The Freedom To Say No
I don't mind if the sun doesn't shine.
- I’ll dance in the rain.
I don’t care if the stocks they rise or if they fall.
- Let ‘em fall.
I ain’t scared of misfortune and Murphy’s law.
- Murphy was an insurance salesman!
It doesn’t bother me that I’ve got no insurance at all.
- I won’t live my life in fear.
As long as we’re together we’ll be alright,
Coz together we’re much stronger than apart (o my people).
And the ones I call my people are the human race,
Coz it’s a crime to raise up one part while the rest of us aren’t safe.
I don’t mind if the sun doesn’t shine.
All I need is that twinkle in your eye.
And I won’t fit into the divide and fall,
Coz I’m free to be anything at all.
And I won’t listen when they tell me how to live.
I can see so many alternatives.
N’ all our leaders, well, you know where they can go.
Because I still have the freedom to say no.
As long as we’re together we can be alright,
Coz together we’re much stronger than apart.
And the present market system must be changed or replaced.
With a world that’s more humane and does not fear or make waste.
And that’s Participatory Economics.
Are you alright, are you alright?
I was listening to Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy album and noticing, not for the first time, how so many of his songs are built around a simple lyric hook, with the rest made up of what could be called lists of things. No chorus, no middle eight, just verse after verse of details piling up and centered around a single idea. I thought it was something I’d like to try, and I remembered I had an old lyric, a poem really, that I wrote somewhere around the mid-eighties, that might fit the bill. It was called ‘I Don’t Care’, and the first line was “I don’t care if the sun doesn’t shine”. The rest of it went on in similar fashion, with different things I didn’t care about, told with variations on I don’t care – like ‘it doesn’t bother me’, etc. It ended with the line “’As long as you’re with me”. Corny, I know, but it gave me a structure and direction to work with.
I got rid of most of the lines, except that first one, and filled the rest in with things that were concerning me at the time. Things like the ‘global financial crisis’ (this was early 2009); and being annoyed at people who’s view of the human race is fragmented into ‘your people’ and ‘my people’; and the fact that I’d recently written a song called ‘Goin’ On Strike’ and was filled with a sense of my own freedom. It seemed to me that we are living in a climate of fear, of us versus them, and of things going wrong. And that fear enslaves us and paralyses us from taking positive action. If only we realised we were strong together, and that we actually still have the freedom to break free of our chains, that we don’t have to accept the status quo that what our ‘masters’ say is all that there is. And I’ve suggested a solution in a thing called ‘Participatory Economics’. It’s basically a new version of Socialism, but a Socialism that gets the details right. Look it up on the net!