PRETTY POLLY BROKE HER CHAINS (THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM)


PRETTY POLLY BROKE HER CHAINS (THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM)
Lotta dust getting trapped in the sweat on my face,
A muscle swings unstrung, strong & it hurts like yesterday.
Like fighting death, Death who comes running drunk & full,
Comes gunning for grief & points of sorrow.
We looked up from the line of corn we were working on,
Looked up just in time to see the gun raised,
So we ran down into the wood between Tucker & Clarkston,
Raced on the rail tracks where my Papaw was arrested
In nineteen thirty one, caught dropping bags of flour
Off the train the Nancy Hanks, as she slowed for a stop
At the family lumber yard; he did a spot of time.
He was a great man; me, I was just a shadow, high
On rebellion no shame in my heart, I stand proud & dirty,
Another shout in a bloodline of people working for the people,
Yet a pause, hear them knocking on our chained doors, stupid Death,
Here I stood singing songs of Hobart Smith & Blue Ridge Boys,
The gauzy layers of mountain in our stretch of the Appalachians,
You can see them in my eyes, you taste them in my food,
This long lonesome daisy chain, the pulse of my people
Defiant to the march on ancestral homes, on churches
& graveyards going back to the seventeen hundreds for majority rules.
We fought oppression then & we fight it now for minority rights.
We fed our neighbors gave the schools & churches land,
Wept at the words of FDR, built a New South out of blood & cotton,
Fought for the dreams of Martin Luther King, we rise,
We are proud & we will not die. We will not move.
On a green horse tea people come riding in, stumbling,
Changing texts, writing new histories, forgetting our own,
They come on hate & machines run by spiders, cockroaches
From the border, no new vision, no calculus, no logic, no morals,
No honor & no love, no 11th Commandment. They mount a red horse.
They swear by God but worship sand castles, pray to greed itself
& give bread to Mammon, so chain the doors it’s 11:59 on the clock,
Gather together with a new war song, a tilted hat, look to the clouds,
Crow flies west where the Mississippi slows, sludge & soot River.
Yeah, we are alone, thugs roam the street & we will not succumb.
Welcome home to the new Revolution. Fight lies, fight deceit,
The soul of a nation, ready to lead the world, to be Progressive,
To be anything other, & the shots rang loud, no one came for us.
Fear lodged a complaint with Homeland Security, saddled the black horse.
But listen to the songs, the heart of our hills, Blue Grass & Blues speak,
High lonesome in the poems that fought coal mines & clear cut hills,
The drama never stops, there’s still a rich side to the Mountain,
They think it’s cool to hate poverty, the sick & the old, “kill the weak!”
When boy spoke and said “they hate our freedom” it was not about
Some faceless fighter in the desert, it was a warning of what was here,
The venomous cluster, the body of hate, the national reich, the tea people.
But America has a mind as One in the margins, we need to gather,
We have to speak as one against the new Death raging,
Against the power aristocrats, against the grain of their golden cow.
They know who they are with their black suits & brown shirt squads,
Crippling the strength of women’s rights, taking them down law by law,
And I am here to tell you, this Song of Man & Womanhood,
This is one that never stops, is young every day, & I am putting
My Southern legs to the wall, this door will not open,
This thing of me that knows Science, Math & Civics,
This part of us all before ‘no child learns’ education. You know.
You & I know that there is an America without bluster & slander,
That there is a hope beyond this day, that if we all realize
A paper tiger is their flag, then all the lives & work before us here
Will have not been in vain, will carry us forward…Awake! A white horse.
My Amazing Grace is played fast; singing again, the mud
Falls from my eyes….Awake! Damn their hearts, do not give in.
Who will speak for the sea & the sky? For the lives & the future
They seek to destroy? We will. One body. One country.
We are THE America, to hell with the Diaspora of the masses,
Scattered through the nation, we march, we will overcome.

 

 

SECOND VERSION

PRETTY POLLY BROKE HER CHAINS, WHO HATES OUR FREEDOM?

(1910-2011 and on ….. )

Lotta dust getting trapped in the sweat of America,

Muscles swing unstrung, strong & it hurts like yesterday.

Fields or factories, homes or hospitals, desks or tables,

Like fighting death, Death who comes running drunk & full,

Comes gunning for grief & points of sorrow. 1917,

We looked up from the line of corn we were working on,

Looked up just in time to see the gun raised,

So we ran down into the wood between the Wars,

Raced on the rail tracks where they were arrested

In nineteen thirty one, caught dropping bags of flour

Off the train the Nancy Hanks, as she slowed for a stop

At the family lumber yard; they did a spot of time.

He was a great man; me, I was just a shadow, high on

Rebellion no shame in my heart, I stood proud, romantic,

Another shout in a bloodline of people working for the people,

Yet a pause, hear them knocking on our chained doors, stupid Death,

Here I stood singing songs of Hobart Smith & Blue Ridge Boys,

The gauzy layers of mountain in our stretch of the Appalachians,

You can see them in my eyes, you taste them in my food,

This long lonesome daisy chain, the pulse of my people

Defiant to the march on ancestral homes, on churches

& graveyards going back to the seventeen hundreds for majority rules.

We fought oppression then & we fight it now for minority rights.

We fed our neighbors gave the schools & churches land,

Wept at the words of FDR, built a New South out of blood & cotton,

Fought for the dreams of Martin Luther King, we rise,

We are proud & we will not die. We will not move.

On a green horse tea people come riding in, stumbling,

Changing texts, writing new histories, forgetting our own,

They come on hate & machines run by spiders, cockroaches

From Legislatureland, no new vision, no calculus, no logic, no morals,

No honor & no love, no 11th Commandment. A red horse is mounted.

They swear by God but worship sand castles, pray to greed itself

Feed Mammon , fuel the barges, so chain the doors, burn IDs,

It’s 11:59 on Mr. Clock,

Gather together with a new war song, a tilted hat, look to the clouds,

Crow flies west where the Mississippi slows, sludge & soot River.

Yeah, we are alone, thugs roam the street & we will not succumb.

Welcome home to the new Revolution. Fight lies, fight deceit,

The soul of a nation, ready to lead the world, to be Progressive,

To be anything other, & the shots rang loud, no one came for us.

Fear lodged a complaint with Homeland Security,

Saddled the black horse.

Who came to ride? Peace in a coma.

But listen to the songs, the heart of our hills, Blue Grass & Blues speak,

High lonesome in the poems that fought coal mines & clear cut hills,

The drama never stops, there’s still a rich side to the Mountain,

They think it’s cool to hate poverty, the sick & the old, “kill the weak!”

When boy spoke and said “they hate our freedom” it was not about

Some faceless fighter in the desert, it was a warning of what was here,

He was here, boy and Cheney monster, a cabinet of knives,

A venomous cluster, body of hate, national reich, tea people,

Wall people, all kinds and all colors, full glasses, still they thirst.

But America has a mind as One in the margins, we need to gather,

We have to speak as one against the new Death raging,

Against the power in feudal covens, against the grain of their golden cow.

They know who they are with their black suit & brown shirt squads,

Crippling the strength of women’s rights, taking all down law by law,

And I am here to tell you, this Song of Man & Womanhood,

This is one that never stops, is young every day, & we are putting

Southern legs to the wall, this door here will not open,

Yeah, Art of No War, yeah man, this is the Art of No War.

This thing that knows Science, Math, Civics & History.

This part of us all before ‘no child learns’ education. You know.

You & I know that there is an America without bluster & slander,

That there is a hope beyond this day, that if we all realize

A paper tiger is their flag, then all the lives & work before us here

Will not have been in vain, will carry us forward…Awake! A white horse.

My Amazing Grace is played fast; singing again, the mud

Falls from my eyes….Awake! Damn their hearts, do not give in.

Who will speak for the sea & the sky? For the lives & the future

They seek to destroy? We will. One body. One country. One land.

See, the worship of money is evil, not money itself,

Dragons stretched over jewels washing into the ocean.

We are THE America, to hell with some Diaspora of the masses,

Scattered through the nation, march, we will overcome.

Up from the margins, march, we will overcome.

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