“We Marched Down This Road Before”

I am pleased to announce that my new CD,  “We Marched Down This Road Before” is complete and ready to make its way to the top of the old folky charts!

gk-wm-final

(Until the distribution channels come together, you can order “WMDTRB” (and my other CDs) directly by email.  I’ll reply with how you can do it.  gary@garykanter.com)

“If the path is beautiful, ask where it leads to.  But if destination is beautiful, never mind about the path, keep walking!”  Patrick Idowu

Cover Art:  Depicting the progression in the fight for social and economic justice standing beside Ramon Torres, president of Familias Unidas Por La Justicia (FUJ), who led the successful fight for farmworkers in Washington State to unionize and sign an historic collective bargaining agreement.

This CD is a response to the cancerous tide of evil that has enveloped our nation and metastasized to the rest of the world.  My generation has brought this upon us and now we must fight alongside the next generations to make the world better than what we are leaving them.  Any parent or grandparent satisfied with our disgraceful legacy has not read their job description.

The good news is that we marched down this road before…from the early days of the labor movement, women’s suffrage, civil rights, farmworker rights, Vietnam…each was a struggle for social and economic justice.  We have marched against corrupt governments, corporate greed, racism, eternal war…ad infinitum…and we have invariably won…and we can still win!

Creating this album was a team effort.

I might have written the songs but it was my friend and music maven, Greg Deer, who turned

gk-greg d-shell no bham

them into music.  Greg and I have been performing together for a few years now and he has

somehow managed to accommodate my various guitar and singing idiosyncrasies without reflecting to negatively on his fine reputation…which is not easy to do.  He’s also a great straight man…an almost completely lost art.  When not propping me up, Greg is one of the most in-demand arrangers and back up musicians in the region.

Two of our other fellow travelers also contributed to my previous CD, “Forever Vigilant.”  Devin Rice is our go-to sound engineer while adding guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, vocals, and a never ending supply of jelly beans.  Devin’s wife, Tammy Kennedy Rice, added beautiful harmonies, as she did on “Forever Vigilant.”  Most of the added tracks were produced while I was away, recovering from surgery…probably a good thing.

Our special guest artist, Siri Bardason, is one of the most accomplished cellists in the region who brought an authenticity to the song “Lincoln” that could make even Ken Burns weep.

Thanks to my daughter, Sarah, whose contribution to the storyline of “Where’s My Best Friend Jamie?” brought it to a level I could not reach on my own.  My daughter Carrie and her son Jayden are two of the main motivators in my continuing activism…just watching the love they share with each other as well as with his grandparents and Aunt Sarah.

Finally, I dedicate this  album to Mary, my wife of over 40 years, the keystone of our family…wife, mother, grandmother, activist, nurturer…etc.  She has seen me at my worst and patiently awaits seeing the best.  I’ll keep trying….

Those who would like to sponsor a CD release event for your group, local, or integrate it into an existing event, feel free to contact me.  

All songs by Gary Kanter © 2018

“Grab Life By The Pussy!”

When life gives you nothing but lemons

And you can’t abide the taste of lemonade

And no matter how many guns you own

You still walk around afraid

And it seems like with every paycheck

The money’s already been spent

Tell you what to do

It’s tried and true

Heed the words of the president

Chorus

Grab life by the pussy

Grab life by the crotch

Time to turn up the temperature

gk-emma's rev concert

Raise it up a notch

Get up off of the sofa

Get up off your rump

Play it smart…Grab a private part

And you can be like Donald Trump!

When some of your friends finish high school

But you’re still repeating 7th grade

And you went and got all those new tattoos

But you still cannot get laid

And every time you turn around

There’s something new to resent

Tell you what to do…It’s tried and true

Heed the words of the president (Ch)

When they tell you that your job has been off-shored

Don’t mourn for heaven’s sake

Just blame it on the immigrants

Stealing jobs you wouldn’t take

Then get down upon your knees

Thank The Lord for the leader he sent

I told you you what to do, It’s up to you

Heed the words of the president (Ch)

Grab a little tush and some Billy Bush

And you can be like Donald Trump!

“There’s Nothing All Right About Alt. Right”

Please don’t call us Nazis

We don’t like that name

World War II was so long ago

We are not to blame

We could be your neighbors

If your neighbors are lily white

Please don’t call us Nazis

We are the Alt. Right

Chorus

And there’s nothing all right about Alt. Right

Nothing good or great

There’s nothing all right about Alt. Right

There’s nothing all right about hate

Please don’t call us KKK

We don’t think you should

We now wear sweats and hoodies

Over our sheets and hoods

We’re could be your neighbors

If your neighbors burn crosses at night

Please don’t call us Nazisgk-gd-green-acres

We are the Alt. Right

Please don’t call us skin heads

It’s not the name we choose

We’ve grown hair so you can’t see

The swastika tattoos

We could be your neighbors

If your neighbors are pus-filled blight

Please don’t call us skinheads

We are the Alt. Right (Ch)

Please don’t call us fascists

That’s not what we’re about

We just believe democracy

Is something you can live without

We could be your neighbors

If your neighbors wielded corporate might

Please don’t call us fascists

We are the Alt. Right (Ch)

“We Marched Down This Road Before”

The dark clouds of oppression

Have filtered out the sun

The fog of fear is swirling everywhere

The sounds of our uncertainty

Are ringing in our ears

Knowing something needs be done

The emperor he stands naked

The emperor stands bare

The emperor stands hollow to the core

He thought that he could buy us

He knows not our history

We marched down this road before

Chorus

We marched down this road before

We marched to claim our rights

And end a corporate war

When we had decided

Not to take it any more

We marched down this road before

When the factories were burning

With children trapped inside

And the mines blew up

From unchecked methane gas

We buried our dead

Locked arms and we said

We shall not let this thing pass

When women had no privilege

Women had no voice

Women served as husband property

They stood up strong…invited us along

To make this land a better democracy (Ch)

When slavery was broken

And slavery restored

And life became the horror of Jim Crow

They rode the Freedom Buses

We joined hands on a bridge

And in multi-colored voices we said “no!”

When those who pick our produce

Those who pick our crops

Were mired in their lives of poverty

They organized the boycotts

We joined the picket lines

And made our way toward worker dignity (Ch)

When Vietnam was invaded

Cambodia and Laos

Napalm rained down on this foreign land

We ringed around the pentagon

And made our voices heard

In language they could understand (Ch)

Now the fascists are in power

The fascists took control

And they thought that we’d be cowed

From shore to shore

They’re starting to see the power of solidarity

As we march down this road once more

Final Chorus

As we march down this road once more

We march to keep our rights

And prevail in the class war

Now that we’ve decided not to take it anymore

We’re marching down this road once more

“If The Answer Is None Of The Above”

Have you ever had to sleep out on the street?

The pavement was so cold

You couldn’t feel your feet?

Have you ever been so lonely You could cry?

Have you ever been so hopeless

You hoped you would die?

Chorus

If your answer was none of the above

It’s time to learn…to care…to love.

From near and far

And finally be the people

We tell ourselves we are.

Have you ever been shaken to the core?

Like when they came and told you

Your job was shipped off-shore

And you tell your family everything is fine

Calling on your cell

From the unemployment line (Ch)

Have you ever had to face your children’s tears?

Telling them there won’t be any

Christmas gifts this year

And the guilt runs from your head

Down to your toes

Seeing them look up at you

In those Salvation Army clothes (Ch)

Have you ever been evicted from your home?

You’ve run out of money and can’t repay the loan

And you called up everybody that you knew

Only to discover they are bleeding bad as you (Ch)

“The Ballad Of Mark Janus”

Hey, Mark Janus

I hear that you did choose

Not to pay your union fees

No less those  union dues

You say you stand on principle

But we’ll know that it’s true

When you return the benefits

The union earned for you

Chorus

Hey Mark Janusdsc_0939

It’s time that you came clean

You’re a fungus…You’re a parasite

You’re Reagan’s welfare queen

We know the name Mark Janus

Will live on in infamy

As the Benedict Arnold

Of each working family

Hey, Mark Janus

I hear you did retire

And went to work for the folks

With whom you did conspire

I bet you were excited

For your new life to begin

Living on a union pension

And the wages of your sin (Ch)

Hey, Mark Janus

Did you think it was okay

To sell out your fellow works

Before scurrying away?

When you stand before the throne

On your judgment day

And the lord shows you his union card

What are you gonna say? (Ch)

Eff The Freedom Foundation

I got a letter in the mail

It said open without delay!

The return address was the Freedom Foundation

So I knew what it would say

You need to leave your union!

Do it right away!

I tore it up threw it on the floor

And this is what I had to say….

Chorus

Eff The Freedom Foundation

All they say and do

Americans for Prosperity

And the other Koch Brother groups too

Eff The Freedom Foundation

Not a word they say is true

Eff The Freedom Foundation

They don’t give an Eff about you

I picked it up from off the floor

And tore it up again

Pulled some paper from out of the drawer

And I picked up my pen

I jotted a note…Dropped it in the mail

I loved the words I wrote

And if you’re wondering what it said

I will freely quote….(Ch)

So if you get a letter in the mail

That says open without delay!

The return address is the Freedom Foundation

You know what it will say

You need to leave your union!

Do it right away!

Tear it up throw it on the floor

And you have my permission to say (Ch)

“Lincoln”

In ’61, they gave me a gun

I joined the boys in blue

Never knew just why I went

‘Cept Mr. Lincoln asked us to

With every passing battle

As another comrade fell

If Lincoln came and asked us then

All he’d hear is “go to hell!”gk-gd-j-farmworkers march contract2_cr_cr

Our generals were incompetent

Never get it right

Some were drunks…some were fools

Others wouldn’t fight

So the war dragged on year after year

Wave after battle wave

I cursed the name of Lincoln

As I dug grave after grave

Chorus

And death marched with us everywhere

It was with us night and day

The blood we shed…was just plain red

It wasn’t blue or gray

I was with Chamberlain at Gettysburg

I fixed my bayonet

We ran the rebels down the ridge

Some joke they’re running yet

I watched on high as Pickett charged

I saw his people die

It was enough to make the hardest heart

Like even Lincolns cry

went with Uncle Billy

I watched Atlanta burn

We seared a wide swath through the South

He said they had to learn

 War belongs to everyone

He taught that lesson well

War’s just not for warriors

All must taste its hell (Ch)

Black folk come to greet us

And asked us if we be

“Sent by Father Abraham

To set his people free?”

They laughed and cried, marched by our side

I still can hear their shout

That’s when I learned half of a truth

What the war had been about

I was sitting by the campfire

Heating chic’ry in my cup

Riders roared around the ranks

Bobby Lee had give it up

Then Johnston came to Sherman

To surrender his command

I shed a tear…I said a prayer

Peace was now at hand

News come down from Washington

The President was dead

Some secesh actor no one knew

Put a bullet in his head

That’s when I learned the second half

Of the truth I’d learned before

Lincoln had been with us

Every moment of the war

Revised Chorus

And death marched with him everywhere

It was with him night and day

The blood he shed…was just plain red

It wasn’t blue or gray

“Tropic Of The Puget Sound”

It quit raining in Seattle

All of the reservoirs are dry

The snow pack melted in the mountains

Blue is the new normal of the sky

There’s self-serve frozen yogurt stations

Where all those tanning beds used to abound

I’m sitting all alone, in my old Seattle home

In the Tropic of the Puget Sound

Salmon keep floating to the surface

The ocean’s rising at a frantic rate

I just saw some  folks water skiing

Over what we used to call the interstate

The trees are looking sad and lonesome

Evergreen has long since turned to brown

I’m sitting all alone, in my old Seattle home

In the Tropic of the Puget Sound

I still love to go and see the Seahawks

They’re still my greatest joy and greatest fun

But now when I take my umbrella to the game

I take it to protect me from the sun

And all our teams are boys and girls of summer

Now that summer’s lasting all year round

I’m sitting all alone, in my old Seattle home

In the Tropic of the Puget Sound

I’m gonna see the coast this weekend

It used to seem so very far away

But now the way the water has been rising

I think it’s gonna be here Saturday

So, at last I’m gonna own some beach front

I’m sitting all alone, in my old Seattle home

In the Tropic of the Puget Sound

I’m sitting all alone on my Android phone

In the Tropic of the Puget Sound

 “Where’s My Best Friend Jamie?”

I spoke at the wake for Jamie

Hero of Iraq

How I’d promised him, the drinks were on me

The day that he got back

We hugged each other at the station

Just like best friends do

He joked and he said “If I make it back,

Drinks are gonna be on you…

It’s gonna cost you more than a few!”

I got email from Jamie

He could not disclose from where

He said “You ain’t gonna believe the shit

That’s going on down out here.

I’ve got so much to tell you

‘Bout all I see and do

I’ll share it all if I make it home

Drinks are still on you…

You’ll be broke before we’re through.”

Chorus

Where’s my best friend Jamie?

He just wasn’t the same

It’s like someone came back

From his tours in Iraq

Wearing Jamie’s name

Jamie just wasn’t the same.

I picked up Jamie at the station

We got into my car

A little while later we were sitting and drinking

In a dark and cheerless bar

He talked about girls and baseball

And stuff we’d done before

He talked about damn near everything

But not a word about the war

Till he said…”There’s gonna be another tour!”

I went to the ballgame with Jamie

We had a dog and a beer

Sometime around the middle of the third

He said “Let’s get outta  here…

There’s too many people here.”

So we went down to the water

And watched the evening sky

He tried to speak but nothing came out

That’s when he started to cry

That’s when said “I don’t want to die.” (Ch)

I picked Jamie up at the station

After his second tour

He didn’t speak a word till we got in the car

He said…“They want me back for more.”

We drove along in silence

Until I finally got him home

I said “Will I see tomorrow?”

He said “I think I need to be alone…

No offense…I think I need to be alone.”

I didn’t see much of Jamie

He just wasn’t around

His mama said he was hanging out

With some new friends he had found

She’d hear him come home in the morning

Stumbling up the stairs

Cursing at the darkness

Tripping over chairs

Like he might’ve had

A few too many beers

She called me late one morning

Told me through her tears

Words I must’ve expected

Words I never thought I’d hear

They found him by the high school

He’d been smoking crack cocaine

The tours finally ended for Jamie

Jamie finally ended the pain

With a bullet to his brain (Ch)

I spoke at the wake for Jamie

Hero of Iraq………

Keep Your Hands Off Of My Junk

We invaded Mexico

Cuba and the Philippines

The Dominican Republic

And all those little countries in-between

Vietnam and Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq

We gave them our democracy

We never got it back

We fought the Nazis and the Reds

We fought the terrorists

All those evil doers

Wherever they exist

We attacked the on the ocean

On the land and in the air

But now we might have gone too far

We attacked my underwear

Chorus

Keep your hands off of my junk

And your prying eyes

That ain’t no Al-Qaeda operative

Traveling between my thighs

I’m giving you fair warning

Before you give me that squeeze

You might find a bomb

You never counted on

In the seat of my BVDs

I endorse Homeland security

I readily agree

We must give up our freedom

In order to stay free

And I’m OK with Guantanamo Bay

And military courts

And warrantless intrusions

But not inside my shorts (Ch)

Now that it’s all over

Now that it’s all done

It wasn’t bad as some I’ve had

In fact it was kind of fun

Before you punch my ticket

Before you wave me through

What time do you get off work?

I think I’m in love with you! (Ch)

“It’s All The Same Damn Fight”

I saw people on the street today

Waving signs up in the air

Fighting for a better way

Fighting for their share

I saw soldiers marching down the road

I knew what they were fighting for

Medical attention

To treat the wounds of war

I saw a sit-in at the Capitol

To restore lost voting rights

That’s when I got the notion

It’s all the same damned fight

Chorus

It’s all the same damned fight

It’s all the same damned fight

It’s the fight to make things better

It’s the fight to make things right

It’s all the same damned fight

And each thing that we are fighting for

Is just another front

In the same damn war!

I saw people on the street today

Fighting for their homes

Standing up together

So they wouldn’t stand alone

I saw folks demanding justice

For inmates doing time

In prisons run for profit

For the corporate bottom line

I saw folks decrying GMO

Each and every toxic bite

Confirming my suspicion

It’s all the same damned fight (CH)

I saw people blocking tracks today

With determined attitude

Trying to stop the death trains

Filled with coal and Bakken Crude

There were children fighting for their schools

Showing  us how it should

Better education

And college that’s debt free

Suddenly we all joined hands

It was such an awesome sight

As we marched off together

To fight the same damned fight (Ch)

“Sing Your Song”

When the world seems dark and cold and grave

They say don’t rock the boat – don’t make waves

But your heart shows you a different view

You know what to say

You know what to do

Chorus

Sing your song…Sing it true…Sing it real

Don’t quit till it’s through

Nobody else can ever sing it for you

Sing your song…Sing your song

Sing your song…Sing your song

Sing your song…Sing your song

Sing your song

When you find folks living on the street

You share the despair in all you meet

And all eyes they seem to turn to you

You know what to say…You know what to do (Ch)

When they tell you that the war is lost

Keeping up the fight ain’t worth the cost

But if to thine own self you would stay true

You know what to say

You know what to do (Ch)

 

Posted January 13, 2019 by garykanter

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