Sunday, August 06, 2006

HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH? A SONG FOR CHANGE

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I was so revolted by the election-- legitimate election, no less-- of Richard Nixon that I left the country and lived overseas for nearly 7 years. Nor was I overjoyed by the advent if Ronald Reagan, not by a long shot and, frankly, I always recognized Bill Clinton as merely an infinitely more benevolent version of the same corporate tyranny that Republicans inflict on us. But not Reagan, certainly not Clinton or Bush the First, and not even Nixon (who drove me out of the country I love!) are as steeped in the kind of utter reprehensibility like the current monstrosity in the White House. I do believe no president in the history of our nation comes close to the sheer destructiveness to the national cohesion as Bush and the crew of miscreants around him. Look, if you've read Down With Tyranny you would have probably figured out I feel this way. But what's it got to do with a song that I neither wrote nor performed on?

I don't want to go down without a fight. And if we don't stand up and fight we are surely going down. Fuming and ranting to like-minded blog readers has been cathartic and rewarding in many ways-- and I like to think I played a little roll in helping uncover the Republican Culture of Corruption, at least in terms of Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Jerry Lewis. And the community DWT has formed with Firedoglake and Crooks and Liars in the shape of Blue America is barreling towards the $150,000 mark (mostly in small donations) for our list of progressive candidates. But blogging still didn't seem nearly enough in light of the depravity the Bush Regime has dragged our country through.

Today is the official "release" of a song, "Have You Had Enough," that came together very organically. Before you read the rest of this, just click here and listen to a version of the song we did on behalf of Coleen Rowley.

I hope you enjoyed it. Helping bring all the people who worked on it together-- the musicians Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher, Andy Paley (producer), Mike at the pressing plant, Alisse Kingsley (publicist), Bob Divney (ace promotion man), Adam Fox (graphic artist), Irwing Ornelas (MySpace designer), Jane Hamsher, Christy Hardin Smith, Pachacutec, John Amato (my Blue America partners), all the folks at Firedoglake and Down With Tyranny with great ideas and suggestions that helped turn a flicker into something real... well, it made me feel like I was actually striking a blow for freedom for the country I came back to over 25 years ago-- and with a far greater appreciation for it's character, warts and all, than I had before I left.

Every Saturday at 2 PM (Eastern time), members of the Firedoglake, Music For America and DownWithTyranny communities get together for a live blog session with a progressive candidate at Blue America. On June 24th our guest was Larry Kissell, a grassroots, populist Democrat running against the ultimate rubber stamp bozo, Republican incumbent Robin Hayes. You can check out the archive of the session here.

That day over 50 members of our communities contributed around $1,500 to Larry's campaign. The first couple dozen donors "won" Eric Clapton CDs, which I mailed out on Monday morning. A week later I got an e-mail from a community member, Tommy Yum, who identified himself as Tom Maxwell, formerly of the late, great Squirrel Nut Zippers. Tom, a North Carolinian excited about Kissell's candidacy, wanted to thank me for the Eric Clapton CD and also offer his help. This led to a discussion that went on for a week or so during which we decided that he would adapt one of his SNZ hits, "Put A Lid On It" (recognizable from the 1999 Superbowl) as a campaign song for our Blue America candidates.

Tom and his partner Ken Mosher, another former Squirrel Nut Zipper, worked on the lyrics and the 3 of us started exchanging files and e-mails every day. I loved the dynamic process and how enthusiastic and cooperative these two guys were. Before they totally finished the lyrics they asked me what I thought about finding a woman singer to trade off lines with them. Judging from the music it only took me one second-- literally-- to come up with the perfect singer: a friend who I worked with when I ran Reprise and who is a very dedicated political activist and savvy idealist, Rickie Lee Jones. Rickie was on tour at the time but we communicated by e-mail and she loved the 45 second file I sent her and agreed to do it.

After that I called producer/musician Andy Paley, an old friend. I thought of Andy because I had been so impressed with his production work on similar music for the Dick Tracy movie soundtrack on which he produced artists as diverse as Madonna, k.d. lang and Ice-T. We were doing this whole project with absolutely no money at all and Andy, like everyone else involved, was happy to help out and even got Dusty Wakeman at Mad Dog Studios to let us use his awesome and historic facility gratis.

A few days after she got back to L.A. from her tour, Rickie Lee drove over to Mad Dog. Basically she nailed it on one take. Everyone's jaw just dropped! She did a few more takes for good measure but Rickie's voice was just made for this song! The next day Tom and Ken had mixed it and sent it to me. We want to get it out to as many people as possible and, of course, we want everyone to enjoy and share the music for free. We're going to start a political action committee so we can raise some dough to make 30 second radio spots with this music for our candidates. If you want to send a check-- and even $5.00 will help-- you can make it out to Blue America and send it to P.O. Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027. As soon as we get all the paperwork done with the FEC we'll get an Act Blue Page up for online donations. Meanwhile, enjoy the music and send it to everyone you know. You can download it right here.

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30 Comments:

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous ecthompson said...

Nice song. Fun. I'll play it on my radio show next Saturday. Y'all are doing great work!

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous tommy yum said...

Yay Howie!

 
At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe this song will be streaming on KUNM (Albuquerque) from now on during Freeform and maybe Jazz, at least. THANK YOU!!

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Brixton said...

I would add Kennedy and Johnson to your list. Being from an old old family that never went in much for politics I expect would we also ad Eisenhower for keeping on a standing army, Pitt Washington and Oliver Cromwell. However humor aside Bush is without a boubt the most dangerous President of this Nation since I moved to America in 1977, in another setting and another time he could well come close to the Kingfisher, but this is America and he will be gotten rid of legally in the upcoming elections.

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger skippy said...

hey howie,

how does it feel to be the guy who introduced ned lamont to blogtopia?

and yes, i coined that phrase!

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger Lettuce said...

This is great, I'm getting behind anything from a person who so loves the country he fled and left the rest of us to try to sort it out.

"I was so outraged, I bailed on y'all."

Thanks a bunch.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Eric_Jaffa said...

Are the lyrics online?

If not, can you please post the lyrics?

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Thanks for reminding me Eric. here are the lyrics-- direct from the songwriter:

Have you had enough of hypocrisy?
Have you had enough of the spending spree?
Have you had enough?
Does it make you want to scream and shout?

Have you had enough of the rubber stamps?
Have you had enough of the wire taps?
If you’ve had enough, then it’s time to throw the rascals out!

We’ve let them take the test too long
They’ve gotten all the answers wrong
No plan, no shame, no oversight
Now’s the time to put it right!

Have you had enough, cause they’re all corrupt?
Have you had enough of being divvied up?
If you’ve had enough, then it’s time to throw the rascals out!

Well, do what’s right and spread the word
It’s time to make our voices heard
You cast your vote it don’t cost a dime
Sittin’ it out will be a crime

I’ve had enough, and it’s time to throw the rascals out!

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help end the war and pass other progressive legislation

go to http://www.dmocrats.org


Time to boycott and make demands of companies that donate money to the Republcan party.

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger annie said...

fantastic, everyone did a fantastic job, ricie lee is the perfect choice, one of my all time favorite singers. i had the opportunity to see her live in seattle last winter. bless her, bless you all

thanks everyone.

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous DJ Paul V. said...

Howie, major kudos on all you do.
And especially for this great brainstorm of activism & collaboration.

I'll do what I can to get it on Indie 103.1 here in LA. I'm sure I can sneak it into one of my weekly mixes too.

I'll keep you posted if it's gonna air. Bravo!

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous teach said...

Told ya.

 
At 1:46 AM, Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Tommy,

Thanks for the Squirrel Nut Zippers ...

 
At 5:58 AM, Anonymous The Fool said...

Awesome. Simply awesome. Rickie Lee is awesome. The band is awesome. Did I mention that the song is awesome?

 
At 6:14 AM, Anonymous RenB said...

Hello from Austria, am former New England and watching the election closely.

Song is coool. But something kept nagging in my head, sounded so familiar.... Isn't the music similar to 'The Triplets of Bellville????' I kept seeing cartoons in my head...

Must be Alzheimers...

Good job. Played it for some friends here, and they loved it. So ya see? Just went half way around the globe. Don't ya just luv the internets?

(standing ovation, MORE, MORE!!)

 
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous stevieg said...

I stumbled across a bit of this very old, well-know verse that I thought would be fun to share with everyone at this special time of year. It’s an age-old seasonal ditty and this being the eve of my favorite American holiday and all. I’m not sure I remembered all of the words correctly but I’ve rendered them to the best of my recollection, and I may have been overzealous and inadvertently added a few verses that never existed at all. But, it’s full of holiday magic and joy – a favorite of children and adults throughout the ages so read it to your children and grandchildren to keep the tradition alive. Now without further ado, in honor of August 8-9, 1974, a moment in history, which our Founders would surely have savoured, I bring you…

Twas the night before Resignation



Twas the night before Resignation, when all through the house
Richard Nixon was cornered, like a trapped diseased mouse.
His burglars had screwed it tho they burgled with care,
His cover-up in ruins, soon the end would be there.

The Congress were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of impeachment danced in their heads.
Sam Irvin with his gavel, exposed all the crap,
And roused our democracy from a long winter’s nap.

So all o’er the land there arose such a clatter,
Even the public could see what was the matter.
And there it was every day on TV like a flash,
Then everyone knew the president was trash.

It was hard to imagine this crook being regal
Tho he said, “If the president does it then it is not illegal.”
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But his lies all exposed and the end of his career.

A great day for democracy, it happened so quick,
What could be worse than that horrid old Dick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And all those were sentenced and each one by name!

"Now Haldeman! now, Erlichman! now, Mitchell and Dean!
On, Colson! On, Liddy!, oh my what a scene!
They all came a tumbling from the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"



‘Tis the eve of impeachment –Oh please just once more
So much fun to be had, who knows what is in store,
Yes this dumb drunken liar with his head up his butt.
Must be ripped from the Peoples’ House and his prison door shut.

Yes we did it one time not so long ago
Said it couldn’t be done, well how could we know.
Who knows what can happen when clear thinking rules,
Maybe we can get rid of this new batch of fools.

A long train of abuses and usurpations once again stains us all,
By Constitution our right and our duty - this Despot must fall.
Again let’s take back our nation from thieves,
And lock them away and dispose of the keys.

It’s that time of the season, to excise the king,
The land of the free and that sort of thing.
And I say to you all, Power To The People, Out Of Sight,
"More Impeachment to all, and to all a good-night!"





sg reporting

Thanks for listening. Responsible comment invited.

 
At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we play this in "swing" states?

(You may boo now.)

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

renb said,

Song is coool. But something kept nagging in my head, sounded so familiar.... Isn't the music similar to 'The Triplets of Bellville???


The music is the same as the SNZ song "Put a Lid On It" from the album "Hot."

It's fantastic with the new lyrics.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Dread said...

...very impressed... not only by the song but by the nature of your blog.. this id my first exposure to it,, not my last however,,, will put it on my daily read list..Thank you

 
At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tune! To be even more revolutionary, can you release an .ogg file so that we don't have to use mp3?

http://bok.fas.harvard.edu/allstars/ogg.html

 
At 6:09 AM, Anonymous basho said...

thanx for the tune. we can use a good measure of it here in europe.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This song has reached the port city of Perth in Western Australia where all the US war ships dock for some R&R. I will be playing the song in my shop daily. The demons in the white house need to be exorcised NOW. Keep up the good work.

 
At 12:33 AM, Blogger Alicia said...

Love it, love it, love it! I'm pimping it at Hooterville and donating a couple of bucks.

 
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic!

I am in Livingston County MI, home of the neo-facsist con....Mike Rogers.

Please help, help me help Jim Marcinkowski.

Where do I volunteer with Blue America

oddball34

 
At 8:38 PM, Anonymous neon said...

I too have downloaded the song and after being in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004 have decided to open a site www.bringavoter.com Thank you for your site and for what you are doing. As the Moody Blues said " Hand in hand, together we will stand, on the threshold of a dream."

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather than flee the country after the first stolen election, my husband and I decided we needed to take a stand against the Bush Regime. We sold our house and moved to Floriduh thinking it was the battleground for 2004. Surely, I thought I would be able to convince enough voters down here about what was REALLY going on in this country that they would vote him out....

Well... first of all Floriduh is an uneducated, ignorant bastion of red necks who don't want to know and would be tempted to shoot you at the very least.

We're moving back to Virginia in 2007... Either people in this country are going to wake the hell up (I WANTED to use another word other than hell - you get the point) or they don't...

It is MUCH later than it seems... it may be too late already.

and p.s. www.icasualties.org

check it out! THE news coming out of Iraq that is not being reported.

Pass it along.

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one am tired of all this, too. I found a great article detailing the issues brought up here called the Failure of Representative Democracy. I followed one of the links and it seems that even the formation of our country wasn't exactly what we learned in school.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Blue State Believer said...

Great song. Can't wait to hear it covered on American Idol.

Check us out at www.bluestatebeliever.com

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Milt Shook said...

I love the song, but then why wouldn't I... so far I've never been disappointed by a recommendation.

As for supporting ActBlue, well... You're going to get a check from me this month, but I'd like to make the check a whole lot bigger...

So, everyone go to my blog, http://www.pleasecutthecrap.com, and buy a copy of my book. You'll not only get a great political satire and a lot of laughs, but a portion of the sale will go to ActBlue...

Milt

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Tommy said...

Tyranny is already here, right along with the police state. I did not see anyone mention it so I guess no one here knows. Google: "terrorstorm", "911 Truth rising", Loose change final cut", "endgame","911 ripple effect", "911 Road to tyranny". Watch these documented fims foe free. Open your eyes, 911 was an inside job, perpetrated by criminal elements within our government along with the CIA,FBI,CFR, and bilderburg. Wake up to the truth. We are change.com

 

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