Category Archives: Human & Civil Rights

White Country

Tune: White Christmas
By Hinda Kipnis
 
I’m dreaming of a white country
Where only billionaires rule.
They’re so clever and bri-ight
And always ri-ight.
We the people are just fooled.

I’m dreaming of a white country
Where the-e wealthy own the place.
Where folks of color just listen
And make the place glisten
For our superior white race.

I’m dreaming of a white country
Where the one percent need more and more.
For their power so hollow
They need people to follow,
Be cannon fodder for their wars.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A Moral Revival

By: Vicki Ryder
Tune: Acres of Clams

There’s something that’s troubling the Grannies,
So we toss and we turn late at night,
Wond’rin’ why there are so many hungry
In a land that’s so rich, that ain’t right!

Chorus:
It’s time for a moral revival so
We’ve joined the Poor People’s Campaign
To end poverty in our nation
We’ve joined the Poor People’s Campaign.

The government spends all our taxes
For fighting in lands far away,
Killing women and kids without reason;
It’s no wonder our hair’s turning gray.

They’re drilling and fracking and dumping
To fatten their wallets, you see,
They don’t really care if we live or die
It’s enough to make Mother Earth weep.

Equality for all the people
They say is the law of the land;
But our system is blatantly racist
So together for justice we’ll stand.

Chorus

Gaggle Black Lives Matter

By Jo-Hanna Read

Oh, we’re a gaggle of Grannies
Urging you off of your fannies.
We’re raising our voice–
We want a new choice–
BLACK LIVES MATTER!!

Police misconduct unending,
The constitution you’re bending.
When you shoot to kill
Does it give you a thrill?
BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Whether it’s a young man,
A mother or a child,
Don’t draw your guns and shoot them,
You must stop running wild!

So, join this gaggle of Grannies–
Get up off of your fannies.
We’re telling you now,
We’re angry and how!
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
We really mean it:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
We mean precisely:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
We will say it very nicely:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Read our lips (mouth):
BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Do Not Despair

Tune: Old McDonald Had a Farm
By: Laurie Rostholder

The Brits and Obama wiretapped me
That’s what 45 says.
A Muslim English conspiracy
Against the future prez.
With a tweet tweet here,
And a tweet tweet there,
Twittering bullshit everywhere.
The Brits and Obama wiretapped me,
That’s what 45 says.

Pruitt says it’s not CO2,
Making our planet warm.
And the EPA must go,
As it does corporate profits harm.
Islands shrinking here,
Glaciers melting there,
Climate chaos everywhere.
Pruitt says it’s not CO2,
Making our planet warm.

Breitbart Bannon wants the system to blow.
He’s tired of everyone.
A war with China would be a great show.
That’s his idea of fun.
Neo Nazis here.
White supremacists there.
Racist hate mongers everywhere.
Breitbart Bannon wants the system to blow.
He’s tired of everyone.

The Ryan Death Plan shrinks Medicaid,
And makes old people pay more.
The rich will get the greatest care,
While millions are shown the door.
With more death here.
Bankruptcies there.
Crappy health care everywhere.
The Ryan Death Plan shrinks medicaid,
And makes old people pay more.

Rick Perry is the chosen head,
Of a department he once called Oops.
To think he’s in charge of nuclear waste,
Should give us all the poops.
With no more progress on energy that lasts.
Innovative research a thing of the past.
Rick Perry is the chosen head ,
Of a department he once called Oops.

And here’s one that we shouldn’t  forget,
Our friend named Vladimir.
This happy guy seems far away,
But he’s really very near.
Creating distraction without working hard.
Drinking vodka to our discord.
And here’s one that we shouldn’t forget.
Our friend named Vladimir.

There’s so much more to sing about.
And commitments we must make.
To prevent our country going to hell.
And keep each other safe.
Undocumented, Queer, Black, Trans, and Brown,
Muslims, Jews, Women, all our old and young.
We stand up for what’s so unfair.
And we will not despair.

Resist!   Resist!  Resist!  Resist!

Cranes, Humongous Cranes

By Linda Jansen
To the tune of “Food, Glorious Food”

Cranes, humongous cranes
All over the city.
They’re not building for us
That’s really a pity.
Hey, City Council please play fair (pause)
You work for us all (spoken: right?).
Build public housing for all. It’s up to you.
Answer our call!

They knock down our homes
And put up new towers
Can’t afford that place
Even working 40 hours
Hey, City Council please play fair (pause)
You work for us all (spoken: right?).
Build public housing for all.  It’s up to you.
Answer our call!

Stop the Sweeps

By Linda Jansen
To the tune of Chim Chim Cheree

There’s money in banks that will never get used
And people who need it for housing & shoes
What wicked system has such a result?
Must have been built by some mean greedy cult!

CHORUS:
Chim chiminey, chim chiminey Chim chim cheree!
The cops must be stopped from their sweep jamborees
Chim chiminey, chim chiminey Chim chim cheroo!
If you don’t try to stop ‘em, might happen to you!

The cops don’t sweep chimneys. That’s not what they do.
They harshly enforce the rich city’s rules.
So we must stop them, a lot is at stake
Don’t want the wealthy to steal the whole cake.

CHORUS

If you have a chimney, you must have a stove
And a room where you sit and never get cold
If you think that is something that we all need,
Join your neighbors who’re out there to stop this bad deed.

CHORUS

City Council says housing’s an obvious need.
Housing for all–they say that’s their creed?
They can’t dilly-dally, must get off of their duffs.
And build public housing, or their jobs they can stuff.
And build public housing, or their jobs they can stuff!

Women Got the Power

By Linda Jansen
Tune: Proud Mary, Rollin on the River

Women!  Women! Women got the power!
Women!  Women! Women got the power!

You may rarely see a woman
At the peak of power anywhere
But you gotta know that
Women are the engine
Making everything run everywhere
Women keep things turnin’
That’s one thing you should be learnin’

Women!  Women! Women got the power!
Women!  Women! Women got the power!

Dare we hope if women ran things,
Wouldn’t be the mess that we got now?
Poverty and famine,
War and global warming,
Come on, gutsy women show them how!
Women keep things turnin’
That’s one thing you should bw learnin’

Women!  Women! Women got the power!
Women!  Women! Women got the power!

Women! Women! Women got the power!
Women! Women! Women got the pow-er!

Ode to Indictment

 

  • tunes: Peace, Peace and Old McDonald Had a Farm
    lyrics by Carol Farnham

REFRAIN:
Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace
Police brutality must cease,
We must learn to live together,
Peace, Peace, Peace

  • Tune: Old McDonald Had a Farm:

Officer Wilson pulled his gun
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
Young Michael Brown, he did run
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
He turned around and got shot dead
With so many bullets in the head
He lay on the ground for hours and bled
No, No, No, No NO (he didn’t have to die!)

Woodcarver Williams crossed the street
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
Walking to some inner beat
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh,
Policeman shouted STOP, now isn’t that clear
But deaf in one ear, Williams did not hear
So the cop pulled his gun and shot him dead
No, No, No, No, NO (He didn’t have to die!)

Eric Garner, he was broke
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
Sold cigarettes to poor street folk
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
Cop came along, said move along
Garner was slow, and didn’t leave
Copy choked him ‘till he couldn’t breathe.
No, No, No No, NO (He didn’t have to die!)

When the Grand Jury won’t indict
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
Good people must speak out and fight,
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
To end police brutality
For justice and equality
For the future of humanity
Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo

REFRAIN:
Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace
Police brutality must cease
We must learn to live together
Peace, Peace, Peace

New Year’s Vision

  • tune: Deck the Halls

Tax the rich; don’t starve the poor, Fa la la la la la la la la
Let’s end homelessness for sure, Fa la la…etc
Raise the wages, increase welfare, Fa la la etc….
Share the wealth and cut the warfare, Fa la la etc….

Let’s pass healthcare legislation, Fa la la la la la la la la
That will cover all the nation, Fa la la, etc…
Clean up all the air and water, Fa la la etc…
Let’s take no more steers to slaughter, Fa la la etc….

Join the grannies, fight by golly, Fa la la la la la la la la
End all this nuclear folly, Fa la la, etc..
Build a world where children thrive, Fa la la etc..
Do it while you’re still alive, Fa la la etc…

I’m Being Followed by Tom Ridge

          • tune: Moonshadow
  •  Chorus:
    I’m being followed by Tom Ridge, Tom Ridge, Tom Ridge
    He’s bugging my phone and hiding in my fridge
    Tom Ridge, Tom Ridge

If I give money to the poor
They can’t wear turbans, that’s for sure
If I give money to the poor
They better be-e-e-e-e-e-e,
Wearing a baseball cap.

And If my records all get banned
Set on fire and tossed in sand
And if my records all get banned
You can download them for free-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e
Or get them cheap on ebay.

And if I say I’m for peace
I’d better get down on my knees
And if I say I’m for peace Please-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e
Contact the thought police

                  • CHORUS

Did it take long to find me?
I’m on the no-flight list.
Did it take long to find me?
And Where the Hell is bin Laden?

                    • CHORUS

Tom Ridge, Tom Ridge,Tom Ridge, Tom Ridge,Tom Ridge, Tom Ridge

Georgie, Georgie

  • tune: Bicycle Built for Two

Georgie, Georgie give us your answer true,
We’re half crazy over the things you do,
The way you spend our money – it isn’t even funny.
You ignore the poor and go to war
Do you have even the smallest clue?

  • Georgie, Georgie give us your answer true,
    We’re half crazy over the things you do,
    The country’s in a pickle, you’re spending every nickel
    On the war! And what’ it for?
    Would you tell if you really knew?

Georgie, Georgie give us your answer true,
We’re half crazy over the things you do,
Our soldiers die each day-a – while you in Texas play-a
Will you confess? Iraq’s a mess!
We’ll applaud if you really do!

  • Georgie, Georgie give us your answer true,
    We’re half crazy over the things you do,
    You cut funding to our schools – and say big business rules,
    Your cronies schmooze – our children lose –
    But you still favor the very few!

Georgie, Georgie give us your answer true,
We’re half crazy over the things you do,
All people need good health care – the poor do not get their share,
We think it’s wrong – and we’ll sing this song,
We’ll rage on till the moon is blue

FBI Is All Over Town

  • tune: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
    from: Raging Grannies, Freedom, Peninsula Branch

You’d better watch out,
You’d better comply,
You’d better not doubt,
I’m telling you why.
The FBI is all over town

They’re making a list,
Checking it twice.
Going to find out,
Each habit and vice,
The FBI is all over town.

  • They know with whom you’re sleeping,
    And every move you make,
    They know if you’ve been bad or good,
    So be good for the nation state!

You’d better not speak,
They’re tapping the phone,
They’re working all week,
With a microphone,
The FBI is all over town!

We Shall Not Be Moved

  • Adapted by Kay Thode, for teachers’ rally

We shall not be, we shall not be moved!
We shall not be, we shall not be moved!
Just like a tree that’s standing by the water,
We shall not be moved.

More lines:
We need good pay for teachers…
Young and old together…
We fight for equal status…
We support our teachers…
Let’s all work together…
We must all be strong…
We shall live in peace…

Nike Town

  • tune: Chinatown, My Chinatown
    by Kay Thode

Nike shoes and Starbucks beans
Make millions a day
But workers who produce them
Get starvation pay.

One dollar fifty a day
Is the workers take
For the hundred eighty buck shoes
That Nike makes.

Bean pickers for Starbucks
Also get the shaft
One dollar twenty a day
Forces them to fast.

Nike town, oh, Nike town,
Why don’t you behave,
Share your mammoth profits
With those who sweat and slave.

Starbucks, Starbucks, coffee czars,
You can also share,
With those who pick your beans
Wages that are fair.

Let’s boycott these products
Till there’s decent pay
Corporations can afford
Sixty bucks a day.

15 Now

  • Tune: Sixteen Tons
    By Jo-Hanna Read

You work hard for all your life.
And so do your children, your husband or wife.
You wait on tables, you sweep the floor.
No matter how hard ya work, you’re poorer than poor

You work for min’mum wage and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
The poverty level is more than you earn.
While the company bosses have money to burn!

We say 15Now is the way to go.
We need it right now, no need to go slow.
Deducting tips and benefits will not do!
If you think that’s fair, you don’t have a clue.

You work for min’mum wage and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
The poverty level is more than you earn.
While the company bosses have money to burn!

Big business is worried that we’ll get this through,
So they started OneSeattle with their big business crew.
Now they’re gettin’ small businesses to front their lines
With misinformation and downright lies.

You work for min’mum wage and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
The poverty level is more than you earn.
While the company bosses have money to burn!

Free Speech

  • tune: ‘My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean’)
    by Ann Smith

‘Twas in the 2000 election,
It seems very clear to us all now,
The thing that we lost was our voice.
We’re told by most all of our leaders
That we should not dare criticize,
They say that our Nancy Pelosi
Should retract and apologize.

  • Chorus:
    Bring back, bring back,
    Oh bring back my Free Speech to me, to me,
    Bring back, bring back,
    Oh bring back my Free Speech to me.

It’s really the whole truth that hurts the.
All Nancy did was to state fact.
Now Nancy’s persona-non-grata
To Bush and the Patriot Act.
Our soldiers are fighting and dying
For freedoms they thought that we had.
But truth and free speech are now victims
Of policies cruel and bad!

  • Chorus:
    Speak out, speak out,
    Bring back Free Speech to us, one and all
    Speak out, speak out
    Bring back Free Speech to us all.

Guantanomo

  • by Jo-Hanna Read
    tune: All of Me

Guantanamo, You’ve taken all of me,
Now I see, I’ll be here forever.
Take my pride, You’ve made me lose it.
Take my soul, You just abuse it.
In a cage I’m left with only rage,
How can I even go on living?
You tore apart my soul and my heart
And left me in Guantanamo!!!

Time has passed, Like in a looking glass,
All my hope, has faded completely.
Eleven years, And I’m still counting.
I protest, And you force feed me.
In a cage I’m left with only rage
How can I even go on living?
You tore apart my soul and my heart
And left me in Guantanamo!!

Imprisoned in Guantanamo

  • Tune: (Sixteen Tons)
    By Laurie Rostholder

I was picked up by the US a decade ago,
I’ll never get out, that’s the one thing I know,
Imprisoned and tortured for all these years,
Starving to death the least of my fears.

No charges have ever been brought against me,
Stuck in this hell hole cause I’m Yemeni,
Separated from comrades, can’t read the Koran,
Haven’t seen my attorney, no trial in the plan.

I’ll know I’ll never see my family,
No longer even dream about being free,
Hunger strike is my only choice,
The moment I got here, I lost my voice.

Being force fed, it’s incredible pain,
Treatment like this, it isn’t sane,
Does anyone care what’s happening to me,
Who is going to take responsibility,

I was picked up by the US a decade ago,
I’ll never get out, that’s the one thing I know,
Imprisoned and tortured for all these years,
Starving to death the least of my fears.

Imprisoned in Guantanamo

  • Tune: You Load Sixteen Tons
    By Laurie Rostholder

I was picked up by the US a decade ago,
I’ll never get out that’s the one thing I know,
Imprisoned and tortured for all these years,
Starving to death the least of my fears.

No charges have ever been brought against me,
Stuck in this hell hole cause I’m Yemeni,
Separated from comrades, can’t read the Koran,
Haven’t seen my lawyer, no trial in the plan.

I’ll know I’ll never see my family,
No longer even dream about being free.
Hunger strike is my only choice,
The moment I got here, I lost my voice.

Being force fed, it’s incredible pain.
Treatment like this it isn’t sane.
Does anyone care what’s happening to me?
Who is going to take responsibility?

I was picked up by the US a decade ago,
I’ll never get out that’s the one thing I know
Imprisoned and tortured for all these years,
Starving to death the least of my fears.

I Loved My Civil Rights

  • tune I Like N.Y. in June

I loved my Civil Rights
How about you?
I lost my Civil Rights
And you did, too.
First came the Patriot,
Military Commision Acts,
Lies and spies, wire-tapping”
Police Brutality, too.

We need our civil Rights
What can we do?
Contact a lawyer through
Your ACLU,
Write to your Legislators
Tell them they need to
Restore our Civil Rights ’cause
I need them and
SO DOYOUl

Extraordinary Rendition

  •  tune: St. James Infirmary Blues

Extra-ordinary rendition
Is a terrible condition,
But you can’t get an admission
From a Bu-ush politician.

Extra-ordinary rendition
Puts its victims in a bad position,
They are dragged away without permission,
It’s as bad as the Inquisition.

Let her go, let him go, God bless them,
Wherever they may be
They may wander this whole wide world over
Without capture, torture, or depravity.

Extra-ordinary rendition
Tolerates no opposition.
We must have its abolition
To depose the jailers is our mission.
To depose the jailers is our mission.

Criminal Grans

  • tune: Lili Marlene

We might be subversive-
Throw us in the clink.
We persist in thinking
When it’s not safe to think.
We poke and we pry and then tell you
What they ‘d prefer that no one knew.
A geriatric menace-
We instigate dissent.

We defy their wiretaps,
We might moon their snoops,
And we shall go on meeting
If they outlaw our groups.
We’ll read and we’ll write the things we please
For we believe in liberty.
We’re dangerous insurgents-
We love the Bill of Rights.

They try to keep the lid on,
Try to shut us up.
Ridicule won’t do it,
So better call a cop.
We’ve been around and we don’t scare.
We’re here, we’re there, we’re everywhere,
Your neighbors, friends, and mothers-
We are the Raging Grans!
Your neighbors friends and mothers-
We are the Raging Grans!

Cycle of Abuse- 2

  • further adapted by Laurie Rostholder
  • tune: Darling Clementine

There’s a cycle, there’s a cycle, there’s a cycle of abuse,
Guns and beatings, harsh mistreatings,
There’s a cycle of abuse.
We must break it, break this cycle
For all women far and near,
So all sisters on the planet
Can live safely without fear.

We as Grannies, take the challenge,
To make sure the cycle ends.
We must work and act together
With our family and friends.
The time is right now, for all violence
In this world to fianlly cease,
So the children of this great earth
Can live out their lives in peace!

I Can See Clearly Now

  • tune: I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash) 
  • from the Montreal Grannies

I can see clearly now one billion strong
Each sister dancing in her own way
Gone is the violence that kept her down
It’s gonna be a bright, bright love-filled day.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright love-filled day.

She knows she can make it now, the pain is gone,
All of the bad feeling has disappeared.
Here’s the respect that she’s been working for.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright love-filled day.

Look all around there’s nothing like freedom.
Look straight ahead, nothng but dignity.

  • repeat first verse

Yankee Doodle

  • by the West Seattle Peace Group
  • additional verses by Kay Thode
  • tune: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle wants to know
Everything you’re doing:
The books you check out, what you buy,
The web sites you are using.

Yankee Doodle calls it terror
Depending on conditions,
Like the color of your skin
And political positions.

  • Chorus:
    Yankee Doodle, stay on top.
    Yankee Doodle, righteous.
    The laws do not apply to us
    ‘Cause we’re by far the mightiest.

Yankee Doodle hates dissent,
Says that’s not patriotic.
We say if you crush dissent
Your reign is quite despotic.

Yankee Doodle’s henchman Ashcroft
Hates us for our freedoms.
As for First Amendment rights,
He doesn’t think we need ’em.

  • Chorus
    Yankee Doodle wants to rule
    The world and thinks he’ll try it.
    The only think he needs for that
    Is We the People quiet.

additional verses

Yankee Doodle’s Patriot Act
Got no votes from the braver.
The others went along with it
For fear of losing favor.

  • Chorus:
    Yankee Doodle, got your way,
    Yankee Doodle, clever,
    Lied and wreak great havoc, but
    We’ll end your reign forever.

Yankee Doodle terrified
The so-called liberal voices.
Congress folks need more backbone
And to make better choices.

  • Chorus:
    Yankee Doodle’s Patriot Act
    Passed without being read first.
    Now it’s time to repeal it–
    Make sure that it’s reversed

Work First Lament

  • by Kay Thode
  • tune: Ol’ Man River

Slavin’ at Work First, we start at daybreak,
Gettin’ the kids up and off to day care,
And then get the bus and work nine hours till dusk.

When work is over, we get the kiddies,
And do the shoppin’ and then the cookin’,
But laundry’s waitin’ and kids have homework to do.

Welfare moms all sweat and slave
At dead end jobs for minimum wage,
Work all day, then at night,
Keep getting poorer, no end in si-ight.

We are tired and sick of tryin’.
Can’t pay the rent and the kids are tryin’.
But the welfare clo-ock, it just keeps tickin’,
It just keeps tickin’ along.

Whose Welfare?

  • by Kay Thode
  • tune: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain

If you’re rich and ask for welfare, they will come.
If you’re rich and ask for welfare, they will come.
They will grant a new exemption
From state and local taxes,
They will grant a new exemption when they come.

If you’re poor and ask for welfare, they will come.
If you’re poor and ask for welfare, they will come.
They will tell you there’s a limit,
And YOU have reached that limit,
They will tell you there’s no welfare, when they come.

If you’re poor and cold and homeless, they will come.
If you’re poor and cold and homeless, they will come.
They will kick you off the sidewalk
And say (speak)“You’re bad for business”
They will kick you off the sidewalk when they come.

So it’s time to build a movement, yes it is.
Oh, it’s time to build a movement, yes it is.
That will help the poor and needy—
(speak) NOT the corporate greedy!
Oh, it’s time to build a movement that helps all.

White Privilege

  • by the Bellingham Grannies
  • tune: Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

Chorus: Oh, What a beautiful morning!
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I’ve got a beautiful feeling
Everything’s going my way.

When I walk through a store I’m not followed.
When I walk through a store I’m not followed.
I’m never ignored when I’m waiting in line,
Or shown disrespect when I go out to dine.

If I stand on the street, I’m not loitering.
If I stand on the street, I’m not loitering.
Police don’t arrest me when I drive my car,
But whenever I need them, they’re always not far.

The textbooks are full of my history.
The textbooks are full of my history.
The dolls in the toy stores look so much like me,
And so do the people I see on TV.

My friends can use drugs if they want to.
My friends can use drugs if they want to.
They’re rarely arrested, they never do time,
Their records are clean and their futures look fine.

Oh, what a beautiful morning.
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I’ve got a beautiful feeling
White privilege has made my day!

When He Was a Lad

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune: from Pinafore, Gilbert & Sullivan

(Solo) When he was a lad of twenty-three
He said Ma, I’m gay, and I gotta be me.
She said, son, you’re the apple of my eye—
Gay or straight, you’re my kind of guy.

  • He conquered life’s hurdles, and now you see
    He’s a VIP in the community.
  • (All) He conquered life’s hurdles so perfectly
    That he’s taught us all a lesson in liberty!

(Solo) He was first in his troop to be Eagle Scout—
Now the BSA says “Sorry, you’re out!”
The Army beckoned. “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
That wasn’t his dish—and that’s just as well.

  • He conquered life’s hurdles, and now you see
    He’s a VIP in the community.
  • (All) He conquered life’s hurdles so perfectly
    That he’s taught us all a lesson in liberty!

(Solo) When you judge a person on the basis of sex
You use a very narrow and warped index.
Lesbians and gays are in every field
And their human rights can never be repealed.

  • (All) And they are your children and your uncles and your friends,
    (Left) And your pastors and your bankers—
    (Right) And the captains of oil tankers—
    (Left) And your lawyers and your doctors—
    (Right) And your tight ends and your blockers—
    (All) And your sisters and your cousins—
    Whom you number by the dozens—
    And your aunts!

Welfare Clock

  • by Kay Thode
  • Rap

The clock is tickin’ day by day,
Thanks to “reform” welfare’s going away.
Who cares if you’re hungry
Or can’t pay the rent?
Jobs are the answer
Said the President…Clinton, that is.
Now five years are up
On the welfare clock.
There’ll be more homeless
Sleeping on the block.
It’s time to pay moms
Who take care of their kids.
Raise the grants!
Lift the lid!

War Is Peace

  • from the Pennsylvania Grannies
  • tune: Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue

War is peace, peace is war.
The truth is what we’re longing for.
Does anybody know–the truth?

Nine-Eleven’s the excuse
For all kinds of civil abuse.
Does anybody know–the truth?

  • The Patriot Act was put in place
    To keep us FREE?
    Bombed Iraqis and Afghans
    Strictly for democracy!

Now it’s time for you and me:
Choose leaders with integrity,
And then we all will know—the truth!

There’s No Business Like Clothes Business

  • by Shirley Morrison
  • tune: There’s No Business Like Show Business

There’s no business like clothes business,
The best business we know.
New clothes are so hip and sexy!
Throw out last year’s wardrobe, toss it all!
Nowhere can you get that special feeling,
Like when you’re shopping at the mall.

There’s no business like clothes business,
The best business we know.
HUSKIES, GAP and NIKE make you feel so great!
But those poor workers, what a fate—
Starving wages, bad conditions they endure—
But, shop on for the show!!!

There’s a Rental in This Town

  • tune: There’s a Tavern in the Town

There’s a rental in this town, in this town,
And there my fam’ly settled down, settled do-o-own.
We ate and slept and played there every day,
And paid our rent so we could stay.

  • Chorus:
    Fare thee well for we must leave thee.
    Do not let this parting grieve thee.
    Our rent jumped sky high believe me,
    And so we must part.

Adieu, adieu kind friends, adieu, yes, adieu.
We can no longer be with you, be with you, ou, ou, ou.
We’ll hang our clothes on a weeping willow tree,
And sleep in Nickelsville for free.

The Wall (Palestine)

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune: My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean

The wall between village and orchard
KEEPS us from OUR olive trees.
It’s massive and huge and it’s frightening.
It’s built on our land that they siezed.

The gate in the orchard is guarded
By soldiers who come as they please.
It’s hard to get in and get out now
To tend to our crops and our trees.

  • Chorus:
    Take down, take down,
    Take down those huge prison wa-a-alls.
    Take down, take down,
    Take down those huge prison walls.

We heard the bulldozers are coming
To clear out the orchards to build
For others who come from the cities,
With pavement and homes they’ll be filled.

And then we’d be locked in our village.
How could we feed our fam-il-ies?
Oh, give back our lives and our land now!
Oh, give us our land and our trees!

  • Chorus

The Bells Are Ringing

  • Tune: For Me and My Gal

The BELLS are RINGing for LESbian gals
It’s time to FESS up
They’re MORE than just PALS.
World oPINion is SHOWing,
It’s a MOVEment that’s GROWing,
PolliTIcians are KNOWing
It’s a LAW they can’t BUCK!

The BELLS are RINGing for GUYS & their PALS
It’s time to FESS up
They’re MORE than just PALS.
World oPINion is SHOWing,
It’s a MOVEment that’s GROWing,
PolliTIcians are KNOWing
It’s a LAW they can’t BUCK!

The Battle Hymn of Women

  • by Meredith Tax, Rise Up Singing
  • tune: The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the flame of women’s rage
Kept smoldering for centuries, now burning in this age.
No longer are we prisoners in that old gilded cage
That’s why we’re marching on.

Chorus:
Move on over or we’ll move you
Move on over or we’ll move you
Move on over or we’ll move you
For women’s time has come!

You have told us to speak softly, to be gentle and to smile
Expected us to change ourselves with every passing style.
The only work for women was to clean and sweep and file
That’s why we’re marching on!

Chorus

It is we who’ve done your cooking, done your cleaning, kept your rules.
We gave birth to your children and we taught them in your schools.
We’ve kept the system running but we’re laying down our tools.
That’s why we’re marching on!

Chorus

We have broken through our shackles, now we sing a battle song
We march for liberation and we’re many millions strong
We’ll build a new society, we’ve waited much too long,
That’s why we’re marching on!

Chorus, twice, ending: YES, women’s time has come!

The Bad Old Days

  • from the Raging Grannies Songbook
  • tune: Ode to Joy

We’re the women who did the work so men could get the credit.
We said leave it all to us and wished we’d never said it.
Leave the dishes in the sink–you sit down and rest, dear,
I can do the clearing up, I can do it best, dear.

No, I don’t mind staying late–I’ll type another stencil
Can I get your coffee now? Let me sharpen your pencil!
We’re the women who did the work so men could get the credit.
We said leave it all to us and wished we’d never said it.

I’m sorry that the baby cried, I’m sorry that he wet you.
I’m sorry she threw up on you, I’m sorry he upset you.
We’re the women who did the work so men could get the credit.
We said leave it all to us and wished we’d never said it.

We’re prepared to do the work, but we want more than credit.
Equal pay for equal work–we’ll SING until we get it!

Someone to Watch Over Me

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune of same name

Mr. Ashcroft, do you think I’m a spy?
I know that I
Cannot see why
Someone should watch over me.

Must there always be surveillance and taps?
Is it perhaps
You think we’re saps
To let you watch over us?

Although you pose as such a hero,
In my book you’re zero–
Police state, not securi-t-y.

Take your Patriot Act and bury it now,
Better learn how
Not to allow
Your spies to watch over me.

Saints- Human Rights

  • tune: When the Saints Come Marching In

When everyone has equal rights,
When everyone has equal rights,
How I want to be in that number,
When everyone has equal rights.

  • Variations:

When immigrants are treated fair…
When health care is a right for all…
When corporate rule is history…
When the wealthy pay their tax…
When Congress speaks for you and me…
When streets are safe for us to walk…
When gays are free to live their lives…
When users get treatment not jail…
When taxes go for schools, not jails…
When racism has been wiped out…

Saints- Welfare

  • tune: When the Saints Come Marching In
     
    When welfare grants meet basic needs,
    When welfare grants meet basic needs,
    How I want to be in that number,
    When welfare grants meet basic needs.
  • Variations:

When no one is without a home…

When mothers’ work gets some respect…

When workers get a living wage…

When poverty has been erased…

Prisons

  • by Kay Thode
  • tune: Home On the Range

Prisons, prisons, more jails,
The answer to our system’s travails,
Where seldom is heard,
An encouraging word,
And the skies are not seen all day.

We lock up our poor,
And then they’re no more,
And we’ll feel so much better this way,
We’re building more cells,
Stuffing folks in these hells,
And big bucks get made that way.

Oh, give me a home,
Where drug agents don’t roam,
And no one is jailed for drug use,
Where the billions are spent,
For good drug treatment,
And addicts are free from abuse.

Peace, Peace

Peace, peace, peace, peace.
Wars must end and wars must cease.
We must learn to live together.
Peace, peace, peace.

Peace, peace, peace, peace.
Make homelessness and hunger cease.
We can learn to live together.
Peace, peace, peace.

Peace, peace, peace, peace.
Police brutality must cease.
We must learn to live together.
Peace, peace, peace.
Peace, peace, peace.

Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem

  • Using themes of Stuart Heady

Oh, little town of Bethlehem,
Surrounded by guns and tanks,
The children walk amid the threat
Of ever closing ranks.

  • Wise men survey the rubble,
    Remains of Paradise.
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are drowned in children’s cries.

Oh, little town of Bait Jala,
A’burning in the night,
The olive trees are seared and black,
And shepherds all take flight.

  • And as the missile thunders,
    The helicopter aims.
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are perished in the flames.

Oh, little towns of Palestine,
Cut off by settlers’ roads,
Where poverty’s enforced by guns,
What dire future bodes?

  • Though peace on earth was promised,
    And everlasting light,
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are met in thee tonight.

My Least Favorite Things

  • tune: My Favorite Things

Shirts from Honduras and Nikes from China,
Clothes made in sweatshops in North Carolina,
All wrapped in packages tied up with strings—
These are a few of my least favorite things.
What kind of labor lies behind the labels?
Did you think sweatshops were long-ago fables?
They’re very widespread in the Third World today.
Their products are sold just a few blocks away.

  • If no one knows it,
    Let’s expose it—
    Make it go away.
    Refuse to buy goods
    That aren’t made as they should!
    Let us begin today!

Skirts made in Malaysia in sweatshop conditions,
Clothes sewn in Toronto for Northern Traditions,
All wrapped in packages tied up with strings—
These are a few of my least favorite things.

  • If no one knows it,
    Let’s expose it—
    Make it go away.
    Refuse to buy goods
    That aren’t made as they should
    Let us begin today!

Look Around You

  • Shirley Morrison and Kay Thode
  • tune: Clementine

Look around you, see the people
Who are working everyday
For the kind of world we all want,
Where healthy children laugh and play
A world with no more nuclear arms,
Guns are banned and want is rare,
Where all races live together,
Everyone has good health care.

  • Equal rights and equal wages,
    Social justice on the earth,
    No pollution on the planet,
    A new world will come to birth.
    Look around you see the people
    Who are working everyday
    For a world of peace and plenty
    Where the grandkids laugh and play.
     

Let the Whole World Sing

  • by Kay Thode
  • tune: I Want to Hear the Whole World Sing

I want to hear the whole world sing
In perfect harmony,
To hear the song of birds, not guns,
Let music set us free.
Free to love and give up hate,
Embrace all humankind.
Let’s start today with songs of peace,
Let them fill our minds.

Let’s start a revolution,
Of song and love and light,
Let every person on the earth
Lift voices clear and bright.
Let’s end the killing and the wars,
And let our songs take flight.
We’ll make a peaceful world where all
Live without war and fright.

I want to hear the whole world sing
In perfect harmony,
To hear the song of birds, not guns,
Let music set us free.
Free to love and give up hate,
Embrace all humankind.
Let’s start today with songs of peace,
Let them fill our minds.

Housing Song

  • tune: Sweet Betsy from Pike

There are millions who’re sle-eping out in the street.
Clutching their bundles they all have no heat,
No place to call home or bed for their head—
They’re lucky if some of them even get fed.

In this rich prosperous country wouldn’t you think
We could house all the homeless as quick as a wink,
If we weren’t spending billions on weapons of war.
Let’s use diplomacy! Make war no more.

When wages are too low to pay the high rent,
And cities refuse to even put up a tent,
It’s time for a change—on that we agree.
More bucks for housing is what we need!

spoken:
More bucks for housing is what we need!

Groped by the TSA

  • by Laurie Rostholder

We were groped by the TSA, honey, honey,
We were groped by the TSA, dear dear,
We were groped by the TSA
First the front and then the rear
Do you feel more secure?

No dynamite in our underwear, honey honey,
No explosives in our shoes, dear dear,
Just some metal in our knees
Makes that buzzer go whee whee,
Do you feel more secure?

Touched our boobs, both of them, honey honey,
Groped our crotches up both legs, dear dear,
Doesn’t really feel that great
As good lovers they don’t rate
Do you feel more secure?

Got felt up by the TSA, honey honey,
Did not like it very much, dear dear,
Maybe they could improve their touch,
Take a class in Swedish massage.
Do you feel more secure?

Getting Together

  • by the Canadian Grannies, adapted
  • tune: I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover

What’s been preventing
The world from getting
Together as friend to friend?
Could it be language?
We’ll learn to translate.
Might be religion–
No reason to hate..

Couldn’t be color
With all of the wonderful
Shades of the human skin?
Let’s be forgetting
What’s been preventing
And invite the whole world in!

 

Gay Pride Comes to Town

  • tune: When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Let’s sing out for our citizens.
Hip, hip, hurray!
For every sexuality
Both straight and gay.
It is just fine for us to see
And celebrate diversity. (pause)
And we’ll all feel gay when
Gay pride comes to town.

Get ready for a big parade.
We’ll sing and shout.
Because gays and lesbians are
Coming out! (We’re out!)
The closet’s not a friendly place.
We all deserve a lot of space. (pause)
And we’ll all feel gay when
Gay pride comes to town.

This is a cause to celebrate,
A time to cheer.
So please we should stop thinking straight
For once, my dear.
’Cause sex-u-al-ity isn’t straight,
There’s some things you can’t legislate. (pause)
And we’ll all feel gay when
Gay pride comes to town.

 

 

Gaggle Against Hate

  • tune: Side by Side

Oh, we’re a gaggle of Grannies
Urging you off of your fannies.
We’re raising our voice–
We want a new choice–
NO MORE HATE!

Discrimination unending,
Promises that’re still pending.
To each a fair share–
We want a world where
there’s NO MORE HATE!

Whether it’s employment
Or marriage, kids, or school,
Equality’s the answer–
Justice now must rule!

So, join this gaggle of Grannies–
Get up off of your fannies.
We’re telling you now,
We’re angry and how!
NO MORE HATE!
We really mean it: NO MORE HATE!
We mean precisely: NO MORE HATE!
We will say it very nicely: NO MORE HATE!
Read our lips (mouth): NO MORE HATE!

Gaggle Against Greed

  • tune: Side by Side

Oh, we’re a gaggle of Grannies,
Urging you off of your fannies,
We’re raising our voice
We want a new choice—
NO MORE GREED!

With the starving wages they’re paying
To workers sweating and slaving,
The owners all thrive,
Can workers survive?
NO MORE GREED!

We’re sick of this tradition–
Paying wages that aren’t fair.
Boycott sweatshop products
Show them you really care!

Soooo, join this gaggle of Grannies.
Get up off of your fannies!
We’re telling you now,
We’re angry and how!
NO MORE GREED!

We really mean it—NO MORE GREED!

We mean precisely—NO MORE GREED!

We will say it very nicely—NO MORE GREED!

READ OUR LIPS! (mouth silently, No more greed!)

Gaggle Against Cuts

  • by Laurie Rostholder
  • tune: Side by Side

Oh, we’re a gaggle of Grannies,
Urging you off of your fannies,
We’re raising our voice
We want a new choice—
NO MORE CUTS!

With all the money they’re spending,
On tax giveaways unending
They’re hurting the poor
Of that we are sure—
NO MORE CUTS!

Stop cutting service programs-
It’s patently unfair.
Fund needed human services
SHOW THAT YOU REALLY CARE!

Soooo, join this gaggle of Grannies.
Get up off of your fannies!
We’re telling you now,
We’re angry and how!
NO MORE CUTS!

We really mean it—NO MORE CUTS!

We mean precisely—NO MORE CUTS!

We will say it very nicely—NO MORE CUTS!

READ OUR LIPS! (mouth silently, No more cuts!)

Gaggle Against Caps

  • The Raging Grannies Songbook, 1993, adapted by Kay Thode
  • tune: Side by Side

Oh, we’re a gaggle of Grannies,
Urging you off of your fannies,
We’re raising our voice, we want a new choice,
REMOVE WELFARE CAPS.

With all the money they’re spending
On military hardware unending,
Behaving like saps,
With their welfare caps,
REMOVE THOSE CAPS.

Although it’s a tradition
To blame welfare for our debt,
That lie is just a fiction,
Reclaim our safety net.

Sooo, join this gaggle of Grannies,
Get up off of your fannies,
We’re telling you now, we’re angry and how,
REMOVE WELFARE CAPS.
We really mean it, REMOVE THOSE CAPS.
We mean precisely, REMOVE THOSE CAPS.
We’ll say it very nicely, REMOVE THOSE CAPS
READ OUR LIPS: (Mouth) REMOVE THOSE CAPS

Profiling Opera

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune: Mack the Knife

Oh, police have perfect vision
To distinguish wrong from right.
Their decisions are made easy—
It’s like telling black from white.

Oh, the drug war gives incentive
For a thousand stops a day.
First they cuff you, then they search you.
You’re not guilty, but you pay.

Don’t go driving in the evening
In a white suburban block
With your shiny new red auto
Or they’ll put you in the dock.

Totem carver, deaf in one ear,
The Policeman called out “STOP!”
He didn’t hear him, just kept walking,
Do you think he heard the shots?

If they stop you on suspicion,
Don’t talk back or try to run.
You could end up on a morgue slab—
“We were sure he had a gun.”

Oh, police have perfect vision
To distinguish wrong from right.
Their decisions are made easy –
It’s like telling black from white.

Dreaming

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune: White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white country,
Just like the fairy tales we knew,
Where the whole world’s Christian,
And children listen,
And do what you tell them to.

I’m dreaming we can block entry
Of those whose skin’s a different hue.
Asians, Arabs, others—
They’re not our brothers—
They could be Muslim or Hindu!

I’m certain that our whole nation
Should always look and think the same.
If religions vary
From the ordinary
Then we should kick them off our plane.

I’m dreaming of those secret closets
Where all the homosexuals stay,
And if bashers pick fights
Gays don’t demand rights,
They just don’t tell us that they’re gay.

I’m dreaming that there’s no more homeless.
Why can’t we sweep them off the street?
They don’t get my pity
If they mess my city.
Freedom’s fine—but not on my concrete.

I’m dreaming of a white nation,
Where the majority is right.
May our suburbs be merry and bright!
And may all our neighborhoods be white!

Doo Dah – Immigrants

  • tune: Camptown Racetrack

We’re the Raging Grannies
Joinin’ the fight,.
Doo dah, doo dah.
Singin’ out
For immigrants’ rights
All the doo dah day!

    • Gonna rage and roar!
      Gonna sing out loud!
      Singin’ for the rights of immigrants
      Singin’ strong and proud.

Deportation is all wrong
That’s DOO DOO, DOO DOO,
Immigrants need health benefits
And highter wages too!

  • It’s time to rage out loud,
    For human dignity:
    ALL folks must be treated fair,
    That’s plain as it can be.

Many of our fam’lies were immigrants
Came from a-far.
We understand what brought them here,
But now we’ve raised the bar.

  • Time for us to say
    That immigrants can stay.
    We demand their right to be here now.
    That’s the American way!

Domestic Violence

    • by: Monica Zucker
    • tune: Glorious, glorious

Chorus:
Violence! Violence!
No more domesti-ic violence.
I’m leaving here today–
I know I mustn’t stay
I’ve got to end the violence right now.
Drunk last night and drunk the night before.
He may be drunk tonight–I won’t take it any more.
I’m gonna take the kids and my things
and leave the rest
I’ve got to end the violence right now.
I called the crisis line and the counseling was fine,
Planned my way and have a place to stay.
He’s got to get help, too, ‘cause they tell me
“It’s not you!”
I’ve got to end the violence right now.
Chorus again.

Diversity, Humanity

  • by: Monica Zucker
  • tune: Finiculi,, Finicula)

Some think the air belongs to corporations
And not to us,
AND NOT TO US!
Some think it well to merge all information
By thoughtless clones,
In solemn tones.

But we, we’d like to hear more human voices,
And honest fun,
And creation,
While they, they want to limit all our choices
To selling cars,
And pushing wars.

Harken! Harken!
We need real debate!
The Commission
Must not abdicate!
Diversity, humanity, diversity, humanity!
Communicate with us! Diversity, humanity!

Democracy, Hypocrisy

  • by: Ann Smith
  • tune: Edelweiss

Democracy, hypocrisy—
How terribly muddled their meaning.
Truth and right, lies and fright—
What is the message we’re sending?

Freedom so precious
Must strengthen and grow,
Strengthen and grow forever.

Freedom’s plight:
Does might make right?
Make truth and justice the answer.
(Repeat last two verses)

 

 

Cycle of Abuse

  • fromThe Raging Grannies Songbook, 1993
  • tune: Clementine

 There’s a cycle, there’s a cycle, there’s a cycle of abuse,
Guns and beatings, harsh mistreatings,
There’s a cycle of abuse.
How to break it, that’s the question
For all women far and near,
So all sisters on the planet
Can walk safely without fear.

We as Grannies, take the challenge, and with thought we do reflect,
On a world full of awareness,
And of mutual respect.
Now all people have a role to play,
In this universal scheme.
To enlist all of our children
To embrace the global dream.

Classism

(spoken)

Class-ism, age-ism, sex-ism, rac-ism
Any old kind of slap-in-the-face-ism,
Got no sci-ent-if-ic base-ism
BANISH THEM FOR GOOD!

Class-ism, age-ism, sex-ism, rac-ism
Any old kind of slap-in-the-face-ism,
Got no sci-ent-if-ic base-ism
BANISH THEM FOR GOOD!

Capitol Ship

  • by: Monica Zucker
  • tune: A Capital Ship

A capitol team for America’s dream
Is the powerful George Bush crew.
No disbelief dismays our Chief
Or troubles the chosen few.
The man at the wheel has nerves of steel–
He laughed as he dodged the dra- a- aft.
But when gale winds blow he’s gone below—
He’s in Crawford—his cow has calfed.

Chorus:
So blow ye winds, heigh ho!
A-bombing we will go!
Ignore those groups
Who’d bring home troops.
Cover up with a media show-o-o.
Let’s feed the rich once more,
And starve out all the poor.
Entitlements lost—
Can’t pay their cost—
More bombs and pork for sure.

They bombed Iraq without a fact,
And Congress fell on its knees.
The Patriot Act means decks are stacked
So George can do as he please.
Katrina meant that the President
Didn’t care if we lived or di-i-ied.
SeCURity isn’t social, you see.
Our safety is denied

Chorus

 

Bush Barrel Polka 2007

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune: Beer Barrel Polka

Throw out the baby—
And then the bathwater too!
Who needs Bin Laden
When our own fascists will do?
Our Constitution
Need some revision because
Now’s the time to give up freedom
And seek safety’s flaws!

When you hear that rumble at the door
It’s the NSA or FBI.
Don’t call your lawyer or implore
To know the charge or reason why.
 
Down with due process!
Why would you ever need that?
You’re safe and comfy—
Liberty’s only old hat.
Just give up freedom.
Card us and search us, too.
Now’s the time to call the Army—
Secret justice for you!

In Iraq we must begin a surge
To prove there’s still a chance to win.
And now it seems we need a purge
Cause they let some Democrats in.

Should we impeach them
For lying and spying and war?
Torture, rendition—
Is that what we’re fighting for?
Shame on our nation!
Must this be done in our name?
Tell the world that we reject it—
We know who’s to blame.

 

Bad Old Days

  • tune: Ode to Joy

We’re the women who did the work so men could get the credit.
We said leave it all to us, and wished we’d never said it.
Leave the dishes in the sink—you sit down and rest, dear.
I can do the clearing up. I can do it best, dear.

No, I don’t mind staying late—I’ll type another stencil.
Can I get your coffee now? Let me sharpen your pencil.
I’m sorry that the baby cried, I’m sorry that she wet you.
I’m sorry she threw up on you. I’m sorry she upset you.

We’re the women who did the work so men could get the credit.
We said leave it all to us and wished we’d never said it.
We’re prepared to do the work, but we want more than credit.
Equal pay for equal work–we’ll SING until we get it.
Equal pay for equal work–we’ll SING until we get it.

 

Back of the Bus

If you miss me at the back of the bus
You can’t find me nowhere.
Come on up to the front of the bus
I’ll be riding up there.
I’ll be riding up there,
I’ll be riding up there.
Come on up to the front of the bus,
I’ll be riding up there

If you’re looking for shelter
You can’t find it nowhere.
Come on up to the greenbelt,
Folks are camping up there…

If you miss me in the greenbelt
You can’t find me nowhere
Come on over to Nickelsville,
Folks are building up there…

If you miss me at Nickelsville
You can’t find me nowhere
Come on down to the jailhouse,
We’ll be bunking down there…

If you miss me at the jailhouse
You can’t find me nowhere
That’s cause we all stood together
And we’re still building up here!…