The electricity was contagious,
The vision was so clear,
So far and yet so near:
We値l turn the structure upside down,
We値l push it off the wall.
It痴 the people at the bottom
Who will pay no tax at all.
We値l tax the millionaires
And tax the corporations too,
And pay for jobs that must be done,
That people cry to do.
The powerless uniting
Across class and racial lines,
And taking back a fertile land
That once was yours and mine.
As soon as we can get some press
We値l get our message through.
But freedom of the press
Means they might not report the news.

People don稚 read leaflets;
They rely upon the news
To present unbiased views.
Two days before the vote
We drew a record-breaking crowd,
But no one read a word of it;
Such things are not allowed.
The network anchormen were there,
But the story was not told.
The forces we are up against
Have a frightful stranglehold.
The issues were not covered,
But the papers often crooned
That we were trailing badly,
They expect we値l drop out soon.
And no one likes a loser.
The returns came crashing down
And I shook in fear and sorrow;
It took two girls to hold me down.

I was organizing in the great north woods
When the money was cut off,
And the telephones were shut off.
Two weeks work right down the tubes;
I was just about to go insane.
I had a lot of Jack Daniels and a little bit of pot
And I wiped it off my brain.
Whenever I need to rest my head
The mountains will respond.
Mount Ampersand was close at hand,
Above fenced-off Ampersand Pond
Whose owner keeps the tax man off his land,
And his uncle used to run this state,
And all the good people that are looking for work
Are just gonna have to wait.
You can稚 team up and take the country back
If you池e looking for a meal,
So I headed out of state to try once more,
Without a set of wheels.

A Child of God was on the street
And decided to accost me;
I told him that he壇 lost me.
Wherever there痴 a captive audience
These zombies hit the scene.
I said I have my own religion,
And his group is off the beam.
There are things I hold as sacred,
Whose praises I will sing,
Like earth and water and fire and air
And every living thing,
The Bill of Rights
And Declaration of Independence too,
Which free this man to hit the streets
And publicize his view;
And if you won稚 stand up freedom,
Then what are you living for?
He said he was a little bit slow upstairs
And would I run through that once more?

I was taping up flyers on a downtown fence
When I heard a voice say: 鉄top!
I knew it was a cop.
The mayor of the city used to be the boss
Of all the police force,
And he figures if you wanna stamp out dissent
You壇 better get down to its source.
He said he痴 call it 堵raffiti,
And I was under arrest.
So I refrained from telling my name;
Anonymous is best.
But I wasn稚 at the bottom of the shit list,
There was someone beneath me;
So I disappeared behind the fence
And I ran at breakneck speed.
If he wasn稚 such a bigot that he hassles
Every upstart nigger in a decent car,
I壇 still be begging for unpaid bail
And rotting behind bars.

Crying: 典ax the rich! I hit the streets
As soon as the coast was clear;
But no one seemed to hear.
No money for tape or printer痴 ink
Or the fruit stand on the street;
Nor was there mass transit fare,
I used my thumb and feet.
Then the courts cut off the matching funds
And Congress did the same;
We were played for fools, they changed the rules
In the middle of the game.
A crash program to raise money
Would have gotten us nowhere;
The people who support us
Do not have enough to spare.
It was either borrow heavily
Or quit with head held high,
With integrity intact
As a man they cannot buy.

So I知 a little bit bankrupt now
And looking for a job;
I feel that I致e been robbed.
The unemployed in the great north woods
Are a whopping forty percent.
There痴 no work to be done, we池e told,
Pack up and fold your tent.
But the railroads do not run any more,
And the roads are full of holes;
They turn your car to rubbish
As the damage takes its toll.
The army wants our water
And the air force wants our land.
The opposite of love is apathy;
It痴 time to make a stand.
Powerful, rich and sheltered men
Have shackled us in chains;
We can either rise against them,
Or so shall it remain.

What makes a man successful
Or even stand a chance?
Do we judge him by a thing so crude
As the money in his pants?
To fight on in adversity
Indicates he痴 strong,
But he痴 written off as pointless
And he does not last for long.
Character cannot be judged
By smoothness of the tongue,
For liars must talk flawlessly
And I致e known more than one.

There are ways to get publicity.
I can think of two or three:
You can tell them what they want to hear
And get your press for free;
Or coerce self-serving people
To buy time for yourself;
But the most effective way of all
Is to buy the press itself.
But if you haven稚 got the money
Your back痴 against the wall,
And even a little bad press
Is better than no press at all.

Potsdam, New York, 1976

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