Live At Occupy Raleigh

by GioSafari

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This album features all original songs that I performed at the occupation of Raleigh, in solidarity with OWS, on December 4, 2011. Much of my performance was captured on video and this album features the audio that I extracted, mixed, and mastered.


released April 12, 2012

All songs written by Gio Andollo and performed live by GioSafari with members of Occupy Raleigh. Video footage captured by Jeremy Gilchrist.



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GioSafari New York, New York

GioSafari was the pseudonym for singer-songwriter and peace activator Gio Andollo. He lives in NYC, where he has committed to music - songwriting, recording, busking, performing, promoting - and activism. He speaks truth to power in the heart of Empire, recalling the subversive musical traditions of American folk & punk, singing for peace & justice, and advocating the use of bicycle helmets. ... more

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Track Name: Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs
I’m writing this song while riding in the car
from Tampa to Gainesville, couple hours, not too far.
I’m curious to see just what will come out.
Hopefully before I’m done I’ll know what it’s about.

An experiment in writing, I hope not to disappoint.
A poem on the fly, a rhyme scheme slightly disjointed.
I need to write, I need to have a little discipline,
or else I’ll have no songs to sing with you, my kickass friends.

Sometimes a little discipline is really all it takes
to wake us from our stupor, help us see through the haze,
the bullshit all around us, the violence of the state.
They want us in our apathy to simply waste away.

What’s the reason in the schools the arts are first to go?
Well, you know, it’s we the artists’ job always to show
the way things are; we artists must choose never to ignore
the violence, incompetence, injustice, endless war.

Now I’ll step off my soap box, I just wanted to say:
though it may seem small, this really is the greatest way
to subvert Pax Americana, to quietly smash the state -
So go out there and sing, dance, paint, write, smile, and create.

I just wrote this song while riding in the car
from Tampa to Gainesville, couple hours, not too far.
I’m curious to see just what has come out
and now that I think I’m done, I know what it’s about:
deciding for ourselves what this life will be about.
Track Name: Why Lie, I Want A Beer
Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen,
I'm very sorry for the interruption.
I know you're on your way somewhere important,
but I just have a few things to say.
Please don't just write me off as insane.
If you'll let me be honest, I can explain
the reason I'm begging here on this train
for nothing but your time of day.

Careful not to glance in my direction,
lest you be tempted to make a donation,
to fish through your pockets, make differentiation
between all the various coin sizes.
Perhaps generosity's not your true aim,
but to silence your conscience, to cover your shame
for gripping onto your wealth just the same
as the gold calves this world idolizes.

Though I ask, I'm not in need
of your food or your money.
Just smile and acknowledge me,
learn my name and how I'm doing.
I don't need your quarters in my cup,
I don't need your apathetic love.
Just give me a handshake, give me a hug,
treat me like a human being.
Yes, treat me like a human being.

Some say I'm smelly, dirty, lazy,
with a look in my eyes a little crazy.
The PTSD makes everything hazy,
explains why they look glazed over.
Not to mention my use of narcotics,
whatever it takes to get my fix
for a broken world, tired, hungry, and sick,
til I wake disillusioned and hung over.

What else can I do to cope with my plight?
How else can I manage to sleep at nights?
It helps me keep warm and equips me to fight
the demons rank and file on my shoulder.
An army of one decorated hero,
Forgotten by country, I stand all alone
on the field against my formidable foe;
with a bottle alone I feel bolder.

Still instead of your pocket change for a beer,
perhaps you can lend me a listening ear;
let me know that you care with a smile sincere,
let me know that we're in this together.
For my burden is heavy, a staggering load.
I've carried it for years down this yellow brick road,
tapping my heels, "there's no place like home."
But if you help, they'lll feel light as a feather.
Yes they will, they'll feel light as a feather.
Track Name: Vagrants & Vagabonds, Outlaws & Thieves
A beguiling bard set up shop in an underground train station
and played subversive songs to commuters disguised as entertainment.
Crooning of peace and hope with a deceiving smile 'cross his face,
he coerced many a listener to drop change in his case.

But there was that day a deputy, wise beyond his years,
who hearing the bard while on patrol saw through the smoke and mirrors.
With justice burning in his heart
he courageously approached the bard
and with these words he quelled all the commuters' fears:

"You can't play down here, you need to move on."
The musician feigned flummoxed, "What have I done wrong?"
"I'm just singing songs about love and peace!
None are disturbed, some are giving money!"
"But this is a business," the officer said,
"would you play guitar at Bloomingdales instead?"
With that he restored lawful order and peace
from vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

The peace was short-lived, for on the train there was a conniving cripple,
a beggar missing five fingers who solicited from the people.
He claimed to be a sports coach as he hobbled down the aisle,
asking the riders for pocket change and always to wear a smile.

The conductor saw him transfer cars and grimaced with dismay.
He knew the tricks the beggar used for sympathies to sway.
Indignation burning in his loins,
he wished they all would keep their coins;
so with these words he warned them all over the PA:

"Don't give this man money, it's against the law"
The beggar kept begging, moved to the next car.
"I'm taking donations for my basketball team.
None are disturbed, some are giving money!"
"Don't encourage disorder," the conductor said,
"Give all that you have to MTA instead."
With that he ensured none would be fooled by these
vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

Now the bard sitting homeward bound on the train heard the good conductor's caution
and watched as the beggar with only five fingers walked slowly in his direction.
With insolence burning in his soul
he cared not for the subway rule,
and with these wretched words Pandora's box was to be opened:

"I have something for you," and gave him a dollar,
"I know how it is, I was stopped earlier."
They grinned at each other, not caring at all
to keep civil order, to uphold the law.
"That's why you play good music," the coach said,
"Don't give up and always keep smiling instead."
With that he gave credence to all anarchy
for vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.
Track Name: Everything I Ever Needed To Say (In 17 Syllables)
I may be in a different city,
but I'm in the same state of mind.
Terrain and scenery keep changing,
but the pain is of the very same kind.
I'm dying here in isolation.
You thought I'd move on by now.
All I want's to be near you girl,
but you wouldn't have it anyhow.

If I could have it all my way,
it'd be the same when I'm awake
as the way I see us in my dreams.
Instead when I open my eyes
a realism I despise
forces me to deny what I've seen.
My nightmare's reality
fucking paralyses me,
hit the snooze to get back to that scene.

Hit the road to try and find myself,
all I find's a void where you once were.
I've saved this seat beside me for you,
but in it nobody stirs.
This lyric keeps coming to mind:
"I wanna die" or something close.
Nothing ever seems to fit five syllables;
Can't write the way I feel the most.

None of this sounds quite right,
though I try with all my might.
Feels so contrived to keep this rhyme scheme.
And just listen to these chords,
you'd think that I might afford
to spare a seventh harmony.
Who else is going to understand
and be willing to reprimand
for being so INTP?

I'm dying here in isolation.
You thought I'd move on by now.
I saved this seat beside me for you,
but you wouldn't have it anyhow.
Track Name: Four Women (And One Child)
Four women and one child -
casualties of a violent society.
We come in peace, or so we say,
to bring democracy and liberate.
They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But where could they go to escape?

Four women and one child!
It was an accident, we are assured.
Bombs and bullets are indiscriminate
and made for killing. You want freedom, don't you?
Well, to make an omellette,
you've got to break a few thousand eggs.

But I'd rather go vegan.

Four women and one child,
Their deaths were inadvertent.
This we're expected to believe;
but multiply them 600 times
and we'll know how many more civilians
could not taste freedom in 2009.

And I'd rather go vegan.
I'd rather go...

Four women and one child -
but were they totally innocent?
Aren't we all violent in our own ways?
And aren't we all victims
standing on the other end of
the barrel of a violent society's gun?

Four Women and one child
driving to work, shopping, routine,
fall heavily to the ground
as though the bullets weighed a thousand pounds.
They were in the wrong place at the wrong time,
good eggs in a bad omellette.
And who wants to eat it anyway?
You can't eat breakfast when you're dead.

I'd rather go, I'd rather go vegan.
I'd rather go, I'd rather go vegan.
Yes, I'd rather go, I'd rather go...
Track Name: #TakeWallStreet
We're gonna hashtag #occupywallstreet.
We're gonna hashtag #takewallstreet back!
We're gonna stand up for justice and peace at home,
in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Because the government's not serving its people.
For the 99 they ain't doin jack.
So it's our duty to occupy wall street.
It's our duty to take wall street back!