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Lost Alamos: Music

Patriots

(Lost Alamos)
© Brian Daniell 2008 ASCAP


When I was young I worked in factories, a mental hospital (staff, not patient, if my memory is accurate), construction jobs, restaurants, and any number of lousy gigs I'd rather forget. I know what jobs mean to folks who don't have much, and I've thought for years that anybody who decides to take an American job away and give it somebody in China or India is just downright unpatriotic. I was working on something else when this one just came to me. Wrote it all out in 20 minutes. I think Woody must have paid me a visit that night.

 


Recorded live at Harmony Village, Golden CO, April 30, 2011. 

 

Twenty-four years on the factory floor

Alice tended the stockroom and she did more

Every cold morning she was first on the clock

Last week when she showed up--on the gate was a lock

 

In front was a stranger with a message, of course

“It was decided last night that we would outsource

Your job’s gone to India, or China I don’t know

But you folks don’t work here, now clear off and go”

Now clear off and go

 

Alice walked away, and though she didn’t cry

Right then and there what made Alice did die

Drove slowly back to her house all alone

It was the last job she had, she just waits by the phone

 

Mom lives in back, just turned eighty-four

She can’t see the foreclosure sign on their door

Alice is used up, her savings all gone

Brittle and broken, like the weeds on her lawn

Like the weeds on her lawn

 

Where are the patriots, the heroes we knew

Who’d stand up for me, who’d stand up for you?

Where are the Americans, their words you can’t miss

Here we stand with our flag, will you outsource this?

Here we stand with our flag, will you outsource this?

 

If you ain’t worked in a factory, you ain’t worked much at all

Machines are so big, people are small

Bosses are rough, the rules ain’t so nice

Don’t want a whole person, they just want a slice

 

I’m not lookin’ for pity, I’m not lookin’ for tears

But we’ve been Americans least two hundred years

Where is the patriot who will stand up and save

The spirit made Alice one of the brave?

 

In the home of the free, are we free to go home

And weep in our kitchens, discarded, alone?

We’ll all pull together, pull all as one

Or like Alice and weeds, we’ll all just be done

We’ll all just be done

 

Where are the patriots, the ones we need still?

Where’s old Woody Guthrie and where is Joe Hill?

Where are the Americans, their voice loud and clear

“We will work for a wage, but never from fear

We will work for a wage, but never from fear

_________