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1. PEPPER SPRAYER
Story: Around Thanksgiving 2011, just as Occupy was spreading like wildfire around the world so was a frightening trend: from UC Davis to NYC to the mayhem of Black Friday shopping, a pepper spraying craze was sweeping the nation. Images of Occupy protesters being pepper sprayed by NYPD or the infamous Officer John Pike were horrific, though not entirely surprising. Then more pepper sprayer stories began to emerge — stories of holiday shoppers gone mad at multi-national outlets, pepper spraying children and other adults (who were, regrettably, holding the last XBox in the store) and absconding with these “presents” to place them under their own Christmas trees. Ironically, also around this time, Occupy was being ousted from encampments while consumers were encouraged to camp out in parking lots overnight for Early Bird Savings!
Lyrics: If you want to demonstrate in California/ That’s great but don’t say I didn’t warn ya/ You can have a sit-in or make a stand/ But you may have to take a bath in cayenne/ There are cops in cars and cops on bikes/ There are cops misbehaving like Officer John Pike/ Spraying faces like the Mousselini of graffiti/ Just a habanero hero with no love or pity/ Mama raised her son up cool/ Mama told me to stay in school/ Well here I am, trying to show some scruples/ Now I got red shit burning my pupils/ Standing in the rain, wet and freezin’/ Trying to make these damn cops listen to reason/ They just want to redden my complexion/ But I’m already seasoned to perfection/ Please officer/ Please don’t protect me no more/ Hey pepper sprayer/ Just let me sit here on the floor/ Please Mr. policeman/ Please don’t serve me right now/ Hey pepper sprayer/ I’m not on the menu any how/ You’re making a grown man cry/ Just look me in the eye/ instead of turning my face into a vindaloo/ in case you didn’t know, that’s a spicy red stew/ It gives me indigestion/ To see what’s become of this nation/ It makes my broken heart burn/ When things take such an ugly turn/ Please officer/ Please don’t protect me no more/ Hey pepper sprayer/ We got a cleanup in aisle four/ Please Mr policeman/ Turn your attention over here/ To these pepper sprayers/ I fear their holiday cheer/ Black Friday shoppers/ You need protection it’s true/ From pepper sprayers/ Who don’t like shopping with you/ Black Friday shoppers/ Camping in the parking lot/ Beware the pepper sprayer She thinks it’s worth the crap she bought
2. CHILDREN TO WAR (featuring Woda)
Story: In May 2011, we wrote this song to Michelle Obama to lobby her husband on behalf of all women and children who are caught in the crossfires of wars they never asked for. We are honored to feature two virtuosas on this track: Woda, a breathtaking singer from Togo, as well as an anonymous and beautiful Romanian violinist.
Lyrics: Women are citizens/ Women have rights/ Women in Afghanistan want to raise their children right/ It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from/ When mothers lose children to war it hurts everyone/ Women are citizens/ Women have rights/ Women in Palestine want to raise their children right/ It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from/ When mothers lose children to war it hurts everyone/ Women are citizens/ Women have rights/ Women in America want to raise their children right/ It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from/ When mothers lose children to war it hurts everyone
3. PRISON SONG
Story: The prison industrial complex is a privatized maze designed to trap multitudes unconstitutionally. States’ funds are being bled dry by private interests who profit wildly from unjust incarcerations. This song was written in honor of “political prisoners” around the world, and for everyone who has been wrongfully jailed. We debuted it in May 2011 at LA Worldfest, the largest green festival in the country. Worldfest presented us with an award for activism, and we, in turn, presented CodePink with an award for participating in our Loose the Juice challenge to raise awareness for Bradley Manning.
Lyrics: In this world, my sisters and brothers/ There is a group of suffering others/ Tucked away in dark corners of the world/ One of them may be from your neighborhood/ Wasting away in tiny cells/ Every moment a living hell/ None of them are murderers, rapists or thieves/ Each just stood up for what they believe/ Put me in jail if I’m black and free/ Because I don’t fit into their economy/ Put me in jail if I smoke a spliff/ Because I am terminally sick/ Put me in jail if I’m the Dalai Lama/ Because I am China’s Public Enemy Number One/ Put me in jail if I’m a whistleblower/ Because transparency is just another code word/ If it’s a punishable crime/ To stand up to tyranny/ Then I’ll do my time/ Away from this society/ And if it’s a punishable crime/ To speak up for our rights/ Then I’ll do my time/ Just ’cause it’s the law don’t make it right/ Put me in jail for homosexuality/ Because it doesn’t conform to their morality/ Put me in jail if I’m an immigrant/ Because this country doesn’t need my helping hands/ Put me in jail if I’m a prostitute/ Because the state has nothing better to do/ Put me in jail for asking questions/ Because I said something they’d rather not mention/ If it’s a punishable crime/ To stand up to tyranny/ Then I’ll do my time/ Away from this society/ And if it’s a punishable crime/ To speak up for our rights/ Then I’ll do my time/ Just ’cause it’s the law don’t make it right
5. OCCUPY WALL STREET
Story: Inspired by and dedicated with respect & solidarity to Occupy Wall Street and all Occupy movements around the world. Having left NYC just days before OWS took root last summer, we were frustrated by the mainstream media blackout of OWS’s nascent days. Then, when they finally deigned to cover it, NY Times published an ill-informed and widely touted critique of OWS as “pantomime progressivism” and all MSM outlets echoed the unfounded sentiment that there was no clear vision or purpose behind Occupy. On cue, MSM was pleased to oblige the hands that feed them by completely ignoring the obvious answers: ending the economic corruption and warmongering that had beset our nation.
Lyrics: NYPD atomizing pepper spray in protesters’ faces at close range. Arab spring inspiration, but this is how it goes down in America. NY Times calls it “pantomime progressivism.” Hey, NYT, where the fuck’s your journalism? You know the reason why we occupy is cuz banking profits are shooting sky high. Land of the free; home of the brave. This is the street our labor paved. Sept. 17, 2011 was the day we took it back- no prisoners. Land of the free; home of the brave. These are the streets our labor paved. Whether we’re protesting or voting, Wall St & DC, you’re on notice! You can’t censor and arrest all press. Amy Goodman and AlterNet give us the facts. Even though we wear our Anonymous masks backwards doesn’t mean we’re not on track. Society with solidarity. An occupation with dedication. Now look around Liberty Plaza and Wall St. There’s no stoppin’ us in Gotham City! Land of the free; home of the brave. This is the street our labor paved. Sept. 17, 2011 was the day we took it back- no prisoners. Land of the free; home of the brave. These are the streets our labor paved. Whether we’re protesting or voting, Wall St & DC, you’re on notice!
Story: This movement towards a fair and just society will thrive and inevitably succeed when we have the momentum of 99% of us. 100% preferred but not required.
Lyrics: you like to tell us we should get a job so we got an occupation instead/ the benefits package is adequate and we get paid when we get into your head/ it’s like a rumbling sound from underground/ like a stomach that needs to be fed/ we make a noise to occupy your thoughts ’cause we know you’re easily misled/ can you feel the shifting of the earth?/ do you see what your money’s worth when no one’s buying?/ let’s talk about the bottom line/ numbers don’t lie and we are the 99/ how many dollars does it take to make a man turn his back on his neighbor?/ how many people live in slavery to an economy that punishes labor?/ you push us out and we keep coming back/ this is a peace attack and lovers are soldiers/ you should come and occupy with us and forget about the fucking shareholders/ can you feel the stacks about to blow?/ did you know you’re standing on a volcano?/ and you’re king of the mountain/ let’s talk about the bottom line/ numbers don’t lie and we are the 99
Story: We were always patriots, but we didn’t know it until we participated in the Occupy movement and saw the ideals of this country come to life. Long live the US Constitution! Everyone is a citizen…of the world.
Lyrics: This was the day I went from good for nothin’ to a citizen I did, yeah/ I always had a big mouth/ I come from the south side of the city where pity is not for the opinionated/ I used to get in fights and drink all night/ it wasn’t pretty/ man I was so damn frustrated/ I have to speak my mind/ that should not be a crime/ it’s time to take this hate debate and elevate it/ that was me then/ this is me now/ let me tell you how/ I was a dope/ now I have hope/ let me tell you how/ this was the day I went from good for nothin’ to a citizen/ I did, yeah/ now I get involved/ that’s how problems are solved/ I have to utilize my scariness like people in the military/ I let my voice be heard/ no sticks, no stones, just words/ I am an animal/ but I am not a criminal/ I always take a stand to lend my brother a hand/ you got to take responsibility ’cause silence is complicity/ that was me then/ this is me now/ let me tell you how/ I was a dope/ now I have hope/ let me tell you how/ This was the day I went from good for nothin’ to a citizen/ I did, yeah
8. SENSIBLE CALIFORNIA
Story: The “Sensible California” campaign for the REPEAL CANNABIS PROHIBITION ACT OF 2012 (RCPA 2012) sensibly aimed to repeal marijuana prohibition for adults in California. The authors of this proposed legislation requested both song for their campaign. It gave us an opportunity to promote a worthy cause that’s very close to our hearts.
Lyrics: It’s only sensible to live your life in California/ With all its agriculture/ It’s only natural to plant your roots where the sun is warm and comfortable/ But it’s not so comfortable to live in fear of prosecution for possession of a flower with so much power and beauty/ But it’s not so beautiful to look at California from behind bars/ Where no irony is lost and the cost of living free is bondage/ It’s only sensible to ask for help when you are in need/ Nature has given us the seed and now we have to go and plant it/ Legalize it/ Profit by it/ Let’s be sensible/ Let’s just be sensible/ It’s only sensible to do the best thing for your country/ It’s not impossible/ It’s only sensible to choose the way you live your life and be responsible/ But it’s irresponsible to turn your back on revenue and savings when you’re a bankrupt state that is inseparable from a nation whose wealth all goes toward defense/ And it’s indefensible to strip away a dying person’s comfort/ ‘Cause all societies ills are killed with pills and by paying your bills/ It’s only sensible to live your life in California/ With all its agriculture/ It’s only natural to plant your roots where the sun is warm and comfortable/ Legalize it/ Profit by it/ Let’s be sensible/ Let’s just be sensible
9. DR. FRANK LUCIDO
Story: If you live in the Bay area, he should be your doctor. We salute Dr Frank Lucido, one of America’s leading physician advocates of medicinal marijuana and co-author of the REPEAL CANNABIS PROHIBITION ACT OF 2012.
Lyrics: We give thanks to Dr Frank Lucido, our hero/ For over thirty years he has been there/ Always with a smile he’ll sit and talk for a while/ Patients he prefers are the uninsured/ I highly recommend him if you need to be mended/ He’s won numerous awards, sits on professional boards/ Is a community leader with integrity and no fear/ We give thanks to Dr Frank Lucido, a hero, a hero/ Even though some bluntly gave him hell about his ponytail/ We miss his ponytail. Doctor we miss your ponytail/ For over thirty years he has been there/ Always with a smile he’ll sit and talk for a while/ Patients he prefers are the uninsured/ I highly recommend him/ I highly recommend Dr Lucido
10. MOBILE HOMELESS
Story: Muppets have a few things to say about Goldman Sachs’ shenanigans! We collaborated with renowned media hoaxer and artist Joey Skaggs to provide this song and other music for his performance art action directed at Goldman Sachs. With over 11 million homes underwater and millions in foreclosure, Skaggs’ “temporary solution” was a Mobile Homeless Home — a contraption he built himself and billed as a “low cost alternative living space for the millions of upside-down, underwater or foreclosed homeowners who have lost their houses due to the banking crisis that caused the real estate collapse.” This accompanying satirical song features the voices of Kermit, Gonzo and Miss Piggy. These Muppets characters, and a host of others, went to Goldman Sachs’ offices in NYC to perform the song in April 2012. Beautiful coincidence: the Muppets had just been named Ambassadors to NYC by Mayor Bloomberg so arresting them would’ve proven to be bad PR for the city.
Lyrics: I had a dream of owning my own pad (He had a dream, an American dream) The bank said, “hey, a subprime mortgage ain’t bad” (He didn’t know Goldman repackaged it into junk bonds) Now my pad’s gone into foreclosure and I’m under water/ We’re mobile homeless/ You got your bonus/ it don’t seem too fair to me/ We’re mobile homeless/ You got your bonus/ It’s all in the name of greed/ But count your pennies up with your abacus and put them in your piggy bank/ I had a dream of providing for my chicken (He had a dream, an American weirdo dream) So we re-fi’ed on her coop-minium (Goldman turned it into collateralized debt obligations) Now we sleep on recycling and eat compost/ We’re mobile homeless/ Because of foreclosure/ We may die of exposure/ We’re mobile homeless/ We may be muppets/ But we’re not gonna be your puppets/ No, thank you, Goldman Sachs/ You won’t be the hand that’s stuck in our backs/ I had a dream of living beyond my means (She had a dream, an American dream) No money down on a McMansion? That’s my scene! (Compliments of Goldman’s complicated schemes) Now thanks to their scam, I’m not getting my beauty sleep/ Hi-yaaaaa!
Story: First verse is from the perspective of a genocidal exterminator who’s ‘just doing his job’; second verse is from the perspective of the insects who have had enough and rise up. Contains samples from Prince Francis’ legendary 1970′s Studio One tracks in Jamaica, “Rocking Machine” and “African Skank.”
Lyrics: I hear them moving in the dark when I’m lying in my bed/ I know they’re dying/ I want it automatic/ It’s not so bad to have a job when you do the thing you love/ Like killing lots of bugs/ Distributing my poison/ Some people think it’s just a waste of time/ I say the insect population must decline/ You got my number/ I’ll come and see you today/ Your little problem has a permanent solution/ We’ll set some bombs off/ You’ll see improvement in a couple of days/ You’ll be amazed at the difference a little death can make/ Extermination is your future one way or another brother/ He rules without consent/ Thinks we all look alike/ Maybe he is right/ His gaze is autocratic/ He shows up on my street in his rubber gloves and mask/ Delighting in the task of poisoning our children/ You people think that this is not a crime/ Planning your destruction is how we spend our time/ We got your number/ We’ll come and see you/ A gang of angry insects on the brink of revolution/ We’ll get our rocks off/ We’re populating what you thought was your home/ You’ll be amazed at the difference a little death can make/ Extermination is your future one way or another brother
12. WHISTLEBLOWERS THEME
Story: This was supposed to be a 30 second jingle for a radio show about government and corporate whistleblowers. The organization who commissioned it disappeared from the face of the earth. There is no radio show. But after adding the spoken-word excerpts (all recorded at FJP’s Occupy the Truth: Whistleblowers Conference in February 2012), we had a full length track featuring the voices of Daniel Ellsberg, Col. Ann Wright, Ray McGovern and Thomas Drake.
Lyrics: When they put you in the need-to-know and they practice to deceive you can talk to me/ When there is no place for you to go and the story starts to spin/ You still have friends and we are all in the need-to-know
13. WHERE’S OUR CHANGE?
Story: Protest song about the lack of governmental transparency as exemplified by the treatment of Bradley Manning. Originally performed for President Obama at an April 21, 2011 fundraising event at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.
Lyrics: Dear Mr. President, we honor you today, sir/All of us have given you our tax dollars/It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign/I paid my dues, where’s my change?/We’ll vote for you in 2012, is that true? NO!/Look at the Republicans - what are we to do?/Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties/In what you seem content to call a free society/Yes, it’s true that Terry Jones is legally free/To burn a people’s holy book in shameful effigy/But at another location in this country/Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley/23 hours a day is night/The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing aint right/Nobel Peace Prize/ Whistle blowers/Guantanamo/Quantico/Juan Mendez/Due Process/Crimson Alumni/ Laurence Tribe/8th Amendment/ Cruel and Unusual/5th Amendment/ Punishment before a trial/Terry Jones/ Burnin’ that Quran/Promise of transparency/ Dennis Kucinich/We paid our dues, where’s our change?/We paid our dues, where’s our change?
Gil Alexander- drums, percussion (1-3,5-9,11-13)
Craig Bravo Miller- drums (4,10)
Bema Bass- bass (2,3,11)
Paul Martin- bass (1,4,10)
Matthew Geraci- keyboard (3,11)
Roma Mystery Woman- violin (2)
Craig Casey- guitar (1-13), bass (6-9,12,13), keyboard (1,2,4-9,12,13), vocal (1,3-13)
Pratibha Gautam- vocal (3,4,5,8,9,13)
David Schiller- vocal (13)
Jessica Czeck- vocal (5)
Abi Laoshe- vocal (3,13)
Woda- vocal (2)
Produced by Fresh Juice Party.
Recorded and edited by Craig Casey at Spiderland Studio.
Mixed by Andy Freeman (1-5,7,9-13) and Johnnie Burik (6,8) at Faultline Studios.
Mastered by Alexander Lowe at Red Tuxedo.
All songs written by Craig Casey & Pratibha Gautam c 2012. “Exterminator” contains samples from “African Skank” & “Rocking Machine” by the great Prince Francis. Special thanks to whistleblowers Daniel Ellsberg, Ret. Col. Ann Wright, Ray McGovern and Thomas Drake for spoken word excerpts on “Whistleblowers Theme” (recorded at FJP’s Occupy the Truth: Whistleblowers Conference in February 2012).
Artwork by Naomi Pitcairn.
Johanna Lawrenson & Abbie Hoffman
Carol Leigh & her mom, Virginia
Dr. Frank Lucido
Jessica Eiko Hollie
Monique Robinson & her son, Taylor
Emile Beny Soumah
Rev. Billy Talen
Occupy Wall Street
Ret Col Ann Wright