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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Under The Bridge’ by Jill Sobule & John Doe

During the height of the Occupy movement, singer-songwriter Jill Sobule dedicated a song to the movement, which she wrote about the poor, working class, and middle class Americans, who suddenly find themselves jobless and homeless as well.

The song is called, “Under the Bridge,” and it appeared on a benefit album, which was produced to help Occupy in 2012. The album was called “Occupy This Album.”

“Under the Bridge” tells the story of a person who finds out the shop where they work will close in two weeks. Sobule and Doe encourage the worker to take pencils and take the paper clips because they will be “your only parting gifts.” Then, come down under the bridge, where all the unemployed are hanging.

In a later verse, the recently unemployed person receives a notices. The unemployed person has to leave their home. She or he can go “down by the highway, at least you’re not alone.”

As Sobule and Doe sing, the starving artists are there too. They are there, because no one is going to buy this song. It will not be played on the radio.

Together under the bridge, they’ll come to understand. The people will drink wine. They will share their stories of how the system discarded them. Disposable human beings will unite and recognize the power they have to rebel and fight back. What little money they have will be pooled. They will each give small dollar amounts to combat the vast funds of the one percent. They will struggle for dignity, economic equality, and social justice while appreciating and enjoying each other’s company under the bridge.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."