The Ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

from Punk Baroque by David Rovics

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Decades after the electrocutions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, we learned that although the state had reason to believe Julius Rosenberg was a Soviet spy, they had nothing on Ethel. They gave her the death penalty in order to make her husband talk. Neither of them did.

lyrics

Throughout the Second World War the Allies managed to unite
In a broad front against fascism, but once they won this fight
The ruling class convened, with McCarthy in the lead
To make sure the people got in line, to be sure they all took heed
To make sure they understood our new enemies
Were not the Japanese or Germans, but the Russians and Chinese
And all those who supported them – the enemy within
Such as all the communists, and any of their kin
So says the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

There was a war on in Korea, with untold thousands dead
On one side the USA – on the other side, the reds
The Russians got the bomb – there must be someone to blame
And their siblings and their spouses must be in on the game
Against one man they had evidence – but nothing on his wife
They'd arrest her anyway, and threaten to take her life
To try to make her husband snitch on someone up the chain
To instill the fear of the committee's terroristic reign
So says the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

Watch out for your neighbors – be careful who you know
Or you might be called to testify – you might have to go
In front of the committee, where it will be assumed
You're guilty as charged by every juror in the room
You can join the blacklist or watch out for what you say
Beware of who you talk to or you might also see the day
When you're called to Congress, to be questioned by the ones
With the power to decide if you should be taken from your sons
So says the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

credits

from Punk Baroque, released May 1, 2017

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

I'm a frequently touring singer/songwriter based in Portland, Oregon, a regular contributor to Counterpunch, and host of the podcast, This Week with David Rovics, among other things.

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