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Life Arts

The People Sang--A Brief History of the United States

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Sometimes, the frenetic pace of U.S. Politics just overwhelms the prosaic effort, so, in the true custom of American tradition, music is better suited.  This version of The People Sang was recorded November 4th, and the video is a school house rock-like montage of Revolution, Slavery, War, Protest, Hypocricy and the Obama victory.  Warning:  some graphic images of assasination and torture, be forewarned...

1. Let’s start off in an early chapter—
Excuse the part about the natives’ capture.
A tea party is a finer place to begin.

Wise words to fill a declaration.
Sovereign wills to form a sovereign nation--
But keep in mind, “white’s” a synonym for human.

Old Ben, he raised a furrowed brow,
“What’s freedom with our slaves behind the plow?
It don’t bode well for the future this will bring.

How do we secure our liberty
If We the People includes just you and me?
Lord help us if we’re only reinventing the King.”



Torn Tommy takes the bully pulpit,
Strikes the gavel and he calls for quiet.
“A fair question, but we cannot solve it,
Unless we wanna lose the way we live.

We all like the taste of milk and honey,
But what’s freedom if you got no money?
After all, they had no clothes or country;
They should be grateful for the scraps we give,
Anyway.”

2 Page forward to a different era,
The red boogie-man has come to scare ya’.
Oh, Johnny, did you see this turn comin’ on?

Neck deep inside the swampy forest.
Back home, the students form a protest.
The man drops them like they’re weeds on the Union lawn.

Young Jim, he stops and looks around.
Takes cover while he writes Machine Gun down.
Oh, Jimmy, we could use a voice like yours…

They all followed to the farmer’s field and played.
The man threatens, but the poets won’t be swayed.
Their words thunder has the summer sky downpours.

Tricky Dicky takes the bully pulpit.
Strikes the gavel as he calls for quiet.
“We gotta a problem and we cannot solve it,
Unless we wanna lose the way we live.

You talk pretty and your clothes are sunny,
But in the end I know you like your money.
And, after all, you only rent your country.
You should be grateful for the scraps we give…”

Just then, the People Sang,
Oh brother, it’s a grand illusion.
Oh, sister, won’t you march with me now.
They can’t stop us when we’re all in motion.

Once more, the peace bell rings:
We don’t need a New Revolution.
We’re in the one that never ends.

3 Jump forward to the blacked-out pages.
You’d hardly know about the war that rages.
Oh, Mister Bernstein, we could use a man like you.

Lord knows, we were all thrown asunder,
But more than bodies have been buried under
The great graveyard where the towers Babel renew.

A faint cry was heard above the din:
What in hell do you think we’re gonna win?
This ain’t poker, and our kids are not the ante…

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http://www.johncaelan.net

John Caelan is a writer and singer/songwriter based in Venice Beach, California.

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Until the End."We don't need a revolution... by Ferdinand on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 at 5:02:10 PM
Ferninand, amen...... by John Caelan on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 at 5:15:16 PM
you perceived endorsement of Obama when it is just... by John Caelan on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 at 5:29:41 PM
Very nice job with the song and editing. I agree w... by Ferdinand on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 at 10:52:38 PM
That's really funny =-) It's true though, ... by John Caelan on Monday, Nov 17, 2008 at 12:50:42 AM
that's what I liked best about the song... no ... by Rady Ananda on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 at 6:01:35 PM