Music for the Season of Occupy

 As a writer and sometime musician, I am very much a proponent of “citizen artistry” when it comes to music and theatre.   While most music and theatre primarily entertain, I subscribe to the notion that these art forms also serve to not only reflect culture, but as ‘citizen art’ they can serve (and sometimes change) the culture by means of raising consciousness. …more below the artistic squiggle...


I believe we see the truth of "citizen artistry" in that of the Occupy Movement…...via the graphic art, as well as the development of new forms of communication/protest, such as the ‘mic check,’ and the rediscovery of the ‘choral’ voice in the use of group chanting.  

It also seems that the graphic posters (both hand-made and professional) and the ‘branding’ of the movement, e.g., “We are the 99%,” serve as primary forms of message dissemination. It could also be discussed how the context of  itself, is an iconic, archetypal image of the solidarity of the movement.  

Now beginning to emerge are songs and music/videos of the movement.  I’d like to share some that have surfaced recently, along with some of my own work.

A fellow activist who is currently involved with Occupy Boston received the following video from an activist with Occupy Harvard: Season’s Greetings from Occupy Harvard—Delivering Gifts to some of Harvard’s Worst Gentlemen

From the latest Veteran’s for Peace “eblast” (veteransforpeace.org) Jerry Holl of VFP Chapter 69 in San Francisco, CA shares his "Occupy  video" dedicated to Veterans for Peace that features Leonard Cohen singing Democracy is coming to the USA  

From Occupy DC (October2011.org/Stop the Machine, Create a New World), comes this offering:

Freedom Plaza was very pleased to have noted progressive, political singer and songwriter, David Rovics, sing at Freedom Plaza on Friday, December 16.  Rovics sang in the cold for more than an hour including a great Occupy Song, Stay right here

From Hawaii (the land of my birth)  Makana's video,  

We are the Many

Refrain:   We’ll occupy the streets, we’ll occupy the courts We’ll occupy the offices of you Til you do / The bidding of the many, not the few/ We are the many, you are the few

I also am a writer, and have posted two protest/peace videos to YouTube (my original songs) with images from various peace groups and activists, along with some of my own:

Where in the World  is a universal Peace anthem, and has the lyrics captioned in the video. Very easy to sing/learn/play.

Wherever u go   ...is a song about the human cost of war/bring the troops home, with many images from Veterans for Peace. Both of these songs are from my contemporary adaptation of Aristophanes anti-war play, Lysistrata:  LIZ'S STRATAGEM, for which I hope to create an interactive blog in the new year, with individual scenes and more songs.

Finally, I’d like to dedicate one of my poems to all our veterans and their families who have served, and sacrificed, and continue to do so; as well as to all who have suffered across the globe because of ongoing wars and conflicts…here’s hoping for a better world to come as we work towards shifting from a culture of war and greed to one of cooperation and peace…

may Peace occupy our hearts:

In these holy days we set apart, let’s fill the earth with the art

 Of kind and joyful, wondrous gifts uplifting people without

this knowledge of the fullness of a table set.... providing love, heartfelt love.

As we celebrate across the globe,  may our hearts and souls unfold  

sharing blessings manifold,

to heal the war- torn, broken ones  sowing peace,  and sowing love,  grateful love.

For many years in many ways, we have all gone astray,

Following blindly our own way…

Let’s open our eyes to see all the possibilities of living together in peace and love,  

Let’s live together in peace and love....

As we meditate upon the hope of Peace within turned inside out,

Let’s resonate the holy shout of joys restored to those without

and pledge to give, and to forgive, and be merciful, and live in love,    

Let’s live in love,  heartfelt love...

Let’s open our eyes to see all the possibilities of living together in peace and love,  

Let’s live together in peace and love.... heartfelt love.

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