Jello Biafra‘s “Attack of the Peacekeepers” is the Peace Song of the Day for May 16th.
This choice is somewhat unusual for our Peace Couple daily project, because it is punk rock, a little too fast for most campfire singers, and has quite an edge of sarcasm. Though, NATO will meet in Chicago, and this song is an interesting way to think about the facts of peace, war, and military strategy.
This song is from the 1980’s. It alludes to the way that NATO made us believe we needed their bombs and military might to ward off the Soviets and East Germany. It is interesting to realize how the Soviet and East German threats truly faded away. And, it might be interesting to update this song with verses about the fake war on terrorism.
“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is the Peace Song of the Day for May 4th. Today is the 42nd anniversary of the shootings of nonviolent anti-war protesters at Kent State. During the late ’60s, the music of CSNY (Chicago/We Can Change the World, Long Time Gone, Cost of Freedom) reported on the events of the day better than the TV news. We could use someone like them to write “Fallujah” and “Oakland” today.
“One Guitar” by singer/songwriter Willie Nile is the Peace Song of the Day for April 30th. Tomorrow, a thousand guitars, marching in the Occupy Guitarmy, will perform song as part of their set list. (There is still time to join. Info, schedule, and set lists at the Occupy Guitarmy website: here.)
“This Old Hammer“, an African-American work song, is the Peace Song of the Day for April 25th. (See video and lyrics below.)
The song says, “This old hammer, killed John Henry…but it won’t kill me.” Which resonates with the big event coming up…
May Day, May 1, 2012, is a General Strike, called for by many groups, including Occupy Wall Street. To find a detailed post, and links to actions in over 115 cities, go to this post at occupywallst.org.
If you can be in New York City on May 1st, check out the schedule for NYC actions and performances at www.maydaynyc.org
Why strike? The answer given at the occupywallst website, is similar to the words of this hammer song. On the article “Why And How To Strike On May Day“, it says, “You are not a slave, and have the right not to work.” The song “This Old Hammer” is about African American workers, after slavery was outlawed, who were still treated like slaves in many ways.
I love the tension near the end of this song. The worker asks his coworker to take the hammer to the boss or Captain. Though, we discover he is not asking for retaliation, he only asks to tell the boss that he has gone. If only the 99% could tell the 1%: “No, I won’t work for your unjust system.”