Joseph Arthur Pens Occupy Wall Street Protest Song

Written by October 28th, 2011 at 11:42 am

(Photo: Rachel Briggs)

Joseph Arthur has little trouble getting inspired by current events. Just a few weeks ago, the songwriter/poet/visual artist wrote an elegy for Apple founder Steve Jobs, a man he said allowed us to “share our humanity through machines.” This week, the Akron, Ohio native released a song called “We Stand As One,” written about the Occupy Wall Street protests that are cropping up across the nation. He prefaced the song – in free verse, of course – by explaining the need for protest music despite its occasional limitations. Click here to watch a video of the song, and be sure to check out our recent session with the troubadour.

Protest songs should be open and somewhat naive
They can’t help but reference Bob Dylan referencing Woody Guthrie
They usually speak in somewhat general terms
And to be effective at all,
they say things that even those coming from a similar space,
may not fully agree with.
They are easy targets for the venom of music critics (because of all the reasons above)
And yet still sometimes
They are necessary.
So with that I am happy to present you

We Stand As One.

I hope you love it
Or hate it
Or love to hate it
Or let yourself
Hate to love it
but either way,
In some small way,
I hope that it helps.

- Joseph Arthur

“We Stand As One”

We occupy wall street
Take back our soul
Take back our country
Take back control
Take back our health care
Take back our mind
Take back our freedom
Give up the grind
We occupy wall street
No more fear
No more acceptance
Of insanity’s sneer
No more division
No more restraint
Our canvas is freedom
Your blood is our paint

we stand as one

You who have robbed us
You who have lied
You who were greedy
While the needy ones died
You who believed
You were better than them
Who sat in the flower
Ignoring the stem
You who denied them
Doctors and care
Humanity’s basics
As if death were their share
You who denied
The struggles of most
Like a pig you consumed
And like a pig you will roast

we stand as one

We occupy wall street
The system has failed
As the innocent ones
Are beat down and jailed
The criminal minds
have stolen this land
By taking our freedom
And binding our hand
To the cuff of misfortune
To the cuff of our need
To the cuff of self pity
To the cuff of a seed
Lost in the desert
No chance to survive
No love to nurture
No water to thrive

we stand as one

A season of murder
The body and soul
Dreams being shattered
The damnation control
Give back our country
We come to defend
Our right to inspire
To love and befriend
Our right to be healthy
Our right to believe
In a country of equals
Of a chance to receive
A chance to develop
A chance to forgive
A chance to dignify
The way that we live

we stand as one

A chance education
A chance to secure
A place for our families
Our right to a cure
The disease is insane
The disease is just greed
The disease is your pain
Ignoring their need
The disease is your reason
Your will is unchecked
But the blood is all over
The lives you have wrecked
But blessed are the meek
For we stand as one
We stand against
The crimes you have done

we stand as one

We stand against
Your desire for more
Hear how we knock
Soon there won’t be a door
And what you won’t share
Will be ripped from your hands
Your body destroyed
The way fire lands
Burning your homes
The privilege you snake
The payback beyond
Anything you could take
Naked you’ll be
And full of regret
And the way they were treated
You’ll long to forget

we stand as one

You’ll wish you could go back
and undo whats been done
You’ll wish you were never
Insanity’s son
You’ll wish you were fair
You’ll wish for compassion
But it will be late
And long out of fashion
Strung up you’ll bleed
Like the pig you became
A symbol of hatred
And one with no name
And our country will come back
Belonging to us
Regain it’s spirit
Regain our trust

we stand as one

Regain it’s standing
Regain the world
The dream of our fathers
A new and bold world
Where people have chance
And can live with respect
And people can dance
Beyond their neglect
Where health is a right
And education within
The grasp of the poor
Who may still one day win
We occupy wall street
So that we may begin
To live in a country
Of freedom again.

we stand as one

 

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