Starter Kit

All it takes to start a gaggle of Raging Grannies in your own home town is to gather around you a few good women “of that certain age” who share your commitment to peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability. We also ask that Grannies bring with them a sense of humor, a sense of outrage, and a commitment to non-violence. Being a biological grandmother is not a requirement and, if you’ve ever heard us sing, it should be obvious that a good singing voice is not required, either.

Once you have decided what issue(s) you’ll be raging about, write your own lyrics and set them to melodies that are familiar to your Grannies and simple to sing. (You don’t want to waste a lot of your activist energy on rehearsing.) One of the things that makes the Raging Grannies so beloved — in addition to our commitment to the issues we rage about — is the startling nature of hearing such strong lyrics coming from such “sweet little old ladies.” So, dare to be outrageous. That doesn’t necessarily mean being obscene, but don’t be afraid to pull a few punches. The future of our planet is at stake….

If you want to start with some songs we’ve already written, you can go to our Internet song site at http://raginggrannies.net and check to see what’s there. You’ll find songs about women’s rights, healthcare, war and militarism, the environment, and much more. Feel free to alter the lyrics to fit your own circumstances.

There’s really no need to memorize your lyrics (unless you’re very ambitious). It’s fine to bring song sheets with you when you rage. Just be sure not to hide your face behind your music, and to make eye contact with your audience. Sing clearly and loudly. It helps to have one Granny lead the music, so that you all sing together, and one to introduce the group and the songs, as appropriate. But be brief! Remember, our lyrics are our message! Above all, have fun, and smile!

Once you have your songs ready to sing, you put on your Granny garb — whatever you think a stereotypical sweet little old lady might look like — and you get out there and rage! Most gaggles dress in flowery hats and colorful shawls and aprons, and many of these treasures can be found at your local thrift shops.

Don’t wait to be invited! We rage on street corners, at farmers markets, at rallies, in town hall meetings and legislative hearings — wherever we think our message needs to be heard. Sing truth to power! They will listen.

We find it helpful to bring with us a “Raging Grannies” banner and, as appropriate, a hand-out explaining the issue of the day. (For example, if you’re raging against military spending, you might want to give folks a chart showing how our tax dollars are currently allocated and what they could be buying instead….)

Some of our gaggles meet weekly; others meet only once a month. Each gaggle is autonomous, sets its own pace, and selects its own issues to rage about. The one thing we DO have in common is that we make decisions by consensus, free from hierarchical leadership.

DO start a web site, if you can, so folks can find you. You can use the host site we’ve already established, and link your web site to all our others, by contacting Granny Peggy, dempsey.peggy@gmail.com,  in Rochester, NY.

We affiliate with each other through our e-mail listserv (the E-Vine) so that we can keep each other informed of our actions and our songs. You can join the E-Vine by contacting Granny Anita, anita@bitwalla.com

We also gather every other year at our fabulous international UnConventions for workshops and other Granny sharing. Our most recent gathering was in Seattle in August 2016.

If we can be of any additional help, please write again. And DO let us hear from you as you enter the wonderful wacky world of the Raging Grannies. We’re all in this together….