the world and that there was nothing to lose by making noise. What have we got to lose but our constitutionally guaranteed rights, which are literally shrinking as you read this? Why not rant if "quiet, sober citizenship" got us into this mess to begin with? If Americans hadn't stood up 230 years ago and acted outside the prevailing system to assert their inalienable rights, we'd still be singing "God Save the Queen" at public events.
To me, the real danger is that too many people who ought to know better are looking for simple answers to complex issues in turbulent times, and that it hasn't occurred to anyone with deep influence to point out that that kind of thinking has throughout history been a perennial recipe for disaster. Evidently, our expensive educational system has failed us when it comes to civic literacy.
You might as well enjoy a chuckle or two listening to this song, a "talking blues" in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, and Bob Dylan unless you're a die-hard Bush-Davidian or teabagger, that is. (For those of you under 30, just think of it as Folk Rap.)
"Talkin' Election 2000"
Copyright © 2000, 2012 Stanislaw Chalicki dba Stanislove
(Originally published in 2003 as part of "Rant-Journey-Anthem"; Suwimbo Music #535-03)
Watch a video I recently uploaded to YouTube.
Talkin' Election 2012
(Talking Blues wry & detached until the end.)
1. At the turn of the century
Two ran for the presidency
One was dull, the other dumb
In the land of Hee Haw guess who won?
Hallelujah! Stickin' it to ya: Texas Goose Step on the Constitution.
2. Early on election eve
The nation started to believe
The liberal won, so Murdoch's man
Said Florida had gone Republican.
Illegitimable intimidation hanging chads and hangin' justice on the highest court!
3. You wonder how it came to be,
This mediocre dynasty?
Well, in this country, far and wide
Are folks of talent, skill and pride
Doing politics a little different: using corporate power to subvert the government.
4. I say it started back when JFK
Was shot to death that Dallas day.
While Camelot was full in bloom
In Texas there was talk of doom:
Uppity nig-grahs! Fallin' dominoes! Gotta teach 'em Lib-uh-rawls who really runs the show!
5. Movin' on to '64
When LBJ signed into law
The Civil Rights Act, but his pen
Was a spear into the heart of southern friends.
Enter Nixon's Southern Strategy: George Wallace, Spiro Agnew and the culture wars.
6. Draft-card burning! Women's Lib!
Black Panthers! Hippies! Acid trips!
Scared the solid citizen
Who wanted everything like that to end.
"I liked Ike; the Lennon Sisters; Step 'n' Fetchit knew his place and Father Knew Best throughout the land!"
7. So Nixon made Republicans
Of carpenters and fact'ry hands;
Of farmers, miners, cowboys, too,
Who wanted to believe that he was true.
Lawn Order! Silent minorities coming home in a body bag from Vietnam.
8. After Tricky Dick was shamed
And Scary Jerry blew the game
And Jimmeh fumbled piously,
A man from Hollywood strode on the scene.
Can-do image! "Family Values"! Yeah - trickle-down money to the families of the rich.
9. Apparently conservatives
Had realized that our brains are sieves,
With such a short attention span
That a cowboy from B-movie land could rope us in.
"Iran-Contra? Why, I don't remember... (duhhh...) ...but it's Morning in America, and have a jelly bean!"
10. "Poppy" Bush came after Ron
To rule our business Babylon
To raise a tax or two, and then
To raise some hell in desert sands.
"Save Kuwait! Save democracy! Save that 'awl' for us, Abdullah we need all yuh got!"
11. When Poppy stumbled at the polls
'Cause he could not relate to us all
("Oh, look at that a scanning gizmo!")
And barfed his breakfast no machismo there!
We said, "Bill, here's your cue: Roll up your sleeves and show us what a Democrat can do!"
12. But Bill's weakness was the female form,
And sev'ral women caused a storm.
He had that great, infectious laugh
And offered them positions on his staff...
Monica "Kneepads" headin' south, with pundits and preachers foaming at her mouth.
13. Oooh, right-wingers thought they'd cooked his goose
But Bill slipped that impeachment noose.
They got so mad, they popped their veins
And plotted to restore the reins of government
To "The People": The drug people, tobacco people, Christian Taliban and all the spooks.
14. They found a guy down Texas way
Gun-fighter's squint, brains of hay.
Shopped him 'round the primaries
And see he doesn't sweat much on TV!
First Poppy Bush, then Puppet Bush front man for the ones who wanna turn back all the clocks.
15. So it's "Hail to the Thief!" we cried.
Uncurious George was now the guy
To represent our USA
To rulers terrified of democracy.
&quuot;Don't worry, guys it ain't so hard! Election laws and human rights are safe to disregard!"
16. On a lovely summer day
Two towers smashed to ruins lay.
We blame al-Qaida well, okay,
But didn't we have a role to play by insulting
A billion Muslims and propping up their dictators to feed our greed for oil?
17. So we pissed our pants and passed a law
That undermines what we stand for.
Our Bill of Rights is shot with holes
Because we chose to sell our soul for safety
Or its illusion, USA PATRIOT: 1984 was late by only eighteen years!
18. One by one, we're losing friends
And precious global influence
To countries who in better times
Made us look good by committing crimes
Like torture, secret prisons, wars of opportunity and unitary rule.
19. Ever since I wrote this song
Part of me hoped I was wrong
About America, which my folks
Had dreamed about while under the yoke
Of Hitler and his torturers; midnight raids, cattle trains and bodies piled up high.
20. Y'see, I believe that freedom's not
A trinket that is cheaply bought.
But most don't work for liberty,
They drown in empty prattle on TV (don't we?)
Debit-saddled; junk-food-addled; fat-assed, trusting cattle of the corporate class.
21. Barack, our able President
Has enemies whose sole intent
Is shutting down our government
In service to the mighty One Percent.
Who fund the haters, instruct lawmakers, and want to turn us into slaves to serve the corporate state.
22. So speak out loud and beat your drum -
Democracy can't be this dumb!
We know what's right, and here's a way
To make our awesome power grow each day:
Buy local food! Canvass for peace! Keep a beady eye on City Hall and rock the vote!
23. If they don't like this song too bad!
I am not wrong to be this sad
About my country 'tis of Thee
Under red-meat, white-bread, blue-nosed tyranny.
Freedom was never meant, dear people, to be convenient!
So stand your ground against the Wall Street war machine!
Stand your ground against racial bigotry!
Stand your ground against religious intolerance!
Stand your ground against homophobia!
Stand your ground against misogyny!
So I'll stand my ground for the women of the world!
Stand my ground for all the immigrants! (Like me.)
Stand my ground for education!
Stand my ground for the right to organize!
Stand my ground for love with whom you choose!
And I'll stand my ground for the right to treat my body as my own!
(Gotta say it again) Freedom was never meant, dear people, to be convenient!
N O T. O N E. S T E P. B A C K !
There's also a live version, recorded at the Granola Funk Theatre, 2003 Rainbow Gathering (Utah) in front of a thousand-or-so of happy hippies (no PA, outdoors = great acoustics). Hope you enjoy either one enough to share it.
Listen (or right-click to download via "Save Target As...")
|The CD ("Rant-Journey-Anthem;" $5) is still available =>
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