Songs

The Occupy movement has spawned a plethora of songs. Here are just a few.

INTERESTING TIMES (Hali Hammer)

Score image

The banks have been bailed out thanks to politicians’ clout
While foreclosures grow and folks can’t pay their rent
The class that’s in the middle is playing second fiddle
To the wealthiest, who are the one percent
We’ve seen the Arab Spring and the overthrow of kings
Wisconsin rallies were not far behind
Now we are on our feet as we Occupy Wall Street

We are living in interesting times
We’re living in interesting times, we’re living in interesting times
Some say it is a curse but we could change the universe
’Cause we’re living in interesting times

A fiscal surplus had us confident when Clinton left as president
Eight years of Bush and that went down the drain
Yes, we had some cash before we waged interminable war
And the deficit became our ball and chain
With this broken infrastructure something’s bound to rupture
Are we modern Rome in our decline?
But rather than concede defeat we take it to the street
We are living in interesting times
We’re living in interesting times, we’re living in interesting times
Some say it is a curse but we could change the universe
’Cause we’re living in interesting times

Unemployment everywhere, corporations just don’t care
They’ve moved most of the factories overseas
As the job market has flown, rising debts from student loans
Have graduates upset and ill at ease
CEOs work to figure out how to dismantle union clout
But some day there will be payback for their crimes
’Cause ninety-nine percent, you see, is an extreme majority
We want democracy, and that’s the bottom line!
The Mayan Prophecy is not a death decree
Omens point to moving forward toward the light
But we need collective strength to effect a global change
Then we’ll truly live in interesting times (Chorus)

Fight the Status Quo

To the tune of “Let My People Go”; new words by Hali Hammer

When Egypt was Mubarak’s land (fight the status quo)
Oppressed ones took the upper hand (fight the status quo)

Step up, fight back, stand strong and make a stand
Time to take command (fight the status quo)
 
The Arab Spring spread far and wide (fight the status quo)
As demonstrations swelled in size (fight the status quo)

Step up, fight back, …

When Walker undermined their rights (fight the status quo)
Wisconsin workers won the fight (fight the status quo)

Step up, fight back, …

News spread by e-mail, facebook, tweet (fight the status quo)
As people gathered in the street (fight the status quo)

Step up, fight back, …

We work for rights, for what is fair (fight the status quo)
At Occupations everywhere (fight the status quo)

Step up, fight back, …

So now change comes before our eyes (fight the status quo)
This happens when we organize! (fight the status quo)
Step up, fight back, …

Little Shelters

To the tune of Malvina Reynolds’ “Little Boxes” (listen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs)’; words by Nancy Schimmel and Claudia Morrow

Little shelters in the Caymans, little shelters made of hanky-panky,
Little shelters in the Caymans, and we don’t mean grass huts,
These are shelters for corporations who don’t think they have enough of them
So they buy up legislators who will give them tax cuts.

Little shelters from taxes Mitt, Romney had quite a few of them,*
But they don’t make little shelters that will fit you and me,
So us little folks pay the taxes and the big guys get the benefits
So that they have more money to subvert democracy.

*per Los Angeles Times, 12/17/2007. It’s on the Occupy Songs & Stories Facebook page but you have to scroll forever to get to it. it’s available on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs

Take Me Out Of The Big Banks

To the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”; words by Betsy Rose

Take me out of the big banks
Take me out of their game
The credit union will get my dough
I’ll cut up my credit cards, pay as I go
And it’s root, root root for the small banks
Give them our business and thanks
And it’s one, two, three million more and we’ll close big banks

Let’s go occupy Wall Street
In every city and town
We’ll occupy houses the banks foreclosed
Make sure that no one’s left out in the cold
And it’s root, root root for the new world
We’re building right here today
And it’s one, two, three million more and we’ll close big banks

This is our College

To the tune of “You Are My Sunshine”; words by Betsy Rose

[Chorus:] This is our college, a public college.
We study hard and we pay our way
But costs are rising, and hope is dying
You are taking our future away

The other night we slept on the Plaza
We had a peaceful assembly
The police beat us, and pepper sprayed us
Does this look like liberty?

(Chorus)

We’ll tell the Regents, we’ll tell the Chancellors
We’ll tell the whole world loud and clear
We’re standing up for our education
And our future is starting right here.

(Chorus)

End with:
You can’t take our future away

The folknik song pages are lovingly produced by John Kelly and Barbara Millikan. Barbara Millikan produced the song pages for this issue.

If you’d like to submit a song for possible publication, please send a score, tape/CD or (preferably) both to —

Copyright for all songs published on this page remains with the authors.