Protest Songs (Are Dead)

by GioSafari

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about

After moving to NYC in September of 2009, Gio Andollo really started to see the injustices that exist around the world. From abject poverty and violence in the so-called third world (perpetuated largely by market demands in the post-industrialized world), to the plight of Mexican immigrants in his own United States, Gio was struck by the conditions that render so many people helpless.

But rather than stand idly by, he began writing songs about the problems that he saw, hoping to bring attention to these various matters. Through the art of protest songs, we would "boldly look the devil in the face and bring hope, peace, and love where there is violence and hate."

This sophomore EP is the product of that endeavor and a precursor to his debut full-length album Heliotropism.

credits

released August 17, 2011

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about

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: Protest Song
They say the art of protest songs is dead,
that we should write romantic songs instead;
a tune about the moon, the sun, the stars;
a tune about balloons and fun at bars -
about the things that lift us til we fall,
or songs about, well, really nothing at all.
When thousands die each day for lack of bread,
nothing is preferred to something said.

If you wanna hear a song of love,
please know that you're the one I'm thinking of
as I write on behalf of the oppressed
and resurrect a canon of protest!

I'll boldly look the devil in the face
and bring hope peace and love where there is violence and hate.
In my love I'll challenge you to be
the changes in the world you want to see.

Noone wants to hear about the wars,
the plight and exploitation of the poor;
you want to hear of blissful, happy things:
the joys that money sex and drugs can brings,
about the rainbows, flowers, and sunshine -
just make it seem that everything is fne.
This way you'll be able to ignore
the violence you are responsible for.

I'll boldly look the devil in the face
and bring hope peace and love where there is violence and hate.
In my love I'll challenge you to be
the changes in the world you want to see.

So you want to avoid reality,
and I should steer clear of controversy -
avoid today's politics & religion,
and stick to polite table conversation;
tell you what I've done throughout the day
as I push vegetables around my plate.
singing songs of little consequence
and leaving you in blissful ignorance.

But I love you too much to let you stay
and those are not the songs I care to play.
I'd rather peel the scales back from your eyes
so we can weigh the truth against the lies.

We'll boldly look the devil in the face
and bring hope, peace, and love where there is violence and hate
we'll challenge each other always to be...
the changes in the world we want to see.
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: Canta Y No Llores
My name is Jesus, I've a wife and three kids,
we moved here a few years ago.
I did all that I could to support them there,
But I couldn't make enough back in Mexico.
I worked for your corporations back home,
but they didn't pay a livable wage;
so we moved to the land of opportunity
hoping to turn a new page.

Singing, "ay ay ay ay,
canta y no llores,
porque cantando se allegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.

I found work in the fields, back-breaking labor,
toiling all day in the sun.
I never complained, knowing without
this work or wages I'd have none.
We'd found a way to survive in this world,
to live at peace in this nation,
til Arizona passed a new law
to curb illegal immigration,

I was driving my car, but I didn't get far
when I saw the flashing lights in the mirror.
Then you saw that I, no I never cried,
I didn't shed a single tear,
'cause I knew I'd leave my family here.

Singing, "ay ay ay ay,
canta y no llores,
porque cantando se allegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.

You invaded my land and drove out my people
from the home of the brave and the land of the free.
Now you claim that it's yours, you say I'm illegal,
as though it were lawful to steal it from me.
Now you've got me locked up and you're sending me back,
I can't say good bye to my family;
but I'll be back soon by the light of the moon,
in the mean time I know they'll keep singing.

Singing, "ay ay ay ay,
canta y no llores,
porque cantando se allegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.
Track Name: Pax Americana
Shalom is a way of life.
Yes, peace goes far beyond fashion.
Love for one's brothers and sisters,
respect for oneself and creation.
This peace is absent in countries
where the work of small hands is forgotten,
where human rights take a back seat
to the profits of corporate production.

Two fingers form a letter which stands for victory.
We hold it up in protests for all the world to see.
We say it stands for peace, for which we'll take a stand.
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by broken hands.

Such goods are then shipped to lands
where the first-world consumer hordes
Pillage and plunder display shelves
of clothing and grocery stores
'til nothing is left in their tracks,
least of all the sad memory
that the ones who provide them their food and clothes
are naked and going hungry.

Encircled broken crosses, symbolic imagery
emblazoned on our t-shirts, dangling jewelry.
We say it stands for peace, for which we're all in favor.
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by sweatshop labor.

Our logos we proudly display,
corporate slogans we wear as our banners.
Even peace has done well to pay
the checks of graphic designers.
But what do these signs mean to those
who work over them night and day,
while violent military forces
are at work to keep it that way?

Hegemonic power secures our corporate interests.
"Free trade" law legitimate by our destiny manifested.
We say it stands for peace, which we'll spread throughout the nations,
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by exploitation.
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...