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.

 

 

2. Hubris

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.

 

refrain 

 

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.

Refrain

 

 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.

Refrain

 

 

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 worth.
 

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