Another side of Andrew Jamison
Over the past few years, as a contribution to the emerging global justice movement, I have been writing songs, drawing on the traditions of political song that were mobilized in the social movements of the 1960s - and which Ron Eyerman and I wrote about in our book, Music and Social Movements.
On a visit to Lithuania in May 2007, my former student Leonardas Rinkevicius, who is professor of sociology at Kaunas Technological University, accompanied me at the university's recording studio while we recorded five of my songs, which you can hear below by clicking on the song title.
Further down you can hear my latest effort at song-writing, which we recorded in October. I hope Bob doesn't mind me using his great old song for new purposes.
Feel free to sing along!
1. Hey, Hey Mister
This was written at the time of the events surrounding the publication of the Muhammed cartoons in Jyllandsposten.
Hey, hey mister what you knowin',
Donít you feel the winds of change a'blowin'?
And donít you see the seeds of hope a'growin'?
Donít you know itís time to be a'movin' on?
You print your pictures of poison and you say that makes you free
But that kind of freedom doesnít mean so much to me.
Cause when youíre living in a foreign country and no one hears what you have to say
Your freedom of expression is just a game other people play
You speak with such conviction, and you sound like youíre so sure
When you say itís so important to keep your people pure.
But it all sounds so familiar, yeah weíve heard those words before
Itís the kind of talk they used to use to send the young boys off to war.
I find it so depressing that you just donít want to understand
That the planet is neither mine nor yours but itís everybodyís land.
And we have to learn together all the things we need to know
Cause the climate is aíchanging and thereís lots of seeds to sow.
This is an attempt to set Hubris and Hybrids to music...
They found a way to make you feel potent
By giving you a little pill you can take every day
And they found a way to make you feel important
By selling you all sorts of gadgets with which you can play.
The Greeks called it hubris and for them it was a crime
We call it progress and itís how we spend our time
They found a way to make you feel pretty
By giving you some skin that isnít your own
And they found a way to make you feel busy
By putting all sorts of gimmicks into your phone.
refrain ("The Greeks...")
But now we know that the climate is aíchangin
From all the cars that theyíve gotten us to drive
And the time has come to liberate the landscape
So we might find ways to keep some of it alive.
3. The Globalization Blues
Leonardas and I were joined by members of the Dutch 60s band, Jonny Lane, who were playing in Kaunas at the time.
Thanks to Piet Baars (solo guitar), Jan van Leen (blues harp), Henk Akkermans (bass) and Arnand de Light (percussion)
I got em, you got em, he got em, she got em
What we got? I'll tell you what
We got the globalization blues
And itís nothiní they cover on the evening news
But I got em deep down in my shoes
Those back-stabbiní, greed-grabbiní globalization blues
Itís so hard to characterize
Theyíve made a habit out of telliní lies
And it gives me the globalization blues
They take your money but they want your soul
And there's noboby who's in control
That's the globalization blues.
Refrain ("I got em, you got em...")
Thatís our money that theyíre moviní around
And they donít want us to make a sound
And it gives me the globalization blues.
Theyíve turned corruption into a finer art
It all just blows my mind apart
And gives me the globalization blues.
Everywhere you go everythingís the same
And itís our desires that are to blame
And gives me the globalization blues
Yeah, lying and cheating are the rules of the game
And it all seems such a bloody shame
It gives me the globalization blues.
4. We Need to Change Our Ways
We need to change our ways
And how we spend our days,
Stop taking so much from the earth
And learn what life is really
We've taken more than we should
And we've done less than we could,
We've taken chances with our fate
Oh, let us hope it's not too late.
We need to change our minds
Before the world unwinds,
Learn of the patterns and the flows,
From where life comes and where it goes.
We need to change our schools
And rearrange our tools,
Teach our children how to share
And teach each other how to care.
We need to change our ways,
We need to change our ways,
Stop taking so much from the earth
And learn what life is really worth.
5. The Times in Which We Live
The times in which we live make many reasons to roam
Thereís millions of us wandering, looking for a home
But wherever we come to we meet the ancient tribes of old
Who just donít want to let us come in from the cold.
Weíre fleeing from fanatics whoíve destroyed all we hold dear
Weíve given up our bearings, what makes confusion clear
And then weíre asked to change ourselves and fit into the fold
And still they just donít let us come in from the cold
They talk of integration but I donít know what they mean
ĎCause if itís Martinís dream theyíre talking about, well that I would have seen
As long as theyíre the ones who choose the stories that get told
They really have no reason to let us come in from the cold
But theyíre gonna have to learn to listen, theyíre gonna have to learn to care
Cause weíre all mixed up together, and we ainít going anywhere
So before it gets much worse, and before we all grow old
Try to find it in your hearts to let us come in from the cold.
And here is my most recent song:
The Globalization Game
(to the tune of Desolation Row)
They're selling movies of the melting, theyíre painting the buses green
The malls are filled with shoppers looking for a clean machine
The scholars have gone off to market, and science has sold its soul
So no one knows whose truth to believe, and if there's anybody in control
And the long lost loser tells us that we are not to blame
If we just elect new leaders, we can keep playing the globalization game
We've known that the climate was a'changing, but we didn't want to hear
We've been so proud of our progress, and so caught up in our fear
They've taught us to distrust one another, while they lubricate the land
And spend our money making weapons, while we've made idols of the singers in the band
And now the singers also tell us that we need feel no shame
If we go out and buy green products we can keep playing the globalization game
The robot actor and the vocal virgin have been recruited to the show
They've joined in the chorus to tell us what we already know
They should put their money where their mouths are, but thatís just not their way
I wonder how much carbon they're expending in the course of a normal day
Though they say that they think different now to me they still sound the same
They just want us to keep on playing the globalization game
The crazy cowboy is still in the saddle, still spewing out his lies
His religion is his servitude to those who put the poison in the skies
Heís lost the peopleís favor but the damage has been done
Our crime is in believing that this is the way that things should be run
Yeah, the word that once sounded noble has become a source of shame
For "freedom" only has meaning if you play the globalization game
They say that war is good for business, and who am I to say they're wrong
It's business that's the problem and that we all just play along
They've made us dependent on their destruction as we drive our fancy cars
Which are intimately connected to why they wage their wars
But you go on believing that you are not to blame
You just want to keep on playing the globalization game
They say technology will save us the way itís done before
But I think itís more than likely it will bring on another war
For every machine thatís made has a maker who's learned to follow rules
And those arenít made up in heaven, no, they're fostered in our schools
So as long as the educators cannot call things by their rightful name
Technology will keep on driving the globalization game
Reality is inside your computer, and that's where the answer lies
Itís all about communication and finally getting wise
Weíve destroyed so much of what is out there, and now nature's called our bluff
And even God can no longer help us, and there's no use talking tough
Our pretty planet can sustain us but first we have to learn to tame
All the hubris that's so intrinsic to the globalization game
It's not gonna be so easy, in fact itís gonna be really rough
We're gonna all have to consider how much is enough
Thereís no genius who can tell us all the things that need to be done
Weíre gonna have to learn together, and that means each and everyone
So let's hope the time is soon over when having a fortune can bring you fame
We're gonna have to stop playing the globalization game