Monday, August 4, 2008

We Can't Make It Here

I have been keeping politics out of my blog these last few months , but at 4am this morning I heard the best protest song I've heard in years, so here it goes.

We Can't Make It Here by James Mcmurtry.

There’s a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign Sitting there by the left turn line Flag on his wheelchair flapping in the breeze One leg missing and both hands free No one’s paying much mind to him The V.A. budget’s just stretched so thin And now there’s more coming back from the Mideast war We can’t make it here anymore

That big ol’ building was the textile mill that fed our kids and it paid our bills But they turned us out and they closed the doors We can’t make it here anymore
See those pallets piled up on the loading dock They’re just gonna sit there ‘til they rot‘ Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack Just busted concrete and rusted tracks Empty storefronts around the square There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere You don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score We can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow The tip jar’s light and the register’s low The bartender don’t have much to say The regular crowd gets thinner each day Some have maxed out all their credit cards Some are working two jobs and living in cars Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO See how far $5.15 an hour will go Take a part time job at one your stores Bet you can’t make it here anymore

There’s a high school girl with a bourgeois dream Just like the pictures in the magazine She found on the floor of the laundromat A woman with kids can forget all that If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do Forget the career, forget about school Can she live on faith? Live on hope? High on Jesus or hooked on dope When it’s way too late to just say no You can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store Just like the ones we made before‘ Cept this one came from Singapore I guess we can’t make it here anymore
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today No I hate the men sent the jobs away I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams All lily white and squeaky clean They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed Their kids won’t bleed in their damn little war And we can’t make it here anymore

Will work for food will die for oil Will kill for power and to us the spoils The billionaires get to pay less tax The working poor get to fall through the cracks So let ‘em eat jellybeans let ‘em eat cake Let ‘em eat shit, whatever it takes They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps If they can’t make it here anymore

So that’s how it is, that’s what we got If the president wants to admit it or not You can read it in the paper, read it on the wall Hear it on the wind if you’re listening at all Get out of that limo, look us in the eye Call us on the cell phone tell us all why In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains That’s done closed down along with the school And the hospital and the swimming pool Dust devils dance in the noonday heat There’s rats in the alley and trash in the street Gang graffiti on a boxcar door We can’t make it here anymore

When I read these lyrics I am reminded of my youth , in the streets protesting the Vietnam war, and how now we {US} are so quiet while the politicians and corporate America lead us down the road toward ruin. I also think of Mr. Gandhi and how he would handle such protest, remembering to hate the sin not the sinner. Tomorrow it's back to peace, love , and flowers. Thank you and have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

1 comment:

Mary Richmond said...

i'm guessing we are peers! thanks for sharing the mosaic! is it one of yours? your blog is very interesting! I'll be back!