Born on the Fourth of July

from Say Their Names by David Rovics

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President Trump poured fuel on multiple fires simultaneously when he visited Mt Rushmore for the occasion of what they call Independence Day. And I wrote a song.

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Born on the Fourth of July

As I walk down the streets of this city
See the desperate looks everywhere
The thin faces across this society
The lost and the long-distance stares
As I call the Employment Department
And the line is once more occupied
In this nation that was born on the fourth of July

As I hear of the nooses and lynchings
As I listen to the president speak
Upholding foundations of enslavement and slaughter
Beneath a destroyed mountain peak
As he talks of restoring America
While ignoring all those who have died
In this nation that was born on the fourth of July

When I see the masked faces around me
Across from the policemen lined up in a row
Watching them once more astound me
As they fire their weapons wherever we go
Shooting reporters and legal observers
As the curfew is once more defied
In this nation that was born on the fourth of July

As I hear all the voices so loudly
Shouting empty the prisons, defund the police
Reasoning so very soundly
Occupied by this army, how could we ever have peace
As I hear of the dead from LA to New York
A disaster no one can deny
In this nation that was born on the fourth of July

As I survey the wreckage around me
All the boarded-up windows of the stores that have closed
As I take in the scene that surrounds me
All the inequities starkly exposed
That tug at the roots of this country
Which began with a war that was based on a lie
When this nation was born on the fourth of July

credits

from Say Their Names, released October 3, 2020

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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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