Saturday, October 20, 2007

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming

New Song Alert!

I wrote this song a couple weeks ago and, after posting a very rough acoustic version and getting some feedback in a songwriting forum I sometimes hang out in, I decided to try to put together a fuller, combo version.

I had posted this briefly last week but thought twice about the performance and some of the instrumentation so I pulled the post and reworked the song. This may or may not be the keeper but I uploaded to my soundclick page and it's available there -- or you can play it from their server using the handy single song media player below.

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming

Now, here is my confession
I'm the guilty one
I knew just what I was doing
and now look at what I've done

there isn't any mystery
about just who's to blame
the saddest little crime in history
has been added to my name

If they could put you in jail for dreaming
I'd never see the streets again
I'd be lying in my cell
telling stories to myself
and dreamin' bout what might have been

I stole a chance for happiness
then drove it into a ditch
I stole the secrets of hate and love
then I forgot which was which

If they could put you in jail for dreaming...

I know my biggest crime
is something I did not do
it's a shame and a sin I didn't
follow that whim
and steal away with you

If they could put you in jail for dreaming...

2007/10/18 TK Major
(C)2007, TK Major

Monday, October 15, 2007

This Used to Be America

This Used to Be America

New Song Alert!

Preachin' democracy...

It's still preachin'. With all that entails. Maybe it's because I've been spending so much time listening to country, mountain, and rural gospel lately. They ain't afraid of no preachin'....

Anyway, when the phrase "This used to be America"* came to my lips the other day (in one of those listening-to-the-news-too-much rants my cat is getting used to) I sat down to write what I hoped might be some classic agitprop... I don't think I actually got there... and I wasn't actually going to let this out of the work folder but, I dunno, I listened to it this morning and thought, shoot, I'm feeling this. I'm feeling it right now.

When the general once in charge of the US war on -- excuse me, in -- Iraq calls that catastrophic misadventure a "nightmare without end" -- I figure there's some wiggle room for a little Monday morning jeremiad from an aging, disillusioned US businessman (that would be, you know, me.)

This used to be America, you know.

But we could still be who we know we should be...
This Used to Be America
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This Used to Be America

This used to be America
This used to be the land of the free
This used to be the United States
but nothin's like it used to be

we put ourselves in the hands of fools
threw our birthrights away
put the bottom line at the top of our world
let the god of greed hold sway

it takes 200,000 bullets
to kill one enemy
that what the DoD numbers say**
if you don't count peripheral casualties

Americans don't torture
We don't kill recklessly
thats what the man in the white house says
that's how we want it to be
but it's gettin' pretty hard to believe

blowback's a bitch
but how could we know?
though our experts kept telling us so
we fed the tiger we got by the tail
and now we just can't bear to let him go

This used to be America
This used to be the land of the free
but I swear it's not too late
for the United states
we can still be who we know
we should be

(C)2007, TK Major

* When I googled the phrase -- which I figured had certainly been in use before -- I found it had been the working title for a book by...

** DOD - Department of Defense; this figure of 200,000 bullets for every enemy death in Afghanistan and Iraq is based on US Department of Defense estimates of enemy soldiers killed and the amount of ordnance used in training and combat. Yes... one FIFTH OF A MILLION BULLETS for every enemy soldier killed. Of course, this does not count "peripheral casualties" -- for which estimates range from about 25,000- 30,000 (more than the number of enemy killed -- this is the US government's estimate) to as many as a 100,000. Of course, that does not include those who died unnecessarly from malnutrition, privation, and other war-related causes which some well-grounded studies have suggested range from 500,000 to one million extra deaths.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


They Own the Judges

It was the Nixon Era and I was young and angry and I knew this wasn't a very good song but I was young and angry and it was the Nixon Era.

I present it here because maybe neither I nor the nation have really learned that much...

They Own the Judges
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previous versions
Tuesday, December 27, 2005

They Own the Judges

they own the judges
they own the congress
they own the papers
and the magazines

they own the cops
they own the armies and
they think that they own
you and me

they own the doctors
they get rich from our suffering
they own the churches
and the sinners inside

they own the colleges
the print-outs of knowledge
they own and use history
to their own ends

they own the farms
they own the farmers
they own the factories
and the workers lives

they own the gangsters
and they run the wores
they own Vegas
and the gamblers trapped inside

they move in the shadows
of presidents and corporations
the means of production
in a handful of hands

you can't live without money
they enslave us with wages
they pull the strings
that make you and me dance

(C)1976, 2007, TK Major