Friday Protest Song with Ani DiFranco

April 18, 2008

Ani DiFranco — \’Tis of Thee Couldn’t find a video of this song. I saw Ani live in Lawrence in 1999 and she performed this song, prefacing it with the words “This is a song about the war on drugs and how it has turned into a war on poor people”. The drug war is a waste of time and money, especially when you consider that jail will screw up your life worse than a whole trash bag full of cocaine. Normally, I let people search for song lyrics on their own if they want to, but this song is worth quoting in it’s entirety.

they caught the last poor man
on a poor man’s vacation
they cuffed him and confiscated his stuff
they dragged his black ass down to the station
and said, ok, the streets are safe now
all your pretty white children can come out and see spot run
and they came out of their houses
and they looked around
but they didn’t see no one

my country ’tis of thee
to take swings at each other on the talkshow tv
why don’t you just go ahead and turn off the sun
cuz we’ll never live long enough
to undo everything they’ve done to you
undo everything they’ve done to you

above 96th street
they’re handing out smallpox blankets so people don’t freeze
the old dogs have got a new trick
it’s called criminalize the symptoms
while you spread the disease
and i hold on hard to something
between my teeth when i’m sleeping
i wake up and my jaw aches
and the earth is full of earthquakes

my country ’tis of thee
to take shots at each other on the prime time tv
why don’t you just go ahead and turn off the sun
cuz we’ll never live long enough
to undo everything they’ve done to you
undo everything they’ve done to you

they caught the last poor man
flying away in a shiny red cape
they took him down to the station
and they said, boy, you should’ve known better
than to try to escape
i ran away with the circus
cuz there’s still some honest work left for bearded ladies
but it’s not the same going town to town
since they put everyone in jail
except the cleavers and the bradys

my country ’tis of thee
to take swings at each other on the talkshow tv
why don’t you just go ahead and turn off the sun
cuz we’ll never live long enough
to undo everything they’ve done to you
undo everything they’ve done to you

Damn right. Bread, peace and freedom.

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