Inequality is not Healthy for Children or Other Living Things

by Sandy Pliskin

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1.
Androcles (free) 03:31
Oh once there was a little mouse, and his name was Androcles He would wander ‘round the countryside, he’d go wherever that he pleased One day he bounded up a golden mound, you know that nothing gave him pause ‘Til he found that the mound was a sleeping lion, and he’d landed in its paws. At just that moment the lion awoke and let out a mighty roar And Androcles said, “Mr. Lion, of you I do implore If you shoud choose to let me loose I would be grateful ever more, And some day I’ll pay you back, you’ll see”, that desperate rodent swore. Well that lion looked at Androcles, and he couldn’t help but laugh ”Don’t you know that I am kind of all that could ever cross my path You’re free to go, but don’t be slow, because I just might change my mind And don’t pretend that I would ever need help from a pipsqueak of your kind.” Well that lion let him loose, and his demise it was forestalled And Androcles made himself scarce, though he always did recall The debt he owed when the lion bestowed upon him his release How he’d pay that lion back befuddled our friend Androcles. Still one day he roamed the countryside, how that mouse loved to explore ‘Til he heard a sound and his ears pricked up to a most familiar roar Because upside down, way off the ground, entrapped inside a net Was the very lion he’d sworn to help, and he never did forget. Brave Androcles said, “Never fear, for help is on the way!” He jumped up and he gnawed and he chewed at the rope that held that lion at bay At last the rope gave way and broke, and the lion he was free And that grateful lion thanked his stars that he’d released little Androcles. So let this be a lesson to those currently in command You might wish to show some mercy even though you rule this land For the lion may roar and with sharp claws gore, while the mouse can only squeak Still some day you might find it’s the mouse who’s mighty, and the lion who is meek.
2.
Hats & Mittens (free) 02:12
Some of us wear mittens, some of us wear hats Some of us wear high heeled shoes, others just wear flats We get our clothes from shopping malls or off of Goodwill’s racks For some of us our only clothes are those on our own backs We’re the ones who fight the fires, we’re the ones who wash the floors. We’re the ones whose bodies can’t be made to labor anymore Some of us love to go to work, some get no enjoyment Some of us struggle to survive on checks from unemployment We, the people, are the 99%. We who pay the mortgages, we who pay the rent. We who live in shelters, or sleep out on the streets, We who daily choose between nutrition, meds, or heat. We’re the ones who fight the battles, the soldiers and the vets We went to school on scholarship, or we’re in eternal debt We’re high school dropouts, college grads, and those with GEDs We’re the dwindling middle classes, or we live in poverty We’re partisans, we just don’t care, or we’re somewhere in between We’re Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Greens We who occupy the squares, we who cheer them on We who watch in puzzlement, and we who say it’s wrong We’ve wondered in bewilderment where all our money went No bonuses or bailouts, we’re the 99% We thought we were alone in this for such a long, long time Now we’re all in this together, we are the 99!
3.
Bailout (free) 04:25
Bailout, it’s a bailout. Bailout come, I want to keep my home... Bailout, give me bailout. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Work all my life just to buy this house Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Make a little home for me family and spouse. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Chorus I went to the bank got a sub-prime loan Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Ballooning payments make me piss and moan. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Come Mr. Banker Man, tally up my payment Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Come Mr. Banker Man, tally up my payment. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! 6 percent, 8 percent, 9 percent more, Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Variable rate make my payment soar. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Chorus ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It’s 6,000 mortgages bundled in a bunch Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Housing bubble burst, cause credit crunch. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Chorus Capital illiquidity Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Underwater, lost my equity. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! You have a 2nd house & the judge give U a break Bailout come, I wanna keep… If you only got one it’s the bank’s to take. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Foreclosing 6 million, 7 m., 8 m. more Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... You pay your rent, they still kick you out the door. Bailout come, I want to keep … Chorus ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ All those banker dudes they sure are sharp Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... They all took cover underneath a TARP. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, all the top bananas Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... Too big to fail, so that’s what Geihtner’s plan is. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Chorus Bank of America too big to fail Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... How come nobody’s got to go to jail? Bailout come, I wanna keep my home! Bailout, it’s a bail, it’s a bail, it’s a bailout. Bailout come, I wanna keep my home... 2x
4.
When peer reviewed scholarly journals publish studies with research results The findings of such publications rarely lead to outcry or revolts. Beyond academic circles, they’re considered abstract or obscure It’s rare that public discussion of any substance will occur So when Range, Horn, Viryani and Huber, of the National Academy Describe Inequity Aversion in Canines, What’s that got to do with you or me? Canis Familiaris, that’s what the rest of us think as hounds When the authors of this study completed their work, this is what they found: Well… You can teach a dog all kinds of games, go fetch, roll over, give a paw, With a pat, or a smile, or a piece of bread, or a bit of sausage, cooked or raw But if Rover perceives another canine has been getting an unequal share He’ll scratch, he’ll yawn, he’ll show distress ‘cause he knows that isn’t fair. Dogs show inequity aversion when confronted with unequal pay They’ll look away, they’ll refuse to play, they no longer consent or obey. Now we humans are a different species, less prone to aversion of gaze We’re less likely to wag or lick or scratch, but there are those who study our ways In Sociology’s Annual Review published August of 2009 Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate E. Pickett described their research design Pooling evidence from peer-reviewed sources, like the Census Bureau and the World Bank Their published distillation of data, led them to conclude pointblank: There are countries where folks share the wealth, and those where hoarding riches is the norm And the social health of all these lands is highly related to the form Of distribution of resources, the condition of a nation reflects The gap between the uber-rich and the rest, or the Robin Hood Index For a wide range of social conditions, the degree of inequality Is strongly related to outcomes, including murder and teen pregnancy Cancer, heart disease and addiction, and infant mortality Aggressive anti-social behavior, as well as obesity And don’t forget school performance and the rate of insanity Every one of these circumstances in the end all seem to be (The) results of economic relations that tolerate a widening gap Between the wealthiest and the rest of us, it seems to make something snap And when cortisol levels are rising from the stress of these status based threats A wide-ranging social dysfunction is the body politic (that) we get (An) unraveling of the social fabric, (‘cause) inequality alienates And instead of trust we have a way of life which decays and deteriorates. Now it’s not like God in heaven, or creatures from some far-off sun Have decreed that that’s the way things are, and there’s no other way things can be done So if your boss treats you unfairly, and they work you like a dog You might want to respond like Fido, and refuse to be another cog In a system that disrespects you, with inadequate percs or pay Any critter with a dog’s sense, looks away, won’t play, and won’t obey. So look away, don’t play, and don’t obey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
5.
Where are our jobs, essential, sential jobs All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where are our homes, our home sweet home sweet homes All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs (loans) are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where are our pensions, our scrimped and saved for pensions All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where’s our public option, our vaunted public option All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where are our rights, our sacred civil rights All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where is our peace, our precious, precious peace All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where is our change, our, yearned for, hard-earned change All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus Where is our hope, audacious, dacious hope, All gone to bombs and to bailouts (bailouts) Wall Street squandered all their wealth, then they stole it back in stealth Jobs are scarce but bankers get a bonus
6.
GlobalizeThis! (free) 01:44
7.
I Know You're Busy (free) 01:45
I know you’re busy, there’s so much you’ve gotta do. Life makes you dizzy, but still I wish that you’d Make some time to see me, or call me on the phone My thoughts of you are dreamy, but still I’m all alone. Your life’s demanding, you’ve got meetings after work. I’m understanding, but still these questions lurk. Is it fear or are you tired? Why do you hesitate? Do you lack desire, or is there (just) too much (up)on your plate? We’re good together, we share a common bond, Birds of a feather, we really get along. Laughter comes easy whenever you’re around. Do you just tease me, could this be love we’ve found? I’m in a tizzy, I don’t know what to do; My thoughts are schizzy, do I let go or pursue? Are you the lover I’ve been hoping to find? Your thoughts are undercover, but still you’re on my mind. Life makes you dizzy, being all that you can be. I know you’re busy, please make some time with me!
8.
The 99% Breakdown (free) 02:09
9.
He sang “Coming Round the Mountain” to us all. (Thanks Pete) He sang on/ so many picket lines! (Solidarity!) The kicked him off the airwaves long ago (Shame, Shame) He sang in many tongues while he was here (Guantanamero!) He put Ecclesiastes to a tune (Turn, Turn, Turn!) He taught We Shall Overcome to Dr. King (Someday!) He helped clean up the Hudson with a sloop (Heave away!) We can still sing all together ‘though he’s gone ((Sing along!)
10.
They Lied (free) 02:06
They lied about the weapons. They lied about the threat. They lied about Saddam Hussein. Do you believe them yet? They lied about the torture. They lied about this war. Their lies unravel day by day And still they offer more. They lied about their cronies. [They] lied ‘bout the corp’rate crimes. They lied about the Healthcare bill. They lie time after time. They lied about the bailouts. [They] lied ’bout their costs costs They lie about the profits. They lie about the loss.} [They lie ‘bout media bias To the right wing radio hosts. They fill the airwaves with hate and bile And empty claims and boasts. They lie at the public hearings And on the UN floor. Their lies unravel day by day And still they offer more]. On the Sunday morning programs They lie to the mainstream press. In fifteen second sound bites They cover up their mess. On the TVs in our living rooms, On the newspaper’s printed page Wherever we look to find the news, Their war of lies is waged. On the crackly campus channel, In the blogs and in the zines We will keep on speaking truth to power Until the lies are seen. We will whisper to our neighbors, We will shout it in this song. Their lies unravel day by day They will not endure for long.
11.
Weapons loading, bombs exploding, when will we know peace? Troops engaging, wars are raging, when will we know peace? When all are free to say “I love you”, free to question “Why?” and say “No I will not!” When everyone is sheltered, fed and cared for... Only then will we know peace. When everyone lives where they choose to, … freely leaving in accordance with their dreams When all are free from fear of cold or hunger. Only then will we know peace. Soulful yearning, patient learning, when will we know peace?

about

Somewhere along the line I realized that most of the songs I write have been saying just about the same thing: Inequality is not healthy for children or other living things.

credits

released December 11, 2012

Sandy Pliskin- Songs for the 99% Contact: siplis@verizon.net; 401-439-5685; sandypliskin.bandcamp.com

Androcles 3:30 Vocals, fiddle & ukulele: Sandy Pliskin

Hats & Mittens 2:12 Vocals and banjo: Sandy Pliskin

Bailout 4:25 Vocals: Sandy Pliskin and the Maple Swamp Singers (Howie Bursen, Donna Dufresne, Michael Geigart and Sally Rogers; Ukulele: Sandy Pliskin

All Gone to Bombs 2:00 Vocals: Sandy Pliskin and the Maple Swamp Singers& to Bailouts; Banjo: Sandy Pliskin

Globalize This! 1:20 Fiddle and ukulele: Sandy Pliskin

I Know You’re Busy 1:45 Vocals and Banjo: Sandy Pliskin

A Review & Synthesis 4:31 Vocals and Ukulele: Sandy Pliskin
of Recent Studies on the
Relationship Between
Distribution of Resources
& Mammalian Behavior

The 99% Breakdown 2:09 Banjo: Sandy Pliskin

They Lied 2:05 Vocal and banjo: Sandy Pliskin

When Will We Know 1:26 Vocals and Ukulele: Sandy Pliskin
Peace

All words and music by Sandy Pliskin except for Hats and Mittens (words by Sandy Pliskin & Mandy Lovell), Bailout (melody is traditional), All Gone to Bombs & to Bailouts (tune is traditional, lyrics are adapted from Sally Roger’s Gone to the Dogs), Thanks Pete (tune is traditional) and When Will We Know Peace (lyrics adapted from a poster by Jesse M. Kahn). Recorded at the Pomfret School by Zach Bellerose, A. J. Bourdon, Paul Lipp, Jack Nicholson & Tim Peck, except Thanks Pete, recorded live at Stone Soup by Steve Freidman of Melville Sound

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Sandy Pliskin Massachusetts

Early childhood educator and therapist; member, People's Music Network and Children's Music Network; activist for peace and economic justice.

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