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Occupy Everywhere Anthem

I’ve been thinking a bit about Immortal Technique. If you’ve never heard of him, he is a rapper and although his lyrics are riddled with the obligatory scatological word bombs, the content and dialogue of his lyrics are filled with political analysis and clearly fall into the classic genre of protest music.

He was one of the earliest “celebrity” supporters of Occupy Wall Street, an enterprise often gifted with the presence of musicians. Everybody always mentions the drummers, but I’ve seen all sorts of music being made there. So, I’ve been thinking about all the great protest music that has chronicled the political movements of our history and the role that music may play in this movement.

From the time of the revolution that gave birth to our nation we have been chronicling our political shifts in song. Remember Yankee Doodle Dandy? Did you know it was originally sung by the British Army mocking the disheveled appearance of the Revolutionary Army, essentially calling them DFHs. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Of course, we turned that on its head and adopted it as one of our own proud anthems; celebrating the triumph of the ill clad common man over the bought and paid for, over equipped army of the corporatist successors to the British East India Company, the British Bankers and the corrupt British Government in thrall to those banksters and corporate interests.

Later anthems of freedom include old slave spirituals singing about the day when jubilee would come, the songs that gave a voice to early union organizing, the folk songs of people like Woody Guthrie, through the body of protest music of the late 60’s and early 70’s, and now the rappers and folks singers of today.

Woody Guthrie famous described a folks song this way:

A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it

or it could be who’s hungry and where their mouth is

or who’s out of work and where the job is

or who’s broke and where the money is

or who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is.

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary appears to have thoughts along the same lines, he stopped by Liberty Plaza to play Pete Seeger’s “Where have all the Flowers Gone” and other songs for the occupiers.

Buffalo Springfield’s classic “For What it’s Worth” sounds like it was written yesterday to precisely describe Occupy Wall Street. What songs do you think would make good anthems for the Occupations? Maybe each local Occupation needs its own song? You can paste links to youtubes of your picks in the comments.

I also want to encourage the musical or poetic among you to put up lyrics or youtubes or links to MP3s or similar with any original compositions that you have come with just for the Occupy movement or for a specific local Occupation. Drop me a link in the comments and later in the week maybe we can have a linkfest post for all your great contributions.

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Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York under several different U.S. Attorneys, former counsel to the Inspector General for the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection where she investigated threats to the New York City water supply and other environmental crimes, as well as public corruption and fraud against the government, former Examining Attorney at the N.Y.C. Department of Investigation and former Capital Construction Counsel at New York City Parks and Recreation.
She is now in private practice with a colleague whom she met while at the USA Attorney's Office. Ms. Kouril is a member of the Steering Committee, National Committeewoman and Regional Coordinator for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a member of the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Election Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is active in several other Bar Associations.
Most important of all, she is a soccer mom.