Category Archives: Poverty

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

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!

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…

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!

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.

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!

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…