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Five Songs For Striking Workers

List Of The Day

It's amazing to see these TV "writers" as striking workers. Writers, as anyone who writes can tell you, are not known for their social skills. Their inability to interact with other people is what makes them so "special" and prevents them from doing other things with their lives. To see this most disagreeable lot agree to get together and walk in a circle for hours at a time while holding up signs, well, the mathematical odds on that happening could've made you rich had you placed your bets in time.

So while we await to see if the puny and the powerless can crush the MAN--go Davey go!--we offer these five fine protest songs to sing at your next social gathering.

"There Is Power In A Union"--Billy Bragg: Billy Bragg wrote a ton of great heavy-handed political songs and here he covers the great Joe Hill who knew a thing or two about using the hammer when it came to making his points. A little personal advice: if you're making a Valentine's Day Mix CD this year, don't include this. There may be power in the union you're thinking of, but this isn't it.

"Maggie's Farm"--Bob Dylan: The Yahoo! bylaws clearly state you can't have a list of protest songs and not include Bob Dylan. It would be like making apple pie and leaving out the sodium bicarbonate. Dylan has to be here or else the list will expire in a pile of rotted mold. Besides, who wouldn't give in to your demands if it meant not having to listen to this guy whine about it for five more minutes?

"John Henry"--Furry Lewis: There are entire groups of researchers devoted to the study of this mythical steel worker who died with the hammer in his hand, lord lord. Which isn't unlike those guys who die climbing mountains or racing their motorbikes. It's just that some dudes don't know how to take a vacation.

"Solidarity Forever"--Utah Phillips: This song has been done by everyone who stands for the poor and the oppressed. Well, not everyone. Springsteen hasn't done it--yet. But it's like the Vaseline Intensive Care commercial where everyone's clapping along and creating a chain across America. Some songs teach you the value of a dollar. This song teaches you the value of clapping hands in time!

"Bang The Drum All Day"--Todd Rundgren: OK, you don't think of this as a protest song? "I don't want to work, I just want to bang the drum all day" sounds to me like a negation of responsibility and a refusal to be taken down by the oppressive forces of work! I can relate!

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