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From Ballad of a Wobbly.

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At 1 am on a Wednesday morning, no one knew what was in store
A fire started and quickly spread until it covered every floor
Stairwell blocked, no way out, smoke and fire all around
Parents grabbed their little babies, dropped them ten floors to the ground
People cried to no avail, 24 stories tall
Engulfed in flames, the fire ladders were just like toys, no use at all

There were no sprinklers, few smoke alarms, fire extinguisher out of date
All repairs, if ever done, always too little, too late
When they built Grenfell they believed housing was a human right
But all that changed, now if you're not rich you should be kept out of sight
Out of sight, out of town, or wrapped up neatly, plastic-clad
The flats may all be falling apart, but at least they don't look too bad

The residents had tried to warn the authorities for years and years
But all their letters, all their blog posts, all their calls fell on deaf ears
Council housing taking space, left to rot, for by and by
It would someday be turned to dust in the forward march to gentrify
And in the meantime if people perish with their children in their laps
It's the price the market has to pay, to house the poor in fire traps

If this were murder

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from Historic Times, released May 1, 2019

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
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