Music can make or break a movement. It can often convey thoughts, emotions and ideas that speeches, lectures, and protest marches cannot. During the Wisconsin Uprising a lot of great music about Scott Walker and the labor movement came out, some of it in impromptu sing alongs in the Capitol rotunda, drum circles, and many artists wrote songs supporting the movement (I have yet to hear a pro-Scott Walker song).
One of my favorite songs to come out of the uprising was, "Scotty, We're Comin' For You," by the Kissers. The video below was filmed in the Malt House on East Washington Avenue (formerly, and appropriately, the Union Tavern).
First they came for the unionsJump below the fold for more musical goodness...
Saying that you should have less
The companies need more, you people aren't poor
Stop whining, buck up like the rest
And then they came for the children
Hard to believe but it's true
Schools and good health might take from their wealth
So tell me what are you gonna do?
Scotty, we're coming for you
I never knew how much I loved Wisconsin
Till I stood in the capitol dome
With signs on the walls, the drums in the halls
Cries of freedom shouting all night long
Everyone standing together
Teachers in red, cops in blue
Hundreds of thousands show people have power
So tell me what are we gonna do?
Scotty, we're coming for you
Other songs came out during that time, too. The Dropkick Murphys dedicated "Take 'em Down" to the people of Wisconsin.
Borderlands came out with "That ain't right."
There were many, many other local and national artists that performed songs for the Wisconsin Uprising and I could write multiple diaries on just those songs. But, this is about songs of labor across the spectrum.
A personal favorite of mine is "Worker's Song," by the Dropkick Murphys"
Uncle Danny had a coal tattooWhile others, like German metal band Accept, tend to be a little more vocal in their support of the working class in their song, "Revolution."
He fought for the union
Some of us still do
On my shoulder
is the number of the chapter
he was in
that number is forever
like the struggle here to win.
What's wrong, with this pictureThe song that inspired this diary is one I have been listening to for years. I first heard this song in a crappy bar in Nashville, Tennessee in the late eighties by a guy by the name of Steve Earle (his opening act that night was this guy you have probably never heard of—a guy by the name of Garth Brooks). I had never heard of him at the time (I did buy a couple cassettes of his at that show that night). The song that caught my attention as a young soldier and son of a union man was, "Sweet Little '66."
The poor get poorer and the rich get richer
Banks ready to forclose... "hard luck"
Occupy the streets
Get up, take action, be a link in the chain reaction
it's time to unify... "stand up"
Get up on your feet
They're trying to bleed us dry
I think we've had enough
Now she ain't too good on gasoline, she burns a little oilWhat are some of your favorite songs about the working man and woman?
But she was built by union labor on American soil
Sweet little '66
So when your Subaru is over and your Honda's history
I'll be blastin' down some back road with my baby next to me
In my sweet little 66