the commons (live - the commons)
© david rovics 2008
Author: david rovics


First you told us only through you could we know God

And if we dared to question then He wouldn't spare the rod

For you we worked the soil, for you we dug the moors

For you we shed our blood and fought so many pointless wars

And now you build your fences and say there's nothing we can do

You say the world around us belongs fairly to the few

But about six billion people no doubt will agree

This world is our home, not your property



It's the commons, our right of birth

And to you who would enclose the land all around the Earth

Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain

You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain



With our sweat we built the railroads, built cities on these shores

But because you own the money you say that it's all yours

We laid the phone lines and the pipelines and then right before our eyes

You say these things our taxes paid for you now will privatize

Privatize the hospitals, privatize the schools

Privatize the prisons for all those who break your rules

And preparing for the day when all the wells run dry

You say you own the very rain that falls down from the sky



But it's the commons, our right of birth

And to you who'd own the water all around the Earth

Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain

You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain



You claim to own the harvest with your terminator seeds

You claim to own the genomes of every animal that breeds

You claim to own our culture and the music that we play

And with every song we download to your coffers we must pay

You would even own my name and you say it's for the best

Maybe you'll let us on your radio stations if our songs can pass your test

You own country, you own western, you say you've given us a choice

You may own the airwaves but you'll never own my voice



It's the commons, our right of birth

And to you who’d own the music all around the Earth

Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain



It's the commons, our right of birth

And to you who would own everything all around the Earth

Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain




Created November, 2005