Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An Iconoclastic Icon

Some personal recollections of the great man.

I looked at my phone a few hours ago, before going to bed, and checked the BBC headlines, as I often do. That's when I learned that the great Pete Seeger had just died at the age of 94.

I slept anyway, but not very well, with my thoughts racing all night. I have jet lag, too. I only just got back last night from 2-1/2 weeks of, well, hanging out with friends of Pete Seeger's for the most part, in Ireland and in New York City. (You can read about that trip across the Atlantic on my blog, too, if you like.)

Pete was one of the folks on the ground floor of a thing called the People's Music Network, that a wonderful songwriter and friend of Pete's named Charlie King started up along with other folks back in the 1970's, if I have the timeline right. Just last weekend I was at the winter gathering of PMN. It moves around from city to city, usually somewhere in the northeastern US, and this time it was in Queens.

At the gathering I was giving workshops and doing what they call mentoring sessions, trying to help other musicians out with improving their craft, and giving advice on how to attempt to make a living at this. My biggest piece of advice on that last point is always that all that really matters is whether you have fans who like your music enough to come to your shows, and organize your shows. The old system of getting signed to a record label and all that never worked well for most people, and more or less stopped working entirely around the time the airwaves in the US were deregulated in 1981 or thereabouts. So I tell them, you gotta figure out how to do it yourself, and network directly with your fans, and give away your music online so you might get those fans in the first place. I tell them that what established artists or other luminaries think of their music doesn't matter – they're not the ones who are going to be paying to come hear you play.

But then, Pete Seeger died. And though I still believe my own advice, and though Pete may not have had much impact on whether I get gigs or have fans who come to them or any of that, certainly Pete, the icon, and Pete, the man, had an impact on my life that would be hard to overstate. And there are so many people from so many generations and so many parts of the world who are, right now, undoubtedly saying the same thing.

If Pete ever had an obsession with becoming a famous musician, it seems he got that out of his system more than half a century ago, when he became famous, as a member of the Weavers. Soon after the Weavers had a string of hits, they were put on McCarthy's blacklist, and Pete took to the road, playing college campuses and other places where he could do shows while still on the blacklist, which is where my mother first heard him play, when she was a student at Oberlin College.

Ever since those days, it seems to me Pete was spreading a sort of gospel in his work, which I'd summarize like this:

Music is powerful. Every real social movement has music at its core, and the civil rights movement is a great example of that. And Woody Guthrie was a fantastic songwriter. Simplicity is good. Good to be humble, to live simply, for your own mental and physical health, and for the health of the planet. Simple messages work better, too. Just because you can play your instrument really well doesn't mean it's a good idea to show off. Nonviolent civil disobedience is good. Other tactics are understandable but they don't work as well. Love your neighbor. Surrounding hate with love works better than killing fascists. Think globally, act locally. Organize within your local community, and at all times, stay humble.

As much as he was a musician producing great music and writing great songs, he was an activist, always promoting the music of Woody Guthrie, and always promoting these ideas.

The first time I met Pete was at my first PMN gathering. I think it was 1990. He seemed pretty old to me then, though I guess he would have been barely 70, which doesn't usually seem very old to me these days. Hanging around some of these amazing songwriters I met there then – Pete, Charlie King, Pat Humphries, Fred Small and others – I realized then that I wanted to be like that, and that the way to get there was to immerse myself in the musical traditions from which all these people came. I also realized that there is something profoundly humbling about this very concept – the realization that you're nothing unless you're standing on the shoulders of those who came before you, consciously. You're not original – you're just playing the same chord progressions that were invented in Africa centuries ago. And you have very little right taking credit for a song you wrote that uses one of those chord progressions, either, so just get over the whole concept of originality, I learned through the examples of these people, especially Pete.

And in case that point wasn't made entirely clear in words and workshops, at the end of my first PMN gathering, after most of the attendees had left, there was Pete, sweeping the floor. Embarrassed not to be doing something useful, I picked up a broom and joined him in that endeavor.

After years of living on the west coast, trying to become a decent folksinger, woodshedding for hours every day learning songs from throughout the ages like I knew I was supposed to if I wanted to be any good, very consciously following Pete's example, I started trying my hand at songwriting again. At the Clearwater festival on the Hudson River, which Pete was involved with starting up a long time ago, I first got turned on to the music of Phil Ochs. Living on the west coast I discovered Jim Page. Those two songwriters had an immense impact on me, and I had written a song that was very much influenced by their stuff, though not as good.

I was back east again around 1993 and went back to a PMN gathering in upstate New York. There was a songswap, one of many, and Pete was one of the folks swapping songs, just another guy with a banjo. Like everyone else, I pretended not to care that he was in on that songswap – didn't want to annoy the guy by being starstruck. I sang the very long song I had recently written, a sort of global social movement historical survey that I was calling “Ballad of the Proletariat.”

Very conscious not to say anything critical in a public space, Pete waited until I was standing alone on the grass somewhere and he came up to me.

“You know,” he said, “'proletariat' is a long, Latin word. It might as well be in Swahili or Chinese.”

I changed the title. Eventually, at Anne Feeney's suggestion, I edited out some of the verses so the song came in at under five minutes, rather than the original eight. (Still very long, though, but somewhat more managably so.)

A couple years later I was back living on the east coast, in Connecticut. It was either in Pete's regular column in Sing Out! magazine, or else in the info that came along with announcements about upcoming PMN gatherings that he put it out there that he was always looking for good new songs. I'm not sure I would have bothered him otherwise, but since it said he was looking for new songs, and he published his PO Box right there in the magazine, I ventured to send him a lyric I had just written after the Oklahoma City bombing, to the tune of Dylan's song, “Who Killed Davey Moore?” I guess he liked the lyric OK, but I wonder if it was the local (Connecticut) address that interested him more than anything.

I lived with my girlfriend at the time in Southbury, but I probably used my mother's return address on the lyric I sent him, and I guess I must have given him her phone number. One day I was visiting my mother, once again attempting to follow her directive to clean up and organize the vast array of stuff I was perpetually storing in her attic, when the phone rang. My mother talked for a minute with whoever called, and of course it was her house, so I figured the call was for her.

Then she called me down from the attic and handed me the phone, whispering with excitement, “it's Pete Seeger.”

“Hello, David? I got this song lyric from you about Oklahoma City. Have you ever heard of the Clearwater Festival?”

He proceeded to invite me to come play at the festival, and he told me about other festivals that happened on the Hudson River that I should sing at. He was clearly in local organizer mode. At the time, the usually secretive, pacifist, communitarian religious sect known as the Bruderhof were experimenting with opening up to the world and playing a clear role as part of the left, and Pete clearly thought that was great.

“Have you ever heard of the Bruderhof? No? They're sort of Christian communists, and they have a community in Connecticut. They're having a gathering which you might like to attend.”

Which I did, of course. I agonized over the invitation to Clearwater, because I had already bought a plane ticket to go to Ireland. I planned to busk my way around Ireland and England, though I ended up just getting really sick soon after I arrived, and not busking much at all. In any case, I didn't go to the festival, but I did take Pete up on his invitation to visit during a meeting of the Beacon (New York) Sloop Club when I got back from Europe.

Pete of course met a lot of people, and by the time I got to the Sloop Club Pete didn't remember who I was. I reminded him of the song I had sent him, and then he seemed to remember, or at least pretended to. It was funny to see him, and his wife Toshi, in that atmosphere, because I had the distinct impression that everybody else was trying to avoid both of them. My guess at the time was if they talked to either of them, they might be asked to do something. In any case, it was a great opportunity to hang out and talk for a good while. Pete had me sing a few songs for everybody. They put up with it politely.

A couple years later at a Grassroots Radio Conference in upstate New York, Pete, me and Granny D were on the bill, all performing (or speaking, in Granny D's case) in a big tent outdoors. I was so excited to have a gig with Pete. When I met Pete there in the tent, he said, “so you're David Rovics.” Again, we met for the first time.

I don't know if that gig had anything to do with it, but it was maybe a year or two afterward that my sister left me a message telling me about something that had come in the mail to my PO Box, which she was checking for me when I was away from home, which at the time was Boston. Later I saw the piece of mail in question myself. It was a check for $100 with a brief note saying, “send me everything you got.” I thought about framing the check and putting it on the wall, but I needed the money, so I deposited it. Plus I just didn't believe in the whole idea of impressing people with such things. I've told this story to few people. Not into name-dropping or that sort of thing. Too much Pete Seeger influence there. But it was one of the best days of my life, getting that phone call from my sister about that little piece of mail.

I sent him all the CDs I had recorded up til that point, as requested. Usually Pete's main form of communication involved a particular postcard, of which he must have had a large collection. It was a picture of the Milky Way galaxy, with a little arrow pointing to one of the tiny spots of light on one of the arms, and the words, “you are here.” On the other side would be a few words, like “thanks for the CDs” or something, and his little signature drawing of a banjo, and his first name, Pete.  Later he started signing the postcards, Old Pete.

I figured if he wanted all those CDs back then, he might want future releases, so now and then if I recorded one I thought he'd like (like the ones that didn't have too many electric guitars involved), I'd send him one. I'd occasionally get back a little note that I'd treasure to a fairly ridiculous degree, that would just say something like, “great CD.” When Pete used an adjective like “great,” it was something to especially treasure. He didn't seem to be a huge fan of adjectives like that.

I guess he had someone helping him with his overwhelming amounts of mail, and I felt bad about ever bothering him, really, because I knew, having read his biography, that he spent four hours every day answering his mail. Whenever I'd send him a CD, after he told me send my CDs to him, before getting the postcard, I'd get a handwritten but photocopied letter explaining that he got too much mail and couldn't listen to CDs, and then to lessen the impact of these words, he'd include bits of whatever song he was working at recently.

I took the hint anyway, and only sent him a CD every few years or so. About as often, I'd send him a song lyric if I thought I had written one he might particularly like. I did this when I wrote a song about the bombing of Hiroshima. He sent it back to me, with handwritten sheet music in the margins. Maybe I hadn't told him that I already had music to it, I don't remember. But he thought he'd write the melody for it anyway. If I had better business sense I would have probably thrown out my own music for the song and used his, thus being able to say that I co-wrote a song with Pete Seeger. But I didn't, and I don't know where that letter is. I'm shit at saving stuff like that, I'm too itinerant.

The last time I saw Pete in person was over ten years ago, behind the stage at the big protest on February 15th, 2003, in Manhattan. We each sang one song at the protest, on that bitterly cold day. Pete and Toshi were freezing, Pete looking very red from the cold, and there were no heaters in the tent. There was loads of press there, jockeying for position to try to interview Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon and Desmond Tutu. Pete and Toshi were huddling on folding chairs, ignored, patiently waiting for Pete's turn to sing. He sang “Over the Rainbow,” which struck me as an odd choice. I kept them company, and we talked, I don't remember about what.

By the time I got around to reconnecting with People's Music Network gatherings, Pete didn't seem to be attending them anymore. He was slowing down as he approached his nineties, as people generally do, though of course I'd hear reports about his movements, running into his grandson Tao regularly at SOA protests and elsewhere.

Hanging out with Tommy Sands a few days ago in Ireland, he recounted some wonderful stories about Pete as well as Tao, who in recent years was the one who went out in Pete's stead to receive awards intended for his grandfather. Tommy said it had been Tao's idea to throw a big 90th birthday bash for Pete at Madison Square Garden. One of the many musicians invited to sing at that was Tommy. He brought his family with him, and they had a great time, by all accounts. Years before, Tommy and Pete co-wrote a song. Can't remember which one that was. While Tommy was there in New York singing for Pete's 90th birthday, I was singing at a decidedly smaller event in Copenhagen, also celebrating Pete's birthday, along with a veritable who's who of 1960's-era Danish songwriters, all of whom had been profoundly influenced by Pete.

I'm sure Pete felt a deep kinship with Tommy, given that they were in so many ways in the same line of work. Both folksingers keeping alive rich musical traditions, both songwriters, both deeply involved with various peace processes, both very much involved with their own local communities, which for Tommy meant Northern Ireland.

One of the pictures on the wall in Tommy's studio is of him, Tao, Gerry Adams and David Irvine. Adams of course is a leader of Sinn Fein, previously a leader of the IRA. Irvine had been the leader of the UVF, the Ulster Volunteer Force. Both men with a long history of using guns to further their political agendas, who were both trying to turn over a new leaf, and find less violent means of working out their very significant differences.

As Tommy recounted the story to me, Irvine refused to shake Adams hand. Undeterred, in a reassuring voice, Adams said to Irvine, “alright, David.” Irvine said to Adams, “alright, Gerry.” And then Tao sang Pete's beautiful original composition, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone.” Though Adams and Irvine didn't shake each others hands, they both sang along to the song. Both men had good singing voices, Tommy reported.

Though Pete was once again absent from the PMN gathering last weekend, his spirit was everywhere, as usual. The “musicians in residence” for PMN in 2014 are a venerable duo of folksingers who together go by the name, Magpie. They recounted the story of what must have been one of the last recordings Pete made, when they visited him at his home in Beacon, not long after Toshi died. They wanted Pete to play a banjo part to a song they were putting on a new album they were working on, and he happily obliged, playing his part with consummate skill as usual. Though his singing voice had been shot for years in his advanced years, his ability to chop wood or to play stringed instruments had apparently not suffered.

They didn't want to keep him, figuring maybe he needed some rest or something, but Pete kept them there for hours, regaling them with stories, as he was known to do at times. Four generations have grown up listening to the music of Pete Seeger, and engaging with the musical and political traditions he helped keep alive. I really can't imagine what folk music, or the civil rights movement, or the antiwar movement, or the environmental movement, or the twentieth century, or I would have been like without him. But I'm sure that long after his passing from the Earth, my daughter's will not be the last generation to grow up listening to the music and stories of Pete Seeger.


I'm on a watch list, and for the most part it's very pleasant, because whatever mystery list I'm on means that I always have an empty seat next to me on a domestic flight, even if the plane is otherwise completely full. Despite this, the flying experience is often pretty miserable for domestic flights, since the airlines all seem to have lowered the oxygen content in the cabin to the point where it usually gives me a headache for the duration of the flight. But I suppose it still beats hitching a ride on a cargo ship.

My destination was Dublin, Ireland – a hell of a long way from Portland, Oregon. The first leg of my three-leg journey was Los Angeles. I had a couple hours there and got something to eat. I had heard not long before that workers at LAX were now all being paid at least $15 an hour. I'm pretty sure this was not the case the last time I passed through. The atmosphere bore more resemblance to Scandinavia than to the LAX I used to know. The workers were consistently enthusiastic, cordial and went out of their way to be helpful and welcoming to everyone – the kind of attitude that seems way beyond the call of duty, and certainly the kind of attitude I have only ever encountered in places where service workers are being paid a living wage. (Or in very poor countries where anyone with a job that allows them to eat seems grateful to have the privilege of not starving.)

One of the few improvements made on the flying experience in the 21st century is a wider selection of movies than were possible with the older technologies. When you have a hundred movies to choose from, there's bound to be one or two good ones, and this was indeed the case on the flight from New York to Dublin. I watched Fruitvale Station, a crushingly good film about the last days in the short life of Oscar Grant and his family. Sitting in the dark on the plane while most everyone else slept, I wrote a Song for Oscar Grant.

In the line for immigration to enter Ireland, a jovial, older Irish man was much more interested in practicing his very limited Spanish and teaching international visitors random phrases in Irish than in asking anyone any questions about their intentions in visiting the country. Although I have heard of people getting turned away from entering Ireland, it was hard to imagine this could happen to anyone that day, particularly a musician. I immediately recalled the feeling I had the first time I visited Ireland decades ago – that having a guitar slung over my shoulder elevated my importance as a human being, rather than making me a slightly more suspicious character, as it would do in many other countries.

The guy at the Hertz counter at Dublin airport tried a new tack to convince me to buy insurance for my rental car. I have learned over the decades that buying insurance is a scam; they don't tell you that if you're renting the car with a typical credit card, which you have to do anyway, since they don't accept any other form of payment, the credit card automatically comes with rental car insurance, if you decline to buy the insurance the rental company wants to sell you. This dude was telling me that the Republic of Ireland was exempted from this, and was one of five countries that wasn't covered by the insurance that comes with your credit card. He seemed to believe this, but I didn't. He said if the car got wrecked, I would be billed for the full cost of replacing the car. I didn't point out that this would not be possible, given that my credit card only had a few hundred dollars left on it before hitting its limit. He claimed – obviously falsely – that a 5,000 euro hold was being placed on the card. If such a hold had been placed on the card it would have been declined. I've always figured that these folks get a commission for every time they manage to scare their customers into buying insurance, but now I'm more confident than ever that this is the case. (If anybody reading this happens to know concretely whether or not I'm right in this guess, let me know!)

First stop in the rental car was the lovely town of Rostrevor, in County Down. The fortified border between the Republic and the northern six counties officially known as Northern Ireland is no longer there, but I only had to go a mile or so off the motorway before there were uniformed policemen driving armored cars, stopping and checking every car going in one direction, obviously looking for someone.

My gracious hosts for most of my visit to the emerald isle would be my friend Tommy Sands and his family. Except for the brief period during which the island's economy was doing well, which abruptly ended several years ago, Ireland is a wonderfully slow-moving place that's best visited at leisurely pace. You expect the most interesting things to happen at the last minute, not with lots of advance planning. I was determined on this visit to leave room for that, unlike on some of my more rushed visits in recent years, and I succeeded.

The advance plans involved four gigs. The television show in Newry, the interview on BBC Ulster with Tommy's brother, Colum, and the nights out with friends in Rostrevor, Belfast and elsewhere were more spontaneous. I was staying in the guest flat in the Sands compound, which used to be the horse stables for the extremely wealthy family of General Robert Ross, whose family had been given much of County Down centuries before, when Ireland was invaded by British settlers. I had my own flat, but the espresso machine was in Tommy's kitchen, and I was made to feel as welcome in that kitchen as any other member of the family. Being an espresso addict, I made frequent use of that welcome. There was a clock above the door to the guest flat, which I would habitually look at before I headed to Tommy's place to make espresso. On one occasion I looked at the clock upon my return to the flat and noticed that eight hours had gone by since I left. I hope it wasn't just me who wasn't noticing the time going by. On other occasions only four hours had gone by, again unnoticed, by me at least.

Tommy has been an internationally-renowned touring musician since the 1960's, and has also been deeply involved with efforts to find a way for the divergent communities that constitute Northern Ireland to live together peaceably, and no matter how much time I spend in his kitchen, I have never heard the same story twice. Mention a musician or a political figure, and he's had some kind of memorable encounter with them. Same goes with most any geographical location in Ireland or elsewhere. So for an oral history fanatic like myself, I was very much in my element. I tried not to be a nuisance, and hopefully succeeded at that, but I had made sure I had time for these unplanned and unrecorded oral history sessions, and I was very glad I did. (And if you want to hear some of them yourself, then rather than me recounting my recollections of his stories, I'll just recommend to you Tommy's wonderful memoir, The Songman.)

My first gig on the island was in downtown Belfast, at a social center that had only opened a few weeks earlier called the Realta. It took a little while for me to find it, since they didn't yet have a sign on the door identifying the place. The center was intended to be a place for people to gather who were specifically interested in forming a new, progressive but nonsectarian political movement in the North. It didn't take long on that very evening to see what a challenge such a project would be. One of the ideas is to support political campaigns led by progressive, nonsectarian political candidates. While some of the younger folks in the room were clearly very enthusiastic about the notion, others I talked to wondered aloud who these nonsectarian candidates might be, such as one friend whose sister had been gunned down by the Ulster Volunteer Force, in front of her small children, when she went to answer the door one day.

Doing an opening set at that gig was a fine songwriter named Pol MacAdaim (who, word has it, will soon be visiting the US). Though he's younger than me, between he and his two brothers, his family has spent about forty years in prison. He wasn't involved with any extraparliamentary activities until after the first time he was picked up off the streets of Belfast, arrested and tortured by occupation forces at the age of 15. But now he's armed only with a guitar, not a gun, and he sings beautiful songs about life in Northern Ireland and beyond, including a gorgeous song he wrote about the late children's author Troy Davis, executed several years ago in the state of Georgia.

Although folks at the Realta knew who they were inviting to do a support set at the gig, feathers were visibly ruffled when he sang his song about the loyalists who threw bags of urine at his four-year-old daughter as she and her mother were attempting to walk to school through an unfriendly neighborhood. Apparently, according to some, in the new North you're not supposed to mention the existence of loyalist thugs. Me, I got in a bit of trouble with the other half of the audience for not singing “Up the Provos” in my set. Eventually I relented and sang the song, which I probably should have done earlier. (For the record, I sang all the other requests from the Republican contingent in the packed room, but apparently that wasn't going to cut it!)

Three of the four gigs in Ireland also featured Kate Mara and Guy Smallman's powerful documentary about the refugee/austerity crisis in Greece, Into the Fire. This was the second time I had done a series of shows that began with a screening of this film, and the showings in Ireland were a fascinating contrast to my previous experience in Belgium. In both countries, the audience was generally sympathetic to the subject of the film and to the filmmaker present. But in Belgium last fall there was a distinct undertone among some members of the audience that these refugees really should be going somewhere else other than Europe. There was no such undertone detectable anywhere in Ireland – only sympathy, and questions related to what people might do to change the situation in the increasingly xenophobic European Union. I believe the Republic of Ireland is the only European country that does not have an organized racist political party.

Dublin was a bit of a shock. Upon entering the scruffy social center in the northern outskirts of the city, the atmosphere was the familiar, welcoming vibe of an anarchist squat. The walls were covered with political slogans and pictures relating to freeing Palestine, doing away with national borders, riding bicycles, etc. The aroma of vegan food was in the air, and several people were busily working in the kitchen, preparing vegetables, pasta, pesto and some kind of grain that I could not identify. In another room, a film series related to the occupation of Palestine was going on, and a live Skype session with an Israeli anarchist and a Palestinian activist was taking place.

The crowd included some folks I knew from past visits to Ireland who were involved with Palestine solidarity groups, Sinn Fein, the Socialist Workers Party and others. Good people of various leftwing political persuasions. But the dominant feeling in the room was nothing short of oppressive. The Better Anarchists have finally made their way to Dublin. Ireland has clearly come of age as a European country. They may not have a far right party yet, but they clearly have got the far left covered. The audience was attentive, as is generally the case in such venues. But very few people laughed in the places where they might normally do so, and that, along with other observations, gave me and other folks I talked to the clear impression that people were generally afraid to laugh, lest they offend an anarchist who is a better anarchist than they. Some of the folks who had greeted me fairly cheerily when I came in were decidedly more icy on my way out, and I was pretty sure that this was their reaction to my song, “I'm A Better Anarchist Than You.” If so, good – the song was for them, and they clearly needed to hear it.

One of the many unplanned social occasions on the trip was the party at the home of my host after the gig in Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland, whose walls are over 1,000 years old (we Americans are really impressed by that shit). Although most of the folks in the little living room we were hanging out in were increasingly inebriated as the night progressed well into the wee hours, the quality of the music did not suffer in the least. Along with renditions of songs by English bands like Radiohead and New Model Army, I heard one of the most moving and pitch-perfect performances of “Raglan Road” ever, there in that smoke-filled flat.

In Cork I talked at length with a man who shall remain unnamed, who had the classic Irish experience of living for years as an “illegal alien” in the USA. He even raised a family there. Being Irish, however, he suffered none of the discrimination faced by his brown-skinned fellow aliens, aside from once having to drive from California to the Canadian border in order to get a new stamp in his passport. Once he even worked on a supposedly high-security military base, where no non-citizens were supposed to be allowed to enter. But unlike a Mexican accent, his clear Irish brogue didn't raise an eyebrow for the military police at the gate, and his California driver's license was all he needed to proffer in order to enter.

Next stop was New York City, and the welcoming embrace of Queens, which is apparently the most diverse city on Earth. True to form, my hosts were a wonderful older leftwing couple, one from Ireland, the other from Scotland. I was in the city to break up my long trip back to the west coast, to do a gig, and to attend the annual winter gathering of the People's Music Network.

It was the most youthful PMN gathering I have ever attended, with the organization now headed up by an executive director who I believe is still under thirty. Folks at PMN gatherings have been lamenting its increasingly ageing membership ever since I first attended a gathering in 1990, but now things are changing in a decidedly youthful and energized direction. I gave a workshop on my version of DIY Music Business, and, having never officially done anything resembling a “mentoring session” in my life, found myself signed up to do six of them in one day. It was a fascinating experience, reminding me once again that my basic message – that what musicians need to do is focus on networking directly with their fans, rather than trying to knock down the fortified gates of the music industry -- is still not the dominant paradigm among aspiring musicians.

As with so many places I go, but especially unsurprising in New York City, I once again saw several friends of the late Brad Will, who used to organize most of my gigs in New York City, from the time I met him in 2000 until his untimely death in 2006. The show was at the Sixth Street Community Center, in the Lower East Side neighborhood where Brad and so many other great activist types used to live (and still do, except for the many who have had to leave because of rampant gentrification in recent decades). Seeing the nearby community gardens brought back difficult memories of hanging out with Brad, and of Brad's beautiful memorial service that I was lucky enough to attend, a week or two after his murder in Oaxaca at the hands of the Mexican paramilitaries.

The entire gig was caught on film and uploaded to YouTube by the venerable media activist, Joe Friendly. (Not a bad recording, but it was better live...) The pizza dinner a bunch of us had around the corner afterward was a typically lovely New York City affair, with at least four nationalities represented around that little table.

And at that I'll sign off, from this plane bound for the west coast, that is currently somewhere over Minnesota I believe. Once again happy to report that I have an entire row to myself, and this time the air quality is better. Probably mainly because this time it's a really big plane, a 767, which are usually used for international flights. Even if they don't mix in enough oxygen, in the bigger planes it takes longer for it all to get depleted. And the little cobb salad I just ate may have cost $10, but it was pretty good.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Songs By Topic

Various radio people have told me it would be useful to have a quick and easy way to find songs that are related to a certain subject (where they can be downloaded for free).  I've tried to do that here.

Songs are sometimes about multiple things, but generally the main topic of the song is represented by each heading, and following the title of each song are more general or secondary topics addressed by the song -- or just people, places or things referenced in the song.  Also something about style -- whether it's acoustic or electric, and sometimes if a certain instrument is prominently featured in the recording.

Click on any song title to download (or stream) the song.  If there's a high-quality music video for the song, a link for that is in brackets just following the song title.  You can just do Cntrl+F and type a keyword, or browse the headings...  Songs with a + after the title include a word that the FCC doesn't like.  Please let me know if you find I've missed one.  Other suggestions for making improvements to this?  Please tell me!

You can also find many of these songs listed with notes as they relate to dates in history, in This Month in History and Song.

If you are able and willing to support all that it takes to make high-quality recordings of hundreds of songs and give them away like this, please consider becoming a subscriber!  (There are lots of musical perks involved with being one, too...)

John Brown [video]  abolitionists, Civil War, Bleeding Kansas, 1859, Harper's Ferry, Virginia, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Beecher, Torrington, slave trade, slavery, Africa, African-Americans, Jesus Christ, Bibles, Christianity, Missouri, gallows, electric band

In the Name of God  George Tiller, Kansas, abortion clinics, assassinations, 2009, Afghanistan, acid, sexism, women's rights, civil rights, church, choir, Jesus, family, daughters, solo acoustic

Afghanistan War
Comets of Kandahar  Bruce Cockburn, Canada, occupation, imperialism, empire, 9/11, Osama, Al-Qaeda, Taleban, deaths quads, crusade, 2001, Twin Towers, September 11th, electric band
Meanwhile in Afghanistan  political prisoners, prisons, NATO 5, entrapment, Occupy Wall Street, Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, Mayor Rahmbo, Illinois, NATO meetings, Florida, wedding party, massacres, collateral damage, imperialism, empire, family, protests, May, 2012, electric band
The Village Where Nothing Happened  Kama Ado, Department of Defense, DOD, imperialism, empire, 2002, family, collateral damage, Ramadan, Air Force, B-52, terrorism, terrorists, Al-Qaeda, Taleban, graves, cemeteries, graveyards, massacres, acoustic duo

Anthony Weiner
Anthony's Wiener+  sexting, sex scandals, New York politics, politicians, penises, genitalia, solo acoustic

Anti-Highway Movement
A Brief History of the Orange Line  mass transit, trains, environment, MBTA, development, community, Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts, solo acoustic

Asian Tsunami
Tsunami  tsunamis, 2004, Aceh, natural disasters, environment, Indonesia, Thailand, loss, grief, grieving, mourning, family, islands, independence, Kyoto Protocols, San Francisco, New York, oceans, acoustic band

Assata Shakur
Assata  terrorism, terrorists, war on terror, FBI's Most Wanted, New Jersey, Black Panthers, Black Panther Party, Black Liberation Army, racism, Cointelpro, police brutality, police violence, Osama, Obama, political prisoners, Havana, Cuba, Alabama, solo acoustic

Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns Trial
Atif and Sebastian  poem, poetry, justice system, Mr. Big, British Columbia, Bellevue, Washington, political prisoners, mass murder, entrapment

Barack Obama
Barack Obama  President Obama, drones, smart bombs, Israel, Ralph Nader, Uncle Tom, evictions, whistle-blowers, whistleblowers, assault rifles, assault weapons, minimum wage, bankers, windmills, Guantanamo, coal, politicians, political corruption, Washington, DC, solo acoustic
Four More Years  President Obama, working class, picket lines, Wall Street, billionaires, politicians, elections, fraud, lobbying, lobbyists, corruption, imperialism, green jobs, natural gas, drones, drone strikes, liberty, freedom, hope, change, acoustic band
If Only It Were True  elections, 2012 election, 2008, Republican debates, Newt Gingrich, Hugo Chavez, bankers, 1%, tax the rich, insurance industry, capitalism, food stamps, wheelchair ramps, wheelchairs, windmills, maple syrup, oil wells, solar cells, green jobs, Delaware, Illinois, Karl Marx, pesticides, free lunches, trains, unions, bicycles, bicycle lanes, environment, drug legalization, hookas, Korans, Moors, Guantanamo, Rupert Murdoch, Fox, Fairness Doctrine, socialism, flag pins, patriotism, nationalism, electric band
Still Waiting for the Change  2008 election, Democratic Party, prisons, drug war, war on drugs, imperialism, empire, missiles, Tahrir Square, Washington, solo acoustic

Bicycle Song  exercise, mass transit, environment, health, acoustic band
Rinky Dink  pedal-powered, radio, pirate radio, windmills, solar, air pollution, environment, solo acoustic

Brad Will
Brad  IMC, Indymedia, Oaxaca, APPO, paramilitaries, death squads, Mexico, police violence, police brutality, protests, Redwood Summer, environment, New York, NYC, squatting, squatters, Tompkins Square, solo acoustic

Capitalism/The Capitalist System
Kick It While It's Down+  privatizing, privatization, commons, tent city, powder keg, parasites, political corruption, lobbyists, lobbying, drought, forest fires, oil, coal mines, solar panels, Foot Not Bombs, welfare state, bankers, bank bailouts, financial crisis, economic collapse, 2008, Occupy Wall Street, 1%, 99%, acoustic band
Occupy Wall Street+ [video]  bankers, banksters, bank bailout, financial crisis, economic collapse, 1%, 99%, 2011, New York City, Zuccotti Park, class war, political corruption, Mohammed Bouazizi, Arab Spring, plutocracy, tax the rich, health insurance, credit cards, debt, budget cuts, austerity, Tunisia, Tahrir Square, society, commons, socialism, acoustic band
Paul Wolfowitz  World Bank, occupation, Iraq, privatization, commons, neocons, neoconservatives, Virginia, Washington, DC, Afghanistan, nuclear power, Baghdad, oil industry, electric band

Children's Songs/Children's Music
To download any of the children's songs, go to the "song chest" at www.davidrovics.com/kids.  Songs marked with * are on Ballad of a Dung Beetle.  All other songs are on Har Har Har.  Links to videos are below.
Babies Are A Mess*  messiness, finger paint, glue, solo acoustic
Baby In A Bag*  babies, shopping, solo acoustic
Ballad of a Dung Beetle*  beetles, bugs, science, biology, solo acoustic
Boogers  disease, sickness, mucus, snot, bogies, acoustic band
Bullies [video]  schoolyard bullying, playgrounds, sewage plants, protests, demonstrations, organizing, unions, union organizing, children's power, factories, asthma, environment, acoustic band
Daddy's Camper Van  traveling, camper vans, coyotes, camping, vacations, holidays, acoustic band
Don't Fall Into the Toilet  toilet training, potty training, acoustic band
Fly Around the World  geography, airplanes, flying, Norway, skiing, airports, Paris, dersage, cheese, Palestine, tunnels, olives, Lebanon, mountains, hummus, pita, cedar trees, Kenya, wildebeasts, giraffes, zebras, Japan, baseball, Australia, kangaroos, Portland, friends, adventures, acoustic band
The Fruit That Got Away  flying, bouncing, stairs, fantasy, escape, acoustic band
Halloween Parade*  holidays, jacolanterns, ghosts, Avatars, witches, cauldrons, lizards, vampires, haunted houses, headless horsemen, dragons, rooftops, Bethel, Connecticut, solo acoustic
I Just Wanna Climb A Tree*  trees, climbing, family, solo acoustic
I Lost My Hat*  losing, acceptance, missing, loss, grieving, grief, hats, solo acoustic
If I Was A Dog*  dogs, animals, fun, barking, licking, wagging, solo acoustic
I'm Gonna Fly [video]  flying, space travel, solar system, astronomy, stars, planets, Earth, Mars, moons, Saturn, Pluto, dancing, acoustic band
I'm Running Away  escape, child abuse, misunderstandings, sadness, acoustic band
It's So Windy*  wind, rain, fog, safety, solo acoustic
Leila's Birthday Song*  birthdays, Legos, bananas, cream pie, monkeys, cows, moons, coyotes, pancakes, whipped cream, bouquets, solo acoustic
My Backyard*  wind, swings, trains, solo acoustic
Owie*  pain, swinging, coconuts, solo acoustic
Owl Dream  owls, dreams, dreaming, moon, acoustic band
Pirate Song [video]  pirates, sailing, oceans, birthdays, islands, choirs, kazoos, whistles, treasure, acoustic band
Pretty Puppies Prancing Playing Pooping in the Park*  parks, dogs, feces, crap, solo acoustic
Punk Rock Baby [video]  squats, squatters, squatting, nursery school, parks, electric guitars, mohawks, leather jackets, spikes, punks, rebellion, resistance, acoustic band
Rocking In A Rocking Chair*  breakfast, tricycles, mail delivery, post office, siblings, brothers, sisters, family, fathers, solo acoustic
Roller Coaster Train [video]  trains, roller coasters, subways, mass transit, acoustic band
Tappety Tippety  typing, computers, screens, acoustic band
Together  community, cooperation, acoustic band
Walking On The Ceiling  physics, gravity, ceilings, acoustic band
When That Kitten Started Playing*  toilet paper, toilets, kittens, solo acoustic

Chilean Coup
Santiago  Salvador Allende, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet, CIA, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, September 11th, 9/11, Victor Jara, Anaconda Copper, Fort Benning, SOA, School of the Americas, state terrorism, dirty war, solo acoustic

A Christmas Song+  Christmas music, Clearchannel, mass media, satire, music industry, recording industry, RIAA, major label, acoustic band
Pirate Santa  pirates, Santa Claus, Christmas songs, Christmas music, Somalia, Gulf of Aden, Somali pirates, North Pole, Portland, Perth, reindeer, Moldova, Robin Hood, commons, electric band

Cluster Bombs
Ballad of a Cluster Bomb  land mines, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Serbia, NATO, collateral damage, civilian casualties, children, acoustic duo

Battle of Blair Mountain  West Virginia, Logan County, Mingo, labor movement, unions, UMWA, miners, Mother Jones, labor history, President Harding, Pinkertons, vigilantes, veterans, coal mine wars, 1921, battles, solo acoustic
East Tennessee  arson, explosives, veterans, mining, Vietnam, draglines, property destruction, civil disobedience, coal mine wars, 1968, history, Appalachia, ecoterrorism, Green Scare, ELF, Earth Liberation Front, electric band
Hills of Tennessee  mining, strip mining, open pit mining, environment, ecocide, Nashville, Music Row, Hiroshima, Wall Street, New York, miners, tsunami, Blair Mountain, mudslides, explosives, cancer, mountaintop removal, solo acoustic

Drink of the Death Squads [video]  Colombia, unions, labor, AUC, Coke, boycott, SOA, School of the Americas, paramilitaries, Latin America, South America, Sinaltrainal, acoustic duo

Luis Posada  poem, poetry, Brothers to the Rescue, CIA, explosives, explosions, terrorism, Cuban Five, Cuban 5, political prisoners, Latin America, Caribbean, Florida, Havana, Fort Benning, SOA, School of the Americas, Cuban Revolution, Miami, C4, Panama, 1976, airliner
Song for Ana Belen Montes  prisons, political prisoners, Texas, FMC Carswell, Department of Defense, espionage, electric band
Trading With the Enemy  embargo, sanctions, free trade, Salvador Allende, John Lennon, Miami, borders, bicycles, mangoes, Jesse Helms, 1996, oxen, organic farms, organic farming, guava juice, integration, segregation, Che Guevara, Jose Marti, solo acoustic

Cuban Missile Crisis
Vasili  Vasili Arkhipov, Soviet Union, submarines, Khruschev, JFK, Kennedy, October, 1962, Beach Boys, Beatles, Lolita, Ken Kesey, imperialism, empire, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, US Navy, John Glenn, Commonwealth Games, Bob Dylan, Vietnam, wars, If I Had A Hammer, Billboard charts, Air Force, Ole Miss, Hewlett-Packard, Algeria, Korea, Russian River, CIA, Operation Mongoose, factories, Bay of Pigs, nuclear missiles, blockades, embargoes, TV, nuclear torpedoes, Cold War, solo acoustic

Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler  environmental disaster, BP, British Petroleum, Halliburton, oil rig explosion, labor, unions, Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Acadians, French, France, oil spills, offshore oil drilling, fishing, fishermen, Battle of Baton Rouge, La Grand Derangement, crawfish, shrimp, Cajun music, oil drilling, oil companies, Texas, Hurricane Katrina, California, solo acoustic

Depleted Uranium
DU  Iraq War, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, radiation poisoning, radioactive, leukemia, cancer, nuclear war, nuclear testing, chemical warfare, chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, solo acoustic

The Draft Is Coming  foreign policy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Exxon, Kerry, Cheney, DU, Depleted Uranium, oil, patriotism, nationalism, Washington, DC, imperialism, empire, acoustic band

Earth Liberation Front
Burn It Down [video]  Rod Coronado, political prisoners, animal rights, animal liberation, arson, Green Scare, free speech, First Amendment, Bill of Rights, environment, electric band
Free  Jeffrey Luers, SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, Eugene, Oregon, asthma, redwoods, suburbia, suburban sprawl, shopping malls, bulldozers, property destruction, arson, political prisoners, Green Scare, environment
Song for the Earth Liberation Front  ELF, Green Scare, ecoterrorism, civil disobedience, arson, Wal-Mart, condos, redwoods, old-growth, virgin forests, logging, Monsanto, acoustic duo

Egyptian Rag  paper mills, Maine, rag paper, history, British colonialism, free trade, capitalism, capitalists, railroads, trains, graveyards, cemeteries, burial, mummies, tombs, solo acoustic

El Salvador
Unknown Soldier  FMLN, 1989, November Offensive, Salvadoran Civil War, wars, imperialism, empire, Central America, Latin America, coffee, hunger, poverty, family, love songs, machine guns, battles, freedom, democracy, military juntas, dictatorships, acoustic band

Election  election fraud, 2000, 2004, George Bush, John Kerry, Al Gore, electoral fraud, vote count, hanging chads, lobbying, lobbyists, money in politics, wars, political corruption, Election Day, solo acoustic, 12-string guitar
Whoever Wins In November  election fraud, electoral fraud, neoliberalism, neoliberals, neoconservatives, Wyoming, Capitol Hill, mansions, shacks, farmworkers, farmers, rivers, Election Day, bankers, democracy, environment, oil drilling, pipelines, frat boys, fraternities, Yale, George Bush, ghettos, Oakland, Iraq, nuclear waste, logging, revolutions, uprisings, resistance, acoustic band

Environmental Activism
The Death of David Chain  Earth First, Redwood Summer, logging, clearcutting, Maxxam, Charles Hurwitz, mass media, corporate media, Big Timber, Pete Wilson, California, Sacramento, Fortuna, Humboldt County, civil disobedience, solo acoustic
Here at the End of the World  flood, drought, oil, pesticides, SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, air pollution, occupation, commons, mansions, ecocide, genocide, protest, coal, suburbs, suburbia, water, privatization, capitalism, terrorism, solo acoustic
Judi Bari  Earth First, IWW, Wobblies, Industrial Workers of the World, organizers, Redwood Summer, pipe bombs, Oakland, logging, 1991, solo acoustic
More Gardens Song  civil disobedience, guerrilla gardening, illegal gardens, New York City, Bronx, asthma, sewage plants, neighborhood, neighbors, sunflowers, police brutality, police violence, protests, commons, solo acoustic
Pebble Mine  mining, copper mines, gold mines, Bristol Bay, Alaska, commons, salmon, fishing, fishermen, toxic sludge, pollution, environmental destruction, ecocide, global warming, climate change, climate crisis, solo acoustic
Pipeline  Tar Sands, Keystone XL, Texas, Alberta, oil shale, shale gas, oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing, fracking, Gulf of Mexico, environmental disaster, oil spills, capitalism, environmental destruction, ecocide, global warming, climate change, climate crisis, acoustic band
We Just Want the World  White House, Capital Hill, Capitol Hill, Congress, politicians, oil tankers, oil rigs, solar power, logging, hemp, bulldozers, jails, prisons, prisoners, schools, corporations, rivers, wars, oil spills, highways, acoustic band

European Union
Welcome to the European Union  privatization, corporations, homelessness, Denmark, squats, squatters, squatting, Ungdomshuset, Vestas, windmills, espresso, riots, prisons, prisoners, refugees, detention centers, social democracy, capitalism, free trade, 1%, Occupy Wall Street, xenophobes, xenophobia, immigration, Renaissance, Moors, McDonald's, farms, farming, cars, car culture, mass transit, hunger, taxation, division of wealth, acoustic duo

Flight 800
Flight 800  history, scandal, cover-up, expose, TWA, Long Island, airplanes, explosions, missiles, shoot-down, shot down, US Navy, CIA, FBI, NTSB, fishermen, witnesses, New York, JFK, 801, optical illusions, solo acoustic

Food Not Bombs
Ballad of Eola Park  FNB, Keith McHenry, mass arrests, hunger, homelessness, Orlando, Florida, Disneyworld, theme parks, civil disobedience, acoustic band

Foreclosure Crisis
A Dream Foreclosed  bank bailout, bankers, poverty, homelessness, 1%, 99%, division of wealth, financial crisis, economic collapse, acoustic band

Foreign Policy
Bomb Ourselves  satire, double-standards, SOA, School of the Americas, Brothers to the Rescue, Bay of Pigs, Miami, Washington, DC, Orwell, Costa Rica, cluster bombs, napalm, Colombia, military, Air Force, Central America, acoustic duo
Good Kurds, Bad Kurds  Kurdistan, Iraq, Turkey, Saddam Hussein, chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, Uncle Sam, imperialism, empire, geopolitics, genocide, PKK, Halabja, acoustic duo

Fracking/Hydraulic Fracturing
No Fracking Way  natural gas, oil, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Halliburton, Marcellus shale, corporate salesmen, Clean Water Act, environment, brain cancer, radiation, radioactive, acoustic duo
Oil Train  North Dakota, oil boom, shale gas, trains, 2013, Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, accidents, explosions, Musi-Cafe, rue Frontenac, solo acoustic

Free Trade
Trade War  Opium Wars, China, England, Great Britain, United Kingdom, history, France, Russia, imperialism, empire, industrial revolution, Unequal Treaties, Hong Kong, Canton, Europe, air pollution, wage slavery, porcelain, silk, tea, merchants, capitalism, monarchs, products, drugs, drug war, war on drugs, 1838, collateral damage, British Navy, Occupy Wall Street, 1%, 99%, acoustic duo

Fukushima Disaster
Minami Sanriku  tsunamis, 2011, Japan, Miyagi Prefecture, natural disasters, environmental disasters, nuclear power, nuclear meltdown, earthquakes, lantern parades, solo acoustic

George Bush/George W. Bush
I Have Seen the Enemy  war on terror, political assassinations, ExxonMobil, Afghanistan, imperialism, empire, Axis of Evil, evil axis, Dow Jones, Osama, patriotism, nationalism, acoustic duo
Moron  Francoise Ducros, Canada, NATO, solo acoustic

Government Shutdown
Government Shutdown  political gridlock, US Congress, House of Representatives, Senate, Bohner, Republicans, Democrats, Obamacare, health care, Affordable Care Act, WIC, student loans, Yellowstone, national parks, military spending, CDC, imperialism, solo acoustic

Guantanamo Bay  prison, political prisoners, hunger strike, Cuba, Camp X-Ray, torture, George Bush, Obama, indefinite detention, solitary confinement, acoustic band

Gun Violence
All the Ghosts That Walk This Earth  gang violence, NRA, National Rifle Association, napalm, Iraq, Auschwitz, afterlife, loss, mourning, funerals, grieving, grief, gun control, solo acoustic
Song for Eric  Eric Mark, gang violence, Mission District, San Francisco, California, gun control, NRA, National Rifle Association, acoustic band

Too Proud To Beg  foreclosure crisis, economic collapse, financial crisis, veterans, war, injuries, handicapped, disabled, heat waves, cars, welfare, begging, panhandling, neighbors, neighborhoods, family, Buicks, retirement, acoustic band
When Johnny Came Marching Home+  veterans, wars, imperialism, occupation, PTSD, airports, planes, coffins, patriotism, nationalism, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Army, soldiers, military bases, pawn shops, hotels, bars, strip clubs, strip malls, dives, beers, explosions, jobs, insomnia, nightmares, murder, mental health, alcoholism, begging, panhandling, unemployment, poverty, acoustic band

Houseboat  independence, off the grid, rivers, mobile homes, Hebden Bridge, London, England, Hackney, canals, water, commons, acoustic band

Hurricane Katrina
Floating Down the River  poem, poetry, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2005, natural disasters, wetlands, storms, racism, George Bush, jazz, Coltrane, clarinets, Cafe du Monde, coffee, Betsy Ross, Lady Liberty, Jesus, zydeco, hummers, National Guard, Blackwater, Iraq
New Orleans [video]  Louisiana, 2005, natural disasters, wetlands, storms, racism, George Bush, levees, oil war, National Geographic, Times-Picayune, wetlands, Washington, DC, evacuation, evacuees, refugees, acoustic band

Iceland, 2008+  bankers, bank bailout, IMF, World Bank, Vikings, hot springs, deregulation, privatization, GDP, Occupy Wall Street, 1%, Reykjavik, debt, fatcats, rich and poor, division of wealth, financial crisis, economic collapse, solo acoustic

Up the Provos  Francis Hughes, Bobby Sands, IRA, Irish Republican Army, British colonialism, Northern Ireland, Derry, Belfast, H Blocks, hunger strikes, explosives, occupation, Armagh, Tyrone, most wanted, battles, 1981, history, prisons, political prisoners, prisoners of war, wars, acoustic band

Before Their Ship Arrived  boat people, Australia, Christmas Island, asylum-seekers, settlers, indefinite detention, solo acoustic
Guanajuato  Mexico, California, Mexican border, No More Deaths, NAFTA, Tijuana, maquiladoras, farmworkers, labor, unions, illegal aliens, undocumented workers, solo acoustic
No One Is Illegal  Mexico, US border, Mexican border, illegal immigrants, undocumented workers, dreamers, Dream Act, prisons, indefinite detention, solo acoustic

From Kabul to Khartoum  foreign policy, bombs, 1998, Bill Clinton, Afghanistan, Sudan, pharmaceutical plants, Madrassas, SOA, School of the Americas, Argentina, dirty war, nuclear testing, nuclear weapons, nuclear war, Guatemala, Korea, Vietnam, Hanoi, Panama, El Chorillo, Fat Man, Little Boy, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nicaragua, Contras, Libya, Tripoli, cruise missiles, patriotism, nationalism, empire, Arizona, Nevada, solo acoustic
Has the Bombing Begun?  Syria, 2013, March on Washington, Obama, US Navy, Fifth Fleet, Vietnam, collateral damage, TV, refugees, war, solo acoustic
Korea  Korean War, 1950, rubble, empire, Kim Il Sung, evil axis, Axis of Evil, North Korea, DPRK, solo acoustic
Syria, 2013  chemical attacks, chemical weapons, Al-Qaeda, Nusra Front, Islamists, terrorism, Asad, Obama, Cameron, Hollande, Fallujah, Saddam Hussein, Halabja, Gouta, Damascus, cruise missiles, empire, solo acoustic
Terror In The Skies  Air Force, empire, NATO, Yugoslavia, Bill Clinton, Serbia, Bosnia, rubble, collateral damage, sanctions, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Algiers, Baghdad, acoustic band

Iraq War
Contras, Kings and Generals  empire, imperialism, Bill Clinton, 1998, sanctions, Madeline Albright, Baghdad, arms trade, corruption, foreign policy, bombing, acoustic band
Fallujah+  veterans, AK, Kalashnikov, mosques, imperialism, empire, occupation, evening news, Oxford, terrorism, torture, terrorists, canvass sack, tanks, helicopter gunships, battles, acoustic band
My Daughter  sanctions, imperialism, Bill Clinton, 1998, Madeline Albright, Baghdad, foreign policy, bombing, family, parenthood, motherhood, Basra, solo acoustic
Song for Basra  sanctions, family, grieving, loss, mourning, imperialism, empire, acoustic duo
Song for Cindy Sheehan  Casey Sheehan, Camp Casey, 2005, Vacaville, California, Texas, Baghdad, George Bush, acoustic band
Spanish Journalist Strike  collective action, unions, Palestine Hotel, Baghdad, Telemundo, Al-Jazeera, Abu Dhabi TV, Aznar, Spain, Madrid, solo acoustic
Waiting for the Fall  Baghdad, imperialism, empire, Green Zone, military, militarism, helicopter gunships, missiles, collateral damage, machine guns, turrets, power outages, Red Cross, massacres, death squads, Korans, toilets, Shell, oil, wars, humvees, hummers, ivory towers, Texas, electric band
The War Is Over  mission accomplished, George Bush, speeches, insurgency, bring it on, jet planes, rubble, democracy, occupation, imperialism, empire, Muslims, Islam, corporations, capitalism, privatization, dictators, Saddam Hussein, oil, oil wars, militarism, family, loss, grief, grieving, mourning, soldiers, veterans, babies, Chevron, Exxon, riots, looting, libraries, Bibles, crusades, schools, cemeteries, graveyards, bombs, sanctions, treaties, sultans, Mao, funerals, solo acoustic

Jesus Christ
Who Would Jesus Bomb?  imperialism, Christianity, Christians, George Bush, Iraq war, wars, crusades, political conventions, evangelical Christianity, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, tanks, gallows, Saddam Hussein, TV, battleships, Congress, civilization, bombs, explosives, land mines, electric chairs, capital punishment, compassion, Vietnam, God, Armageddon, atom bombs, nuclear bombs, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, Bethlehem, East Timor, dictators, SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, napalm, solo acoustic

Labor History
Glory and Fame  99%, Chile, King Leopold, Congo, Poncho Villa, Haymarket, Chicago, Centralia, Barcelona, Hitler, Arizona, Navajo, South Africa, Sharpeville, Allende, Tiananmen, Somalia, Bangkok, textile factories, Los Angeles, Rodney King, riots, revolution, acoustic band
Song for Boxcar Betty  IWW, Wobblies, freight trains, railroads, Industrial Workers of the World, rebel girl, 99%, unions, One Big Union, OBU, sexism, women's liberation, 1906, acoustic band, bluegrass
Song for Ginger Goodwin  Vancouver, Victoria, BC, British Columbia, IWW, Wobblies, World War I, First World War, 1918, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, mining, mines, union organizers, union organizing, labor organizing, labor leaders, union leaders, draft dodgers, conscription, blacklung, frieght trains, Nanaimo Bay, class war, grieving, loss, mourning, Dunsmuir Colleries, strike, miners, police violence, police murder, police killing, solo acoustic
Song for the Eureka Stockade  Victoria, Australia, 1854, gold miners, gold diggers, unions, uprisings, massacres, 1851, Southern Cross, police violence, police brutality, British colonialism, solo acoustic
Union Makes Us Strong  unions, union movement, labor movement, Great Depression, 1929, farmers, auctions, bankers, 1%, 99%, Occupy Wall Street, unemployed, unemployment, neighbors, collective action, revolutions, FDR, Roosevelt, solo acoustic

London Riots
London Is Burning [video]  Tom Morello, David Cameron, police violence, police murder, police killing, police brutality, Tottenham, Birmingham, Manchester, England, racism, looting, unemployment, arson, hooligans, electric band

Adelaide  Australia, relationships, loss, grief, grieving, mourning, acoustic band
Every Minute of the Day  be here now, in the moment, mindfulness, ecstasy, euphoria, bliss
Friends  friendship, relationships, loneliness, solo acoustic
Hot Tub Song  hot tubs, California, marijuana, pot, weed, blunts, gigs, commons, solo acoustic
Jewel of Bucharest  Romania, solo acoustic
Life Is Beautiful  leather pants, bliss, ecstasy, euphoria, acoustic band
Like I Think About You+  friendship, acoustic band
Mama's Royal Cafe  Oakland, California, tattoos, love at first sight, solo acoustic
Mi Amor  Latin America, revolution, romance, international solidarity, solo acoustic
Now That You're Gone  loss, mourning, grieving, grief, solo acoustic
Scar Upon Your Face  Palestine, international solidarity, acoustic band
So Many Years Ago  Latin America, death squads, peasants, acoustic band
Song for Al Grierson  Texas, Alberta, Oregon, friendship, musicians, remembrance, appreciations, solo acoustic
Song for My Broken Heart  loss, grief, grieving, mourning, breakups, yearning, loneliness, acceptance, relationships, acoustic band, mandolin
Sunshine  geeks, intellectuals, Google, Facebook, acoustic band, Micah Archer
Syrian Princess  G8, Rostock, Syria, one-night stands, ecstasy, euphoria, bliss, acoustic band
Time for You to Go  breakups, loss, grieving, grief, mourning, acceptance, relationships, solo acoustic
Times Gone By  tears, winter, loneliness, broken hearts, loss, grieving, grief, mourning, breakups, traveling, touring, relationships, acoustic band
Travelodge  hotels, traveling, gigs, loneliness, toilets, guitars, amenities, shoes, desire, breakfast, laptops, touring, acoustic duo
Wookey Hole Inn  England, ecstasy, euphoria, deer, Robin Hood, forests, woods, gardens, London, caves, trolls, wine, ale, mountains, trails, bars, souls, grass, weed, marijuana, pot, sofas, couches, goals, bliss, solo acoustic
World of Broken Dreams  homelessness, poverty, Portland, Oregon, Powell Boulevard, Powell Blvd, alcoholism, runaways, family, fatherhood, New York City, luck, busking, street music, relationships, solo acoustic

Marijuana Legalization
Cannabis Cafe  pot, dope, weed, Vancouver, BC, British Columbia, war on drugs, drug war, New York, Central Park, Hastings Street, Portland, medicinal marijuana, recreational use, Colorado, Washington, acoustic band, bluegrass, banjo, mandolin

Marriage Equality
I Know A Man  gay marriage, LGBTQ, gay rights, solo acoustic

Mass Media/Corporate Media
Evening News  Murdoch, Fox, Clearchannel, mainstream news, TV, radio, newspapers, Colombia, FARC, Mexico, Maine, drug war, war on drugs, Washington, DC, Islamophobia, Baghdad, Iraq, war on terror, occupation, foreign policy, empire, imperialism, cocaine, helicopter gunships, Dark Ages, suicide bombing, solo acoustic
Steal This MP3+  intellectual property, patents, copyrights, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, protests, Warner Brothers, Sony, Lady Gaga, independent labels, major labels, recording industry, music industry, Clearchannel, censorship, Big Brother, Hollywood, Pharma, electric band
What If You Knew  corporations, imperialism, TV news, ice caps melting, global warming, climate change, climate crisis, rising oceans, environment, rivers, cyanide, mining, bombs, rubble, hospitals, doctors, collateral damage, cluster bombs, militarism, factories, sweatshops, 1%, 99%, hunger, conspiracies, SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, revolutions, pundits, solo acoustic
Who Will Tell the People  corporations, free speech, freedom of expression, First Amendment, Pacifica, Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, CIA, ghettos, drug war, war on drugs, DEA, FBI, surveillance, division of wealth, foreign policy, imperialism, Colombia, 1%, radioactive waste, Air Force, Iraq, wars, ozone hole, sheep, arms trade, Fanta, independent media, San Jose, Atlanta, TV news, cancer rates, nuclear power, clean water, Chevron, privatization, Nigerian students, diptheria, illiteracy, prisons, prisoners, prison labor, torture, SOA, School of the Americas, Navajos, McDonald's, Shanghai, veterans, resistance, revolutions, New Delhi, New Mexico, Berkeley, New York, pirate radio, solo acoustic
Why Don't They Play You On The Radio?  corporations, Clearchannel, record industry, major labels, recording industry, gigs, touring, traveling, highways, commuter lanes, 99%, musicians, artists, payola, media consolidation, spandex, drum machines, fashion, sex appeal, commercials, advertisements, ads, shopping, protests, protesting, wars, foreign policy, imperialism, lemmings, talent, division of wealth, Sony, electric band

Mass Transit
T-Stop Cafe  MBTA, subways, underground, tube, trains, railroads, Boston, Massachusetts, environment, street music, busking, solo acoustic

Aurora Massacre  poetry, poem, Colorado, Columbine, high school, movie theater, mass murder, mass killing, NRA, National Rifle Association, gun violence, gun control, assault weapons
Breivik [video]  mass murder, Utoya, Norway, Oslo, Anders Breivik, Knights Templar, Crusades, Inquisition, history, racism, immigration, refugees, asylum-seekers, Islam, xenophobia, multiculturalism, electric band
I'm Taking Someone With Me When I Go  high school, Cho, Klebold, Columbine, Virginia Tech, 1999, 2003, cheerleaders, sexism, gun control, gun culture, gun violence, mass murders, mass killing, NRA, National Rifle Association, assault weapons, solo acoustic

Mexican-American War
Saint Patrick Battalion  Mexico, San Patricios, Ireland, Irish, draft, conscription, 1847, annexation, Texas, San Diego, Churobusco, Irishmen, Catholics, nuns, Dublin, Wolf Tone, Matamoros, Monterey, Cerro Gordo, imperialism, empire, foreign policy, Alamo, acoustic band, banjo

National Security Agency/NSA
Prism  Prism Program, NSA spying scandal, Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks, Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam War, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, privacy, Patriot Act, torture, police states, secret government, secret juries, Feinstein, McConnell, whistle-blowers, solo acoustic
Spies Are Reading My Blog  INZ, Immigration New Zealand, kiwi spooks, Dunedin, Stasi, Trondheim, Narita, borders, solo acoustic

Native America/American Indians
Morning at Minnehaha  Anti-Highway Movement, 55, 1997, Mendota Indians, Earth First, Wounded Knee, People's Park, commons, shopping malls, development, suburbia, suburbs, Minnehaha Free State, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Native Americans, acoustic band
Song for Big Mountain  Black Mesa, Arizona, Navajo, Dineh, Hopi, indigenous, coal mines, mining, Church Rock uranium spill, land dispute, grandmothers, 1974, relocation, Indian Wars, Native Americans, solidarity, acoustic band

Nuclear War
By the Time They Nuke DC  terrorism, war on terror, dirty bombs, Washington, DC, acoustic band
Hiroshima  genocide, nuclear weapons, nuclear war, nuclear bombs, holocaust, imperialism, empire, 1945, World War II, Second World War, acoustic band

Age of Oil+  climate crisis, climate change, global warming, energy, environment, peak oil, strip malls, development, suburbia, SUV, Sports Utility Vehicles, solo acoustic, 12-string
Before the Oil Wells Ran Dry  climate crisis, climate change, global warming, energy, environment, peak oil, strip malls, development, suburbia, solo acoustic, 12-string
Cordova  Alaska, oil spill, Valdez, Prince William Sound, blockade, fishermen, Ricki Ott, marine toxicology, salmon, herring, fishing, Exxon, 1993, history, corruption, Senator Stephens, Coast Guard, gunship, environmental disasters, catastrophes, electric band
Operation Iraqi Liberation [video]  OIL, George Bush, imperialism, empire, oil wars, Osama, uranium, Saddam Hussein, Al-Qaeda, 9/11, September 11th, occupation, North Korea, Iran, Israel, Iraq War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, solo acoustic

Children of Jerusalem  Ariel Sharon, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Second Intifada, massacres, Shatila, Middle East, occupation, Zionism, IDF, solo acoustic
Christmas Eve in Bethlehem  holidays, Apartheid Wall, separation barrier, West Bank, occupation, Jesus, Church of the Nativity, Palestinian Christians, Zionism, Manger Square, checkpoints, solo acoustic
The Death of Rachel Corrie  Gaza Strip, Rafah, Olympia, Washington, Caterpillar, bulldozers, IDF, home demolitions, ISM, International Solidarity Movement, Jerusalem, Green Line, acoustic band
I Wanna Go Home  1948, 1967, right of return, al-awda, Resolution 242, Palestinian Christians, Six Day War, Naqba, Jesus, refugees, refugee camps, immigration, solo acoustic
In One World  Haifa, Baghdad, refugees, right of return, al-awda, Resolution 242, student leaders, student movement, 1948, 1967, Stern Gang, Zionism, checkpoints, barbed wire, IDF, Tigris River, coexistence, reconciliation, grieving, grief, loss, mourning, solo acoustic
Israeli Geography 101  Netanyahu, settlements, settlers, colonialism, bantustans, reservations, refugees, refugee camps, right of return, al-awda, Apartheid Wall, separation barrier, Jewish state, Zionism, borders, Palestinians, standing ovations, Joint Session of Congress, democracy, Hamas, Abbas, Palestinian Authority, anti-Semite, anti-Semitism, Mediterranean Sea, Resolution 242, electric band
Jenin+  2002, West Bank, Israeli incursions, war on terror, terrorism, terrorists, mass murder, Zionism, state terrorism, battles, refugee camps, suicide bombers, suicide bombing, martyrdom operation, helicopter gunships, home demolition, torture, Tel Aviv, shopping malls, bulldozers, settlements, Green Line, acoustic duo
The Key  refugees, refugee camps, homelessness, diaspora, family, grandmothers, Jaffa, 1948, right of return, Resolution 242, acoustic band
Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands  hunger strike, indefinite detention, prisons, political prisoners, Jenin, 2012, bakers, IRA, Irish Republican Army, Islamic Jihad, settlements, occupation, civil disobedience, occupied six counties, H Blocks, 1981, Belfast, acoustic band
Lebanon, 2006  poem, poetry, IDF, Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, Ehud Olmert, 1996, 1982, 1967, 1948, Condoleeza Rice, invasion of Lebanon, Lebanon war, collateral damage, Qana bombing, United Nations compound, UN compound
Occupation  1967, Six Day War, Tel Aviv, West Bank, Gaza Strip, refugees, right of return, bulldozers, home demolitions, olive trees, olive groves, olive harvest, IDF, intifada, Herzl, Mossad, torture, settlers, settlements, Jerusalem, God, electric band
Return  poetry, poem, right of return, Resolution 242, Zionism, fascism, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Dachau, Jenin, Jaffa, Rafah, al-awda, Jerusalem
Song for the Mavi Marmara  IHH, Turkey, Free Gaza, break the siege, Gaza Strip, massacres, IDF, 2010, refugees, bombing raids, borders, history, international solidarity, Netanyahu, Goliath, acoustic band
Song the Songbird Sings  Mahmud Al-Qayyed, 2003, Gaza Strip, occupation, IDF, snipers, farmers, solo acoustic
They're Building A Wall  walls, borders, Semites, friends, neighbors, holocaust, water, children, family, orchards, harvest, ghosts, bulldozers, helicopter gunships, truth, lies, refugees, Apartheid Wall, separation barrier, West Bank, acoustic band
What Do You Call It  fascism, refugees, refugee camps, family, ghettos, occupation, bombs, neighbors, snipers, walls, prisons, tombs, enemies within, internal threats, prisoners, history, holocaust, torture, arrests, starvation, hunger, embargoes, sanctions, sieges, terrorists, fanatics, terrorism, brainwashing, soldiers, wars, electric band

American Rag  American Idol, fast food, iPhones, nationalism, McDonald's, Ronald McDonald, solo acoustic
Flag Desecration Rag  First Amendment, dissent, imperialism, empire, free speech, nationalism, Vietnam, Iraq, allegiance, Air Force, Uncle Sam, war, RCP, Revolutionary Communist Party, acoustic band, bluegrass
God Bless the USA  nationalism, Indians, reservations, Trump Towers, Blue Angels, Appalachia, bulldozers, strip mines, megachurches, corporate ladder, homelessness, alligators, swamps, NFL, Oakland Raiders, conspiracy theorists, Jewish bankers, ExxonMobil, oil tankers, Clearchannel, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, anorexia, lyposuction, facelifts, Fox, Rupert Murdoch, X-Factor, lobbyists, Miley Cyrus, Obama, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, oranges, internment, prisons, Wyoming, NRA, massacres, capital punishment, electric chairs, suburbia, suburban sprawl, Patriot Missiles, redwoods, paper mills, firefighters, Desert Storm, imperialism, empire, immigration, offshore oil rigs, war, solo acoustic
Hang a Flag in the Window  nationalism, 9/11, September 11th, Ramadan, cluster bombs, jingoism, George Bush, Afghanistan, Thomas Ridge, Homeland Security, Cointelpro, FBI, indefinite detention, Guantanamo, boxcutters, maquiladoras, Enron, Argentina, bailouts, Axis of Evil, terrorists, terrorism, economic collapse, oil, war, acoustic duo
If I Die Tomorrow  nationalism, cars, car culture, Uncle Sam, Judi Bari, Darryl Cherney, pipe bombs, Earth First, acoustic band

Pirate Radio
Pirate Radio Song+  Santa Cruz, Freak Radio, free radio, community radio, low power FM, FCC, CNN, NPR, ABC, CEO, Big Brother, commons, activism, democracy, Clearchannel, commercial radio, acoustic duo

Black Flag Flying  Golden Age of Piracy, labor history, Mary Kelly, British Navy, anarchism, anarchy, free trade, acoustic band, banjo
If I Were Captain of the Pirates  Deepwater Horizon, oil rigs, environmental disasters, Texas, hostages, CEOs, stormy seas, last wills, ivory towers, board meetings, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, fishermen, a cappella
Pirates of Somalia  piracy, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Jolly Roger, fishermen, oil, solo acoustic, bluegrass

Plowshares Movement
If I Had A Hammer  civil disobedience, property destruction, Catholic Workers, helicopter gunships, Iraq, Baghdad, Collateral Murder video, Bradley Manning, Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks, Queensland, Australia, war games, Pitstop Plowshares, Graeme Dunstan, sledgehammers, solo acoustic

Police Brutality
Butcher for Hire  John Timoney, Miami, Philadelphia, Police Chief, police violence, FTAA, 2003, Bahrain, mercenaries, vigilantes, corruption, lobbying, martial law, free speech zones, protests, riots, riot police, police riot, solo acoustic
Watch Out for the Cops  police violence, police murder, Portland, Oregon, racism, vegans, veganism, bicycles, cob, homelessness, gun violence, punks, punk rock, piercings, tattoos, food trucks, Portlandia, microbrews, Balkan music, gay bars, Birmingham, DWB, driving while black, traffic stops, KKK, electric band

Political Corruption
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy  lobbying, elections, election fraud, electoral fraud, millionaires, outsourcing, voting rights, 1%, wars, solo acoustic, 12-string
Corporations Are People, Too  Supreme Court, Mitt Romney, Move To Amend, corporate personhood, 1%, corporate elite, free speech, lobbying, oil spills, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wars, acoustic band
Democrats Make Me Wanna Vomit+  Democratic Party, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, JFK, Kennedy, LBJ, Johnson, Wilson, foreign policy, imperialism, empire, Vietnam, WTO, Carter, Suharto, Shah, acoustic band

Political Prisoners
Song for Chelsea Manning  Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, Collateral Murder video, Baghdad, Iraq War, imperialism, empire, secrets, war crimes, torture, the surge, Private Manning, Adrian Lamo, drones, drone strikes, whistle-blowers, electric band
Song for Pelican Bay  hunger strike, solitary confinement, California, Jerry Brown, Hollywood, SHUs, prisons, solo acoustic
Vanunu  Mordechai Vanunu, whistle-blowers, Israel, Palestine, nuclear weapons, nuclear war, nuclear arms, Dimona, Negev Desert, Mossad, kidnappings, Rome, Morocco, IDF, military, massacres, Sabra and Shatila, solitary confinement, prisons, 1986, prisoners of conscience, civil disobedience, history, acoustic band

Polyamory Song  free love, open relationships, nonmonogamy, family, solo acoustic

Deadhead In Prison  drug war, war on drugs, Grateful Dead, LSD, acid, bad trip, Golden Gate Park, hippies, acoustic band

Prison Torture
After We Torture Our Prisoners  Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, occupation, war, acoustic band

Proportional Voting/Instant Run-Off Voting
IRV  election fraud, electoral fraud, political corruption, lobbying, lobbyists, democracy, Democrats, Al Gore, stolen elections, campaign finance reform, money in politics, solo acoustic

Miami  FTAA protests, 2003, Free Trade Area of the Americas, Florida, Black Block, John Timoney, riot police, tear gas, police violence, police brutality, broken skulls, plastic bullets, World Bank, Boeing, police riot, solo acoustic
Outside Agitator  Alberta, G8 protests, Canada, 2002, acoustic duo
Riot Dog [video]  Loukanikos, Kanellos, Athens, Greece, banks, bankers, bailouts, financial crisis, economic collapse, 2008, police riots, Facebook, blogs, capitalism, tear gas, police brutality, police violence, riots, protests, demonstrations, electric band
RPG  rocket-propelled grenade, riot cops, billy clubs, helicopters, demonstrations, animal rights, acoustic band
Shut Them Down  Seattle, WTO, World Trade Organization, IMF, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, anticapitalist movement, corporate globalization, Prague, Melbourne, Washington, DC, CNN, IMC, Indymedia, strip malls, biotech, ecocide, pacifists, Zapatistas, baristas, 99%, solo acoustic
Song for the BBB  Biotic Baking Brigade, pastry uprisings, Bill Gates, Milton Friedman, Willy Brown, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, Thailand, Belgium, California, San Francisco, landlords, acoustic duo
Trafalgar Square  London, England, Great Britain, United Kingdom, February 15th, 15 February, 2003, wars, Iraq War, imperialism, empire, George Bush, statues, queens, monarchy, Tony Blair, Exxon, oil, fascism, solo acoustic
We Will Win  Wisconsin uprising, demonstrations, ancestors, history, abolitionism, slavery, Bleeding Kansas, unions, union organizing, labor movement, union movement, 1886, Milwaukee, Bob Lafollette, socialism, Bay View, massacres, Haymarket, 1%, 99%, acoustic duo

Oppositional Defiant Disorder  pharmaceutical industry, mental illness, Utah, Wal-Mart, Wolf Blitzer, Rush Limbaugh, solo acoustic

Trayvon  Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, stand your ground laws, vigilantes, Florida, neighborhoods, family, fathers, sons, neighborhood watch, Skittles, hoodies, NRA, National Rifle Association, gun control, gun violence, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, rightwing talk show hosts, justice system, injustice, prisons, pundits, TV, police, protests, 2012, 2013, solo acoustic

Rent Strike Wars/Rent Strike Movement/Rent Strike Era
Landlord  1848, Rennsalaer, New York, upstate New York, Hudson River, rebellions, uprisings, tenant farmers, landlords, Netherlands, Nederland, Dutch, English, British colonialism, tin horn, calico, tin horns of calico, masks, Calico Indians, peasant uprisings, labor history, Homestead Act of 1862, speculators, banks, bankers, homelessness, solo acoustic

After the Revolution  Bush, Kissinger, Peltier, Mumia, political prisoners, Military Industrial Complex, utopia
Behind the Barricades  love, 1968, Paris, Genoa, police brutality, police violence, police riot, G8 protests, tear gas, electric band
The Commons  patents, copyright, privatization, terminator seeds, Monsanto, Clearchannel, music industry, pharmaceutical industry, water, property, acoustic band
Crashing Down  economic collapse, Black Monday, financial crisis, 2008, bailout, bankers, austerity, electric band
Minimum Wage Strike  labor, unions, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, walkouts, Joe Hill, fast food, McDonalds, Foot Locker, acoustic band, bluegrass, banjo
Pray for the Dead and Fight Like Hell for the Living  Mother Jones, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Philadelphia, MOVE, political prisoners, prisons, Crazy Horse, buffalo, Ecuador, Big Mountain, water, environment, commons, logging, activism, civil disobedience, Manilla, Managua, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Baghdad, Belgrade, Hanoi, Havana, acoustic band
Resistance  commons, activism, Manifest Destiny, savages, communists, terrorists, traitors, patriots, patriotism, nationalism, imperialism, 1%, 99%, electric band
Strike A Blow Against the Empire  Islamophobia, imperialism, TV, racism, war on terror, electric band
We Are Everywhere  anthems, uprisings, revolutions, community, commons, poverty, wealth, 1%, 99%, homelessness, loneliness, Caracas, Buenos Aires, Havana, Chiapas, ivory towers, religions, prisons, borders, races, racism, invasions, imperialism, empire, rulers, Congressmen, corporations, radio stations, mass media, bombs, home demolitions, rubble, protests, demonstrations, acoustic duo

School of the Americas/SOA
Song for the SOA  Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia, torture, death squads, assassinations, military juntas, civil disobedience, prisons, political prisoners, protests, Father Roy Bourgeois, Panama, Victor Jara, Salvador Allende, Chile, acoustic band
Song for the SOA #2  Catholic Workers, Jesuits, nuns, priests, Guatemala, giant puppets, human rights, torture, solo acoustic

Sectarianism/Political Correctness
I'm A Better Anarchist Than You [video]  anarchism, anarchists, squats, squatters, vegans, veganism, vegetarians, vegetarianism, animal rights, yuppies, cars, car culture, biomass, skateboards, traffic, mass transit, dumpster-diving, skips, sexism, Anti-Flag, Crass, pacifism, Black Block, militancy, police brutality, police violence, consensus, voting, electric band
Vanguard  socialism, communism, Milosevic, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, SWP, ISO, RCP, vanguardism, Lenin, Marx, acoustic duo

Sit Down to Piss+  lifestyle, anarchism, Germany, gender equality, women's liberation, acoustic duo

September 11th, 2001
The Dying Firefighter  9/11, Twin Towers, Al-Qaeda, 11 September, terrorism, war on terror, George Bush, New York City, Manhattan, solo acoustic
Promised Land  plane hijackings, United Airlines, American Airlines, Al-Qaeda, New York City, World Trade Center, Twin Towers, 9/11, 11 September, terrorism, war on terror, George Bush, Manhattan, Mohammed Atta, Paris, Wisconsin, electric band

Shays' Rebellion
Berkshire Hills  Massachusetts, tenant farmers, labor history, peasant uprisings, Bill of Rights, American Revolution, colonialism, colonies, Daniel Shays, John Adams, George Washington, Continental Army, Great Barrington, rent strike, solo acoustic

Species Extinction
The Alligator Song  environment, climate change, climate crisis, global warming, Everglades, sex, penises, genitalia, Viagra, indicator species, Florida, Louisiana, acoustic band, bluegrass
Bonobo Song  sex, polyamory, free love, nonmonogamy, environment, monkeys, evolution, relationships, bonobos, hot springs, mountain streams, open relationships, solo acoustic

Social Movements
Everything Can Change  pedagogy, social change, Occupy Wall Street, 99%, memes, Congressmen, businessmen, TV, protests, labor, electric band

Suburbia/Suburban Sprawl
Beyond the Mall  shopping, Buy Nothing Day, environment, development, developers, strip malls, billboards, Ritalin, Prozac, asphalt, car culture, cars, solo acoustic, 12-string
Everything Looks the Same  Buy Nothing Day, environment, development, developers, strip malls, billboards, asphalt, car culture, cars, parking lots, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Holiday Inn, Tennessee, Texas, Baltimore, Burlingame, ancient forests, family farmers, commons, neighbors, Wal-Mart, fat, Ronald McDonald, Uncle Sam, Amsterdam, individualism, solo acoustic, 12-string
Hummer+  Hummers, Humvees, armored vehicles, cars, car culture, SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles
Parking Lots and Strip Malls  McDonalds, cars, car culture, environment, solo acoustic, 12-string
Sixty Thousand More  cars, car culture, solo acoustic, 12-string
Wal-Mart+  shopping malls, big box stores, suburbs, minimum wage, labor movement, unions, union movement, sweatshops, environment, logging, family, child labor, prisoners, prison labor, urban decay, ghosts, Sam Walton, living wage, Main Street, 1%, acoustic band

Tax the Rich  income inequality, 1%, 99%, Occupy Wall Street, military spending, imperialism, empire, military industrial complex, Congress, politics, veterans, war, health care, schools, education, windmills, environment, poverty, terrorism, patriotism, corporations, corporate subsidies, GE, General Electric, downsizing, division of wealth, militarism, pacifism, socialism, acoustic duo

What Am I Doing Here  gigs, road songs, love songs, loneliness, home, pubs, alcoholism, mass transit, tips, clocks, bars, solo acoustic

Tunisia, 2011  Arab Spring, Arab uprisings, Tahrir Square, Liberation Square, Mohammed Bouazizi, Ben Ali, dictators, police brutality, police violence, self-immolation, suicide, bullying, bullies, governors, fires, riots, protests, wars, revolutions, terrorism, terrorists, France, Jidda, Jedda, Saudi Arabia, Tigris, Nile, Middle East, Egypt, freedom, democracy, resistance, electric band

Ungdomshuset's Microphone  poetry, poems, 2007, 1982, squats, squatters, squatting, Europe, Denmark, Copenhagen, Norrebro, folketshuset, faderhuset, police brutality, police violence, riots, protests, tear gas, barricades, 1898, Danish, punk rock social centers, microphones, hygiene, anarchists, anarchism, demonstrations, prisons, political prisoners, politics, politicians, Malmo, Sweden, museums

Urban Decay
Used to Be A City  rust belt, labor history, unions, union movement, labor movement, strip malls, shopping malls, Wal-Mart, neighbors, neighborhoods, weddings, Stetsons, factories, railyards, railroads, trains, grandparents, churches, highways, suburbs, suburbia, suburban sprawl, environment, Danbury, Connecticut, solo acoustic

Song for Hugo Chavez  for the moment, por ahora, Bolivarian Revolution, military coup, 2002, 1998, elections, social democracy, socialism, Citgo, TV, mass media, corporate media, Latin America, acoustic band

Vietnam War
Song for Hugh Thompson  VFP, Veterans for Peace, VVAW, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, 1969, My Lai Massacre, acoustic band

War of 1812
The Man Who Burned the White House Down  US history, Canadian history, invasion of Canada, 1814, Irish history, County Down, Northern Ireland, Rostrevor, Irish rebels, Napoleonic Wars, British Army, York, Toronto, Washington, DC, General Ross, General Robert Ross, Halifax, Nova Scotia, foreign policy, imperialism, solo acoustic

War on Terror
Holy Land 5  Holy Land Foundation, political prisoners, terrorism, CMUs, Communication Management Units, solitary confinement, Israel, Palestine, food, medicine, humanitarianism, Hamas, occupation, refugees, refugee camps, Khan Yunus, Shatila, intifada, poverty, hunger, Texas, IDF, George Bush, Islamophobia, West Bank, Guantanamo, USAID, electric band
How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg?  Nuremberg Tribunal, Nuremberg Trials, Nazism, fascism, Hitler, World War II, patriotism, nationalism, torture, Fallujah, Iraq, Afghanistan, mass murders, tanks, foreign policy, terrorism, electric band
International Terrorists  imperialism, empire, cartels, arms trade, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, military, IMF, CNN, mercenaries, Blackwater, Al-Qaeda, terrorism, solo acoustic
Next Attack  9/11, September 11th, 2001, New York, TV, helicopters, shopping malls, pipelines, oil, Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, terrorism, collateral damage, Dick Cheney, martyrdom, acoustic duo
One Night in Greece+  September 10th, 2001, Libyan students, patriotism, flag desecration, free speech, yachts, pranks, solo acoustic
Osama bin Laden is Dead  Navy Seal Team Six, Navy Seals, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, 9/11, September 11th, 2001, 2011, terrorism, state terrorism, international law, veterans, Baghdad, Fallujah, DU, depleted uranium, poisoned farms, Syria, Jordan, Michigan, refugees, refugee camps, acoustic duo

War Veterans
Face of Victory  Iraq, Fallujah, Texas, Germany, rubble, oil pipelines, oil wells, oil industry, occupation, foreign policy, WMD, weapons of mass destruction, Exxon, Chevron, imperialism, empire, homelessness, Michigan, Oklahoma City, evening news, PTSD, solo acoustic
Four Blank Slates  war memorials, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Pittsburgh, foreign policy, imperialism, empire, Allegheny River, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea
Halliburton Boardroom Massacre+  Iraq, imperialism, empire, army, PTSD, military brass, DU, depleted uranium, returning veterans, electric band
He Called Me Dad  Father's Day, fathers, sons, fatherhood, parenting, Vietnam, Canada, Halifax, draft, conscription, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Japan, World War II, Roosevelt, FDR, Hitler, family, grieving, grief, mourning, loss, foreign policy, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armistice Day, PTSD, acoustic band
The Last Lincoln Veteran [video]  Spanish Civil War, Communist Party, anarchism, anarchists, Barcelona, international solidarity, international brigades, Lincoln Battalion, Fifteenth Brigade, 15th Brigade, Spain, New York, San Francisco, Veterans Day, Veterans Parade, Memorial Day, MLK, Martin Luther King, fascism, Hitler, Mussolini, Nazism, Francisco Franco, Madrid, Brussels, Berlin, London, Galway, brigadistas, neutrality, foreign policy, heroes, electric band

Between You and That Harpoon  Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, hunt sab, animal rights, species extinction, whales, whale hunt, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Australia, Hobart, Tasmania, Paul Watson, solo acoustic

The Biggest Windmill  Tvindkraft, Denmark, Jutland, Ulfborg, environment, energy crisis, climate crisis, climate change, global warming, nuclear power, nukes, oil, social movements, history, acoustic duo

World War II/Second World War
Berlin  bombing, USAF, Second World War, Germany, firebombing, carpet-bombing, Air Force, aerial bombardment, WWII, collateral damage, civilian casualties, war crimes, crimes against humanity, blitz, Nuremberg, 1944, acoustic band
Henk  Henk Streefkerk, Naarden, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Nederland, Germany, fascism, Hitler, Nazism, occupation, Dutch resistance, genocide, holocaust, 1944, solo acoustic
Henry Ford was a Fascist  cars, tanks, Detroit, Michigan, imperialism, political corruption, fascism, Nazism, Nazis, Third Reich, solo acoustic
I Remember Warsaw  holocaust, urban rebellions, uprisings, Warsaw Ghetto, Hitler, Stroop, SS, Nazism, fascism, ZOB, Jewish Fighting Organization, Auschwitz, 1943, solo acoustic
Sugihara  Japanese Empire, Hitler, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Jews, holocaust, refugees, Shanghai, China, Kobe, Japan, diplomat, civil disobedience, acoustic band