Holly Tannen writes:

Inspired by WikiLeaks, I’ve written a new song. Faith printed an early version of it in The Folk Process. Now it’s got an updated chorus and a new verse that ties it together.

The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

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You geeks and geekettes who toil for your wages,
At the edge of the vast electronic frontier,
Too long have we slaved in our cubicle cages,
Too long have we all been imprisoned by fear.

When bankers get bonuses measured in millions,
When midwives are jailed for assisting a birth,
When generals lie about killing civilians,
Then it’s time for the geek to inherit the earth.

From Cairo to Berkeley, Beijing to Seattle,
From London to Madison, Brisbane to Perth,
We’ll boot up our laptops and gear up for battle And the day that the geek shall inherit the earth.

While envious critics hold us in derision,
And newspapers lie about what we have done,
We’ll network together and forge our new vision
And support one another until we have won.

In vain do they call for our death and damnation,
In vain do they call us a terrorist threat,
In vain do they lock us in cruel isolation,
We’ll still keep on spreading the truth on the net.


When down-hearted prisoners are freed and befriended,
We’ll crown our success with music and mirth,
When the dreary Dark Ages have finally ended
Then the bold-hearted geek shall inherit the earth.

War’s Not the Answer

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War’s not the answer, the people all know,
War kills our children and murders our soul, So let’s stop this killing and work on a plan
To all get together and share what we can.

Singing war’s not the answer and love is the way,
Singing war’s not the answer and love is the way,

We’re selling our weapons and calling it aid
Nations are buying, and folks are afraid,
Corporate barons will soon own all turf,
Giving new meaning to “corporate serf.”

Our oil and our water lie under the ground,
We’re burning and sucking them up all around
As though they were endless and not God’s great gift
And charging the poor ’fore we set them adrift.

The prophets were charged with telling the truth
No matter the cost we must tell the youth
Or our souls and theirs won’t ever be saved
As they torture and kill in our government’s rage.

The young people know that they’re being told lies
Their hearts are in pain as their intellect dies
Trying to grasp why their elders have sold
Their God and their birthright for vacuous gold.

Mennonites, Quaker and Brethren arise,
We must take to the streets to rescue the skies.
War’s not the answer and Christ told us so,
If we are quiet, the world will not know.

Renee Stringham, long-term Quaker peace activist and partially retired family doctor, wrote this for a Salem, Oregon, peace demonstration—she wanted an energizing melody that everyone knew already, so she picked “Sweet Betsy from Pike.” About the last verse, “Mennonites, Quakers and Brethren are the three traditional peace churches,” she explained, adding the we could leave that verse off if we wanted.

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

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