LA LIBERTAD (“Freedom”)–SI Kahn, arr. Janet Stecher. The lyrics say: “Long live the strike and long live freedom! We are singing for freedom. We are marching for freedom. We are fighting for freedom.”
SHALOM, PACEM, PEACE–Trad., arr. Ruth Elaine Schram. A familiar traditional tune with new lyrics becomes a prayer for peace.
BABETHANDAZA–Trad. South African, arr. Aileen Vance. The Zulu lyrics say something like, “Inspired by the women/mothers, we pray. We are who we are because of this.”
ON CHILDREN–Khalil Gibran, Ysaye M. Barnwell.
TURN ME ‘ROUND–Trad., arr. Earlene Rentz. Civil Rights Anthem
FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM–Stephen Stills, arr. Nick Page. Stills wrote this song in 1970. In 2006, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performed it in concert while a video screen behind them showed pictures—thousands of them—of soldiers killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.
HOW MANY WARS–Eileen McGann. From the album, “Pocketful of Rhymes,” 2010. Eileen writes, “Although it’s now common knowledge and part of the common public discourse that the Iraq war was based on clear and explicit lies, the people who told them have not been called to account. People talk about the lying that led to that war as if it’s a matter of course, which, it seems, is part of the point—to let people get used to the idea that everyone in high places lies and that expecting truth from public discourse is extreme.”
DOING THE REACTIONARY–Harold Rome. From the musical revue “Pins & Needles,” 1937; updated lyrics by Bernard Gilbert 2011.
OCCUPY–Bill Bortin. Our very own OWS song, written & performed by our very own Bill Bortin; back-up vocals by the Pie-ettes.
The last four songs are “blasts from the past” – FREEDOM IS COMING–Trad., arr. E. MacDougal. A contemporary twist on a classic 1980’s South African protest song from the anti-apartheid movement. From our first season in 2002-03.
SING ME A SONG WITH SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE–Harold Rome. Like “Doing the Reactionary,” this song was one of many wonderful songs in the 1937 musical revue “Pins and Needles,” which was the first Broadway show produced by a labor union. From our 2008-09 season, “Many Voices, One Land.”
LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM–Ed McCurdy, arr. Robert DeCormier. One of our favorite peace songs ever, this song was written in 1949 and has been translated into over 76 languages around the world. The Weavers recorded it in the 1950s. In 1980, it became the Peace Corps theme song. In 1989, it was sung by East German school children on international TV as the Berlin Wall came down. From our 2006-07 season, “Alive & Singing!”
ROLLING HOME–John Tams. This song sounds like a traditional sea song, but is in fact a contemporary labor anthem. From 2004-05 season, “Circle of Light.”