Berkshire Hills

from by David Rovics



There have been other songs written about Shays' Rebellion, the rebellion of tenant farmers in western Massachusetts that gave rise to the Bill of Rights. But I had to put in my two cents.


I was raised in Massachusetts
On the farm where I was born
From the time I was a young lad
To the fields I was sworn
Before our corn could go to market
It was stolen from the mill
And sent to Mother England
From here in the Berkshire hills

So when I heard there'd be a rising
I put on a uniform
Slept barefoot in the mud
Beneath the thunder storms
In war there is no glory
Just friends and comrades killed
Shattered lives and broken homes
Here in the Berkshire hills

Then began the nightmare
All over once again
The revolution's debtor's prisons
Filled with good upstanding men
We said to hell with King John Adams
Of this farce we'd had our fill
And we set our sights on liberty
Here in the Berkshire hills

Their courts they couldn't function
Their judges on the run
Each new day we had our farms
Was a victory we'd won
For years we ruled our land
Stood our ground until
We made our last stand by Great Barrington
Here in the Berkshire hills

My name is Daniel Shays
And I'm speaking to you now
If I fought a revolution
Maybe you can tell me how
I was born a poor man
And I'm a poor man still
Bury me beneath the hemlock
Here in the Berkshire hills


from Ten Thousand Miles Away, released January 25, 2015




David Rovics Portland, Oregon

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


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