Letter to My Landlord

by David Rovics

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about

This album is a live show recorded and edited by Charles Rosina at the Community Church of Boston on March 11th, 2016.

credits

released March 28, 2016

Album cover by Elona Planman.

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
Ian McMillan, BBC

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Track Name: One Day in Kenya
It’s a long way from Nairobi, travel across the country
To an arid northern little border town
If you leave early in the day you’ll still be on your way
Long after the sun is going down
It began as just a ride to the other side
But then was interrupted by the sound
Of the shattering of glass as the driver tried to pass
The men with guns there on the dusty desert ground

There were two already dead, another shot as she fled
No question here whose lives were now at stake
When all is said and done it is instances like this one
When every move is one that just might make or break
All passengers get out, men with guns began to shout
You Christians now get up against the wall
But then everyone stayed still, saying now do as you will
You may leave, or you may kill us all

It wasn’t far away, just over a year ago today
When people were massacred exactly in this manner
The pattern it was clear, all the Muslims here
Would be safe if they just stood beside this banner
Headscarves passed from hand to hand among this human band
Live together or together fall
And then nobody moved, showing each of them approved
Of saying you may leave, or you may kill us all

It wasn’t set in stone – there’s no way they could have known
That this time this act of solidarity
Would see the gunmen leave, goals left unachieved
On the border there in Mandera County
But sometimes you take a chance, then at a second glance
You see you’ve changed the world with the passing of a shawl
There are those who will remember those who on one day in December
Said you may leave, or you may kill us all
Track Name: God's Gift to the Caliphate
He was born a rich man, then he got richer still
By bribing politicians on Capitol Hill
By declaring bankruptcy, by working with the mob
By causing lots of Americans to lose their union jobs
By exporting industries to sweatshops overseas
By acting like an idiot on national TV
But now add to his accomplishments one more impressive trait
He’s God’s gift to the Caliphate

In between his beauty pageants and gambling casinos
And pretending to be a self-made man in films and TV shows
Donald Trump decided he should run for president
For jihadi recruiters his campaign is heaven-sent
It’s a war between religions, a civilizational fight
That’s what Daesh says – and Donald Trump says “that’s right
All you Muslims stay out of here – just go join Islamic State”
He’s God’s gift to the Caliphate

He’s not much for statistics, he doesn’t have the time
Between harassing women and committing corporate crime
But he’s a savvy gambler, he knows how to play the game
He’s got a list of groups ready-made for him to blame
He doesn’t just hate Muslims – he hates Mexicans as well
And he’s prepared to win the contract for the wall he wants to sell
But the terrorists around the world think he’s really great
He’s God’s gift to the Caliphate

The future of the world may be technically unknown
But if the past is any indication then Trump has set the tone
Along with 27 governors and Congresspeople by the score
Who, if we turned the clock back to 1944
Would be turning back the refugees just like we did back then
Hey that worked out so well, why not just do it all again
Because what the world clearly needs is more bile, bombs and hate
He’s God’s gift to the Caliphate
Track Name: Send Them Back
It’s 1939 and the boats are coming
But we can’t have them here, that much at least is clear
Our economy is poor, we can’t just open up the door
We’ve got problems of our own, they should just leave us alone
And they’re a tribalistic race, they keep a separate space
They don’t really integrate, they’ll be a burden on the state
Watch before it is too late

It’s 1939 and the boats are coming
But if we let them land and acquiesce to their demands
We’ll soon be overrun, our Christian country will be done
They should just take the tram closer by to Amsterdam
Keep their problems in the region, this invading legion
Enemies within our ranks with names like Rosenberg and Frank
Watch that water that you drank

It’s 1939 and the boats are coming
But they must stay away, in the newspapers they say
They don’t believe in Christ the lord and they’re jumping overboard
Crossing borders in a swarm, they’ll never be reformed
It’s a Trojan Horse attack and we’ve got to send them back
There may be Nazis in the hall, answering Hitler’s call
These Jews are Germans after all

It’s 1939 and the boats are coming
Track Name: No One Is Illegal
The clouds gather in your forests
Drift to my desert town
And I think of far-off places
As the rain is coming down
You’re bent down in the fields
Picking fruit there from the vine
And it ends up on my table
As it moves on down the line

The moon shines brightly in the night sky
The river flows from south to north
With the changing of the seasons
The birds migrate back and forth
But they say that you can’t come here
Not in the light of day
Somebody has got plans for you
Starve at home or hide away

Will we open up the borders
Tear down the prison walls
Declare that no one is illegal
Watch the giant as it falls

So much travels across these borders
So much is bought and sold
One way goes the gunships
The other comes the gold
Free trade is like a needle
Drawing blood straight from your heart
And the border’s like a prison
Keeping friends apart

Chorus

Hear the stockholders cheering
The world’s getting smaller
Hear the drowning child crying
“Why are the fences growing taller”
Some whisper in the shadows
While others count the dollars
Some have suits and ties
Others, chains and collars

Chorus

May the fortress walls come down
May we meet our sisters and our brothers
Stand arm and arm there in the daylight
No longer fighting one another
Will we stand together
For therein lies our might
Will we understand these words
“Workers of the world unite”

Chorus
Track Name: They Couldn't Stand By
It’s a story everyone should know
It happened a half century ago
All across this sprawling nation
The rising of a generation
It started slow and then gained speed
Nobody knew where it would lead
First there were marches, then there were more
Way too many to keep score
They shut down classes, couldn’t learn
Once they ascertained how napalm burned
They had to find out how to defy
People stood up because they couldn’t stand by

There were parades held by the military brass
There were cities filled with CS gas
Real wars and war games
Recruitment centers up in flames
Light a match, then in a flash
Draft cards turned to ash
Thousands moved across the border
Refusing military orders
Every army base in the USA
Had an antiwar cafe
There are times when you just can’t comply

Soldiers insisted on free will
Put down their guns, refused to kill
Newspapers of the underground
Ubiquitously could be found
Across the country, across the sea
Throughout the ranks of the military
Take a grenade, pull out the pin
Praise be to Ho Chi Minh
Another fragging every night
A war that many refused to fight
Bombs were falling, some asked why

The ruling classes, with all their powers
Shook inside their ivory towers
They were brought to their knees back then
That’s why we don’t have the draft again
Even back then some of them knew
They had to be careful, what they tried to do
Rulers who miscalculate
Lose control of their ship of state
In order to govern you need consent
And all of that just up and went
In ’68 came the reply
Track Name: 1492
In 1492 Colombo crossed the Ocean
Only one of many horrors that would then be set in motion
As his men cut limbs of Arawaks and burned children at the stake
Plundering a continent for God’s sake

In 1492 when King Ferdinand won Granada
He passed a law known as the Edict of Alhambra
It was as the landlords wanted, as his gracious God had willed
That any Jew in Spain had three months to leave or else be killed

And 800,000 Europeans became refugees
And headed east across the Mediterranean Sea

In 1492 they were starving and bereft
The King said they’d be safe up until the time they left
But Christian Europeans cut them open with their swords
Searched their stomachs for gold and dumped them overboard

Chorus

In 1492 the Sultan sent his fleet
To go rescue Sephardim after the Ottoman defeat
Hundreds of thousands of people who knew their deaths were near
Were rescued by Muslims and taken to Izmir

In 1492 the Sultan said that’s fine
If they’d impoverish their kingdom just to enrich mine
The Sultan also passed an edict – he said “welcome home
“Now treat your new neighbors as if they were your own”

Chorus
Track Name: I'm A Better Anarchist Than You
I don’t drive a car because they run on gas
but if I did it’d run on biomass
I ride a bike or sometimes a skateboard
so fuck off all you drivers and your yuppie hordes
sitting all day in the traffic queues
I’m a better anarchist than you

I don’t eat meat I just live on moldy chives
or the donuts that I found in last week’s dumpster dives
look at you people in that restaurant I think you are so sad
when you coulda been eating bagels like the ones that i just had
I think it is a shame all the bourgeois things you do
I’m a better anarchist than you

I don’t wear leather and I like my clothes in black
and I made a really cool hammock from a moldy coffee sack
I like to hop on freight trains I think that is so cool
it’s so much funner doing this than being stuck in school
I can’t believe you’re wearing those brand new shiny shoes
I’m a better anarchist than you

I don’t have sex and there will be no sequel
because heterosexual relationships are inherently unequal
I’ll just keep on moshing to Anti-Flag and Crass
until there are no differences in gender, race or class
all you brainwashed breeders you just haven’t got a clue
I’m a better anarchist than you

I don’t believe in leaders I think consensus is the key
I don’t believe is stupid notions like representative democracy
whether or not it works I know it is the case
that only direct action can save the human race
so when I see you in your voting booth then I know it’s true
I’m a better anarchist than you

I am not a pacifist I like throwing bricks
and when the cops have caught me and i’ve taken a few licks
I always feel lucky if I get a bloody nose
because I feel so militant and everybody knows
by the time the riot is all through
I’m a better anarchist than you
Track Name: If Clinton's a Progressive
It's election time again and the battle's pretty tight
On the left is Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump is on the right
On the Democratic ticket there's a struggle for the base
And Hillary is showing her most progressive face
She says we know she's an outsider because she's female
But if Clinton's a progressive then I'm a killer whale

She'll take on the banks, she says, if we let her run the nation
But this is the woman who voted for deregulation
Now she says the TPP should be summarily aborted
But every trade deal heretofore she's actively supported
If she felt that way before then why wait so long to tell us?
If Clinton's a progressive then I'm Wynton Marsalis

Service to the people has always been her mission
That's why she's always striven to send so many of them to prison
She lobbied for the crime bill, she lobbied to gut welfare
Now she emerges from her mansion to pretend she really cares
I guess she figures if she lies enough folks will eventually believe her
But if Clinton's a progressive then I'm a Golden Retriever

If I were a gambler I'd bet you my John Thomas
That this deceptive politician will go back on every promise
I'd love to elect a woman, but not just anyone's daughter
Though I'd happily vote for Cynthia McKinney or Maxine Waters
But I'll be damned if I must choose between two more plutocrats
If Clinton's a progressive then I am Bill the Cat
Track Name: They All Sang the Internationale
Katharina Jacob, long before she took that name
Was organizing workers in Hamburg just the same
Organizing beneath the flag of deepest red
A new dawn of peace and freedom clearly shining in her head

Katharina Jacob first was sent to jail
When the trappings of democracy all began to fail
She was frequently arrested, in and out of custody
While her first husband was in hiding from the Nazis

Katharina Jacob was acquitted of a crime
But the gestapo had the last word and they weren’t finished with her this time
She was sent to Ravensbrück, a killing hunger at her side
She heard of the execution, how her second husband died

For Katharina Jacob the end was close at hand
She was on a death march with a ragged, starving band
Marching through a forest, being led by the SS
What would happen hours later seemed impossible to guess

When the sun rose the next morning, it was the first of May
And they all sang the Internationale

Katharina Jacob thought about her children
And the friends and comrades taking care of them<
Not knowing yet if any of them survived
Not knowing that soon she’d see her daughters both alive

Katharina Jacob watched the German soldiers fleeing
Streaming from the east, that’s what she was seeing
Allied bombers flew above them, she thought they all might die and then
Soon there was the silence of all the SS men

Chorus

Katharina Jacob saw red flags flapping in the breeze
Above the Russian tanks and she fell upon her knees
And so many different voices in so many different tongues
Sang the most beautiful song that could ever have been sung

In German, Lithuanian, in Polish and in Dutch
A myriad of melodies as never had been such
In Russian and in Yiddish, Italian and French
Emerging from the forests beneath a trench

Chorus

Völker, hört die Signale! Auf zum letzten Gefecht!
Die Internationale erkämpft das Menschenrecht
Track Name: When Johnny Came Marching Home
He got off the plane, looked at no one
Walked down the tarmac in the direction of nowhere
He followed the sun as it was setting
Glad to be done with all the bloodletting
There were no banners for the proud and the few
Just workers in airports that do what they do
Fuel up the planes, unload the bags
Along with the coffins all covered in flags
When Johnny came marching home

The town he was from was a dead little place
So he looked for a job somewhere off-base
In this city of pawn shops and hotels and bars
Gas stations, strip clubs, highways and cars
He went to a dive, ordered a beer
Said turn the music up loud so it’s all that I hear
Try to rewind, turn back the years
Stop the explosions between my ears
When Johnny came marching home

The jobs were all shit and the beer it was cheap
And besides there was no other way he could sleep
Still the screams and the guns would wake him at night
And he was always on edge and ready to fight
And when he closed his eyes he would just see the face
Of a woman he killed in a far-away place
Over and over, the white of her eye
And her final and terrible terrified cry
When Johnny came marching home

After just a short time his health fell apart
With an ache in the joints and such a thump in the heart
And the doctor just told him it’s all in his head
But he couldn’t stop drinking or get out of bed
And with no place to go but the wrong way
It was a shock to his ears when he heard himself say
Over and over to anyone within range
Hey mister, can you spare some change
When Johnny came marching home
Track Name: Letter to My Landlord
I’m writing you this letter ’cause among the choices
It’s probably better than listening to voices
Raging in my head, saying point and shoot
Then after you’re dead, your face meets my boot
I don’t know your name, it’s better that way
‘Cause I can’t play this game, who knows what I’ll say
I feel like I’m burning, I’ve had it up to here
Time that you were learning the meaning of fear

I live in these apartments – they’re your private property
Among your residents, most of us agree
That you’re a piece of shit – how does that make you feel
We don’t like you one bit – that’s for real
We think you’re a thief, that you don’t care
Seems your one belief is whatever the market will bear
Whatever you can get away with, what you can make us pay
If we ever get justice, you should fear that day Landlord!

But it’s not just you – it’s all your kin
The things you do caused the state we’re in
You bribed the politicians so they’d let you off-lead
Now the legal situation’s just the one you need
For you to make millions, for profits to be high
Even billions won’t be with you when you die
I hope you find the death you seek, meet the devil that you serve
If you live another week that’s more life than you deserve Landlord!

In the class war you are waging there’s no question who is winning
But if there’s any justice, this is only the beginning
The next act in this play will be written by the tenants
And until your dying day, you’ll be paying penance
Your assets will be seized, that’s a fucking given
You profiteers of misery will start spending time in prison
Then you can get a job – figure out what you do best
You can keep the house you live in – but we’re taking all the rest Landlord!
Track Name: Joe Hill
Joel Haglund came from Sweden
Which was very far from Eden
By the time he left most of his family died
His sisters and his mother
His father and his brothers
So with one remaining sibling at his side
He got a notion
To sail across the ocean
Where he heard the streets were paved with gold
Not long after his arrival
As he toiled for survival
He realized the bill of goods that he’d been sold

He got a whole lot wiser
Became an organizer
And he organized with artistry and skill
He spoke up, raised his fist
Got right on the blacklist
That’s why he changed his name to Joe Hill
He heard that it was best
If he headed to the west
Where the Industrial Workers of the World
Were finding the solutions
For making revolution
With red songbook and red flag unfurled

A hundred years ago the bard
With the union card
Proved his music was too powerful, too strong
They couldn’t stand the sound
They had to take him down
Lest he organize the working class in song

Soon as he paid his dues
He tried hard to light the fuse
Speaking, singing, writing lyrics and cartoons
He sent off the whole mess
To the Wobbly press
And they sang his songs as they fought the goons
He joined a singing movement
That fought for improvement
By abolishing wage-slavery worldwide
He sang the Wobbly line
Beseeching workers to combine
Learn from Mr Block — the bosses lied

(Chorus)

His life would be cut short
By a kangaroo court
Eager to determine one man’s fate
Evidence was circumstantial
But that’s inconsequential
When you’ve become an enemy of the state
They put him up against the wall
And that was all
They gunned him down in 1915
He took all the bullets he could take
There by the Salt Lake
For being the best bard they’d ever seen

(Chorus)
Track Name: Free Abu Sakha
He grew up in Jenin, where his neighbors lived and died
With the things he’d seen, it was pretty cut and dried
He could have been a fighter as so many others did
He could have become a martyr like so many other kids
Instead, he joined a circus troupe, to warm the aching hearts
Sometimes a hula hoop is the best way to play your part
His only crime was making children happy

He grew up playing football and other things like that
But outside his house’s walls he’d play with alley cats
He would teach them tricks with passion and with purpose
So no one was too surprised when he went and joined the circus
Searched by soldiers every day just to do a show
Under occupation that’s the way that you have to go
His only crime was making children happy

He grew up to be an artist – to perform and to inspire
He got on a list – just living will draw the fire
Of the occupation soldiers who took him in December
Who now hold him in detention, because he is a member
Of a troupe that has been trying to keep hope alive
In a place of death and dying, juggling to survive
His only crime was making children happy

Artists are to be feared, every dictatorship knows
Sometimes killed or disappeared or just banned from TV shows
But with military rule there’s no explanation given
They point a gun, you keep your cool, they take you off to prison
In six months they decide whether to keep you or let you out
At no point will they confide what the charges are about
His only crime was making children happy
Track Name: It's Legal Now
For about a century, there was a prohibition
Which put a heck of a lot of people in a difficult position
Each year millions went to prison for planting the wrong seeds
Imprisoned for the crime of smoking weed
Imprisoned in their millions, especially those
Black or brown or wearing long hair and hippie clothes
But I stand here before you with quite a bit of pleasure
To tell you all about a successful ballot measure

It’s legal now, it’s legal now, take a bow, it’s legal now

The politicians were useless, almost all the same
Playing the Military-Industrial-Prison-Complex game
But the regular people weren’t nearly as dumb
So some folks took initiative and we passed a referendum
Now people don’t have to risk arrest if they want to treat their ills
With something other than pharmaceutical pills
And if you just wanna take a hit because you like the feeling
You can safely walk the streets or just stare up at the ceiling

Chorus

Now that pot’s legit, at least in large parts of the west
We can get to work legalizing all the rest
The poppies and the coca leaves and all the other plants
Safer, regulated, will be the official stance
The CIA will have to find another way to operate
The FBI will need a new MO for their whole police state
When we legalize it all from the west coast to the east
Then we can say right here in the belly of the beast

Chorus
Track Name: Sunset Laws
You wanna understand what happens today
You gotta know how things got this way
So let’s back up from the present date
And examine the history of a state
As with the rest of this stolen land
Mass murder is how it began
From the first days of the Territory
Only white men could own property

And to them the land was given for free
From Wallowa to the Pacific Sea
Taken by force and then handed out
Leaving no room for the slightest doubt
That a White Homeland was the intent
And to make it certain just what that meant
Signs were posted that clearly read
Leave by dusk or end up dead

Best get out of town before the sun goes down
Because if you’re not white that’s probable cause
Here in the land of the Sunset Laws

The Oregon Territory’s Constitution
Explained the methods of exclusion
It wasn’t subtle – it was all too clear
Nonwhite people not welcome here
And when Oregon joined the USA
It entered the union with laws this way
Salem could fine and lash and kill
To enforce the white land’s will

Chorus

After the war of gray and blue
Exclusion Laws were passed anew
They weren’t repealed for sixty more years
After the Klansman rule of Walter Pierce
It feels a lot like nothing’s changed
Looks a lot like a firing range
Who owns the land, who keeps the order
From Portland to the California border

Chorus
Track Name: The Man Who Burned the White House Down
Robert Ross was from Rostrevor, he was born there in County Down
His family was given land there by the British Crown
He was a man born of the gentry, born with wealth and fame
But he joined the British Army to serve his Queen and make his name

In the Napoleonic Wars he fought in many lands
In Holland and in Spain and on the far-off Egyptian sands
He was wounded there in battle, came back to fight another day
And he was sent off to attack the USA

York had been sacked and burned by invading Yankee men
But the Canadians regrouped, chased the Yankees home and then
The British Navy made its way to the shores of DC town
Where General Ross burned the White House down

The year was 1814, the US was in retreat
It was a Canadian victory, an American defeat
Without the French to help them, they got their ass whipped by the Crown
When General Ross burned the White House down

The place had just been constructed only twelve years before
But it had to be rebuilt, soon after this disastrous war
The President turned tail and ran like a raggedy clown
When General Ross burned the White House down

He was killed a few months later, Irish rebels stopped him in his tracks
He was buried in Nova Scotia, in the town of Halifax
He might have been forgotten, but he’ll forever be renowned
He’s the man who burned the White House down
Track Name: Denmark, 1943
When we heard the news that we were to be arrested
We had no doubt exactly what our fate would be
We had hours to get out, only hours to be tested
For five thousand people to cross the Baltic Sea

We had to go at night in the cover of the darkness
There’s no way I could exaggerate the threat
We tried not to make a sound, wore nothing that would mark us
But no one knew how far across we’d get, and

I thank God for the fishermen who gave us a ride
And took us over to the other side

To find so many boats ready for the journey
To find so many prepared to risk it all
Not everyone could read the stars, not every boat was worthy
Not everyone prepared to heed the call, but

Chorus

Some risked everything for free, accepting nothing but a handshake
Some charged enough to live on for a year
But such details don’t matter when so much is at stake
When all that matters is a boat that you might steer

We lived out the war in Sweden while so many others didn’t
And most people now would easily agree
To say we deserved asylum would simply be redundant
In the boat lift of 1943

Chorus
Track Name: The Biggest Windmill
It was in the 1970’s, the fuel crisis had begun
The choices were presented to us as if we had none
Leaders of industry said they could solve the problem
By mastering the power of the radioactive atom
Some folks in western Jutland got a notion in their heads
They thought there might be something they could offer up instead
A few hundred people gathered in a little place called Tvind
And declared their will to harness the power of the wind
We’re gonna build the biggest windmill in the world (2x)

There were many who said their science wasn’t sound
That such a mighty windmill would simply topple to the ground
Some of them were scientists, the vast majority were not
But they knew with years of effort you could do a lot
Word about the project spread far and wide
A hundred thousand visitors came to help and to advise
Until one day these windmill builders drove in with a crane
And lifted up their giant wings with a mighty chain
We’re gonna build the biggest windmill in the world (2x)

When Tvindkraft was completed it reached up to the sky
Its wings churned in the air at 54 meters high
The critics all fell silent, no one now was jeering
As even industry agreed this was some damn fine engineering
The wind regaled Jutland from the north Atlantic sea
As it was seamlessly converted into electricity
It was power for the people, leukemia for none
When they declared in Denmark just south of the midnight sun
We’re gonna build the biggest windmill in the world (2x)

They gave away the patents, they said knowledge should be free
And their plans were copied by a new-born industry
Soon Denmark would be known as the windmill-building nation
And it all started with some hippies at the Tvindkraft power station
Debates were held in parliament about which way things should go
Build a nuclear reactor, the majority said no
It could have gone quite differently — in much of the world it did
Except for those in Ulfborg who said we’re getting off the grid
We’re gonna build the biggest windmill in the world (2x)
Track Name: Die Moorsoldaten
Wohin auch das Auge blicket.
Moor und Heide nur ringsum.
Vogelsang uns nicht erquicket.
Eichen stehen kahl und krumm.

Wir sind die Moorsoldaten
und ziehen mit dem Spaten ins Moor.

Hier in dieser öden Heide
ist das Lager aufgebaut,
wo wir fern von jeder Freude
hinter Stacheldraht verstaut. (Chorus)

Auf und nieder geh´n die Posten,
keiner, keiner kann hindurch.
Flucht wird nur das Leben kosten,
vierfach ist umzäunt die Burg. (Chorus)

Doch für uns gibt es kein Klagen,
ewig kann nicht Winter sein,
einmal werden froh wir sagen:
Heimat du bist wieder mein.

Dann zieh´n die Moorsoldaten
nicht mehr mit dem Spaten ins Moor.
Dann zieh´n die Moorsoldaten
nicht mehr mit dem Spaten ins Moor
Track Name: St Patrick Battalion
My name is John Riley
I’ll have your ear only a while
I left my dear home in Ireland
It was death, starvation or exile
And when I got to America
It was my duty to go
Enter the Army and slog across Texas
To join in the war against Mexico

It was there in the pueblos and hillsides
That I saw the mistake I had made
Part of a conquering army
With the morals of a bayonet blade
So in the midst of these poor, dying Catholics
Screaming children, the burning stench of it all
Myself and two hundred Irishmen
Decided to rise to the call

From Dublin City to San Diego
We witnessed freedom denied
So we formed the Saint Patrick Battalion
And we fought on the Mexican side

We marched ‘neath the green flag of Saint Patrick
Emblazoned with “Erin Go Bragh”
Bright with the harp and the shamrock
And “Libertad para la Republica”
Just fifty years after Wolf Tone
Five thousand miles away
The Yanks called us a Legion of Strangers
And they can talk as they may

Chorus

We fought them in Matamoros
While their volunteers were raping the nuns
In Monterey and Cerro Gordo
We fought on as Ireland’s sons
We were the red-headed fighters for freedom
Amidst these brown-skinned women and men
Side by side we fought against tyranny
And I daresay we’d do it again

Chorus

We fought them in five major battles
Churobusco was the last
Overwhelmed by the cannons from Boston
We fell after each mortar blast
Most of us died on that hillside
In the service of the Mexican state
So far from our occupied homeland
We were heroes and victims of fate

Chorus