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imperialism & war | labor

Songs for Farmworkers

Many of these songs were sung at the recent Walk for Farmworker Justice in Woodburn on July 13th. John is committed to Farmworker Justice and is involved with Oregon's Ecumenical Ministries

The following songs were written by John Pitney and some were sung during the recent Walk For Farmworker Justice in Woodburn, Oregon.

We're Walking for Justice - Words and music by John Pitney

We're walking for justice, come take our hand
We're standing together, with the poor of this land.
To sit at the table, their sovereignty claim,
To bargain their own future, their freedom our aim.
We're walking for justice

Justice for workers, hands calloused deep,
It's time to be walking, when talking is cheap.
Generations exploited, by their labors have borne
What we eat at our tables in the night and the morn,
We're walking for justice. (from the words of Cesar Chavez)

Our sisters and brothers, migrant and poor,
Grandfathers, grandmothers, have walked here before:
They hoed the same crop row, they had the same fears
And the camps haven't changed,, no, not in all they sad years.
We're walking for justice. (from the words of Rebecca Saldana)

Each time a woman, each time a man
Stands up for justice (and anyone can)
The heavens are singing, the whole world rejoices.
Walkers for justice lift up your voices.
We're walking for justice (from the words of Cesar Chavez)

So come to the table, farm owners all.
The body is broken economies pall.br> To lose their employment by inviting you here.
We're walking for justice.

We're walking for justice, may we never tire
Let the Spirit so flourish that our hearts may conspire
To love those who hate us, though to many that's strange,
And to walk with no violence, so the world that we love,
Can change... so the world that we love can change.
(from the words of Cesar Chavez)

We Shall Not Be Moved

Refrain:
We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water
We shall not be moved

We'll build a mighty union
We're on the road to justice
We're walking hand in hand and
We're fighting for our freedom
In self-determination
We're marching for our children

Undios en la lucha: No, no, no nos moveran
Como un arbol firme junto al rio: No, no, no nos moveran

Unidos en la huelga: No, no, no, nos moveran
Como un arbol firme junto al rio: No, no, no, nos moveran

Aquas de Justica - words and music by John Pitney

Aguas de Justicia! Aguas de vida!
Justice, justice to bring
Where the thirsty ground becomes a spring!
Aguas de Justica!

Fourteen die on the Devil's Road
Thirsting for justice in the Promised Land
Begging for water where the hot winds blowed.
Abandoned by coyotes in the burning sand.

Coffee corporations drive prices low
Citing the myth of oversupply
Fathers and brothers leave their farms and go
Their wives, mother, children
While we drink our cheap espresso wonder why.
Their wives, mothers, children, While we drink our cheap
espresso... wonder why.

Broccoli pickers moving fast chasing that machine no matter how tired.
Simple breaks for water all they ask, making that request may get them fired.
Now workers may live but 48 years picking the food that lengthens our days.
Easily replaced like worn-out gears,
Our spoiled suburban children don't do broccoli or justice anyway.
Our spoiled suburban children don't do broccoli or justice ... .anyway.

Why should seventy men, do you suppose, why should they share one leaky shower?
Drinking their water from a muddy hose, dignity sold, they have no power.
From houses privilege we deplore, with righteous indignation we complain.
But how can we help these working poor
Unless we somehow leave our plenty behind and feel their pain..
Unless we somehow leave our plenty behind... and feel their pain.

The Wages Cry Out - words and music by John Pitney

The wages you don't pay the ones who work your fields.
Who work your fields, who work your fields,
The wages you don't pay the ones who work your fields
Cry out, cry out against you.

They cryout, they cry out, they cry out, they cry out
The wages you don't pay the one who work your fields
Cry out, cry out against you.

El pago que no diste a quien te trabajo
Y cultivo tus campos fiel,
El pago qui no diste a quien te trabajo
Alza su voz contra ti.
Y grita y clama y exije y condena.
El pago que nodiste a quient te trabajo
Alza su voz contra ti.

People listen now. Workers need a voice.
If they organize or not should be their choice.
Till labor law is changed, contract is the salve.
Giving the protection other workers have.

Farmers listen up. You who live in fear
Knowing not if you can farm another year.
Yes the farming's hard. Markets have no grace.
What's a better time to sit down face to face.

Consumers hear the word, no if's, ands or buts
Arrogance and greed make cancers in our gut
Privilege doesn't hear workers as the weep.
We just want to know our daily food is cheap.

And the cries are heard and the cries have roared
Yes the cries have reached the ears of the Lord
Now let them pierce your privilege too.
They cry, they cry against you.
So leave your suburbs, walk the fields.
See the squalor of the camps. If your conscience doesn't yield
Then take a friend and listen again
They cry, they cry for you

Now a final word, the future could be mean:
Field crops and conscience managed by machine.
But we'd rather see: Workers by choice,
Standing tall with farmers, speaking with one voice.