Chapter Six

CESAR
The Grapes Of Wrath
[ a song, traditional folk ]


        Un-carded Latino men stand for hours down on the corner *
        Waiting for work outside by the local liquor store
        The homeless war vet throws his crutch in utter frustration
        Crying "Lord I just can't take this shit no more!"
        The independent trucker looking on shakes his weary head
        He has his own problems with fuel prices and corporate axes
        It's seven days on the road, above legal weight and speed
        Trying to survive while they lower wages and raise his taxes

        The grapes of wrath are poisoned with chemical pollution
        They're rotting on the dry American vine
        The homeless man and deportee field hand
        Are in the county hole doing illegal time
        All hail the American corrupt congressional Caesar
        Benedict Arnold in the people's capitol tower
        We render unto you more than seven times what you're due
        And you betray us with your corporate lobby dower
        From Oklahoma dust, family farms and inner city wastelands
        Harvest song from a distant shore of Galilee
        The grapes of wrath of we the people are fermenting
        In untamed hearts from sea to once shining sea

        Tired farmers toil before dawn until late at night
        While prices rise, profits fall and family farms are lent
        And the president of the state's blind education board
        Cries "more taxes" while raising his salary thirty-five percent
        Now they tax our seniors for drawing a well-earned pension
        Triple our tax at the county, state and local levels
        Tax our homes, our land and whenever we buy or sell
        And rebate the rich while bowing low to corporate devils

        The grapes of wrath are poisoned with chemical pollution
        They're rotting on the dry American vine
        The homeless man and deportee field hand
        Are in the county hole doing illegal time
        All hail the American corrupt congressional Caesar
        Benedict Arnold in the people's capitol tower
        We render unto you more than seven times what you're due
        And you betray us with your corporate lobby dower
        From Oklahoma dust, family farms and inner city wastelands
        Harvest song from a distant shore of Galilee
        The grapes of wrath of we the people are fermenting
        In untamed hearts from sea to once shining sea

        You sit in fancy oak pews, hold anti-abortion rallies
        While human rights and liberties are trampled under
        You collect your stained glass tallies while the poor sleep in your alleys
        Just who the hell you're following causes all to stop and wonder
        Once home of the brave and land of the free
        America, 'tis of thee with one heart we sing
        For Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy
        We cry "Cesar Chavez!" and "Martin Luther King!"

        The grapes of wrath are poisoned with chemical pollution
        They're rotting on the dry American vine
        The homeless man and deportee field hand
        Are in the county hole doing illegal time
        All hail the American corrupt congressional Caesar
        Benedict Arnold in the people's capitol tower
        We render unto you more than seven times what you're due
        And you betray us with your corporate lobby dower
        From Oklahoma dust, family farms and inner city wastelands
        Harvest song from a distant shore of Galilee
        The grapes of wrath of we the people are fermenting
        In untamed hearts from sea to once shining sea **


United Farm Workers


DEDICATED TO:  Dolores C. Huerta, longtime dedicated Civil Rights activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO ("UFW").  Also dedicated to American activist, singer and songwriter Joan Baez; friend of Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Human Rights.


*FootNote:  Several American cities including Malibu, California, enforce unconstitutional local ordinances forbidding day laborers from standing on the corner to solicit employment.  Some of the same and other cities routinely round up the homeless, jail them for a day or two and then dump them off in some other city, believing it reflects poorly on tourism and other merchant enterprises.  Individuals who support these types of laws should be forced to experience homelessness for an extended period of time themselves and city council and other lawmakers who approve this type of legislation should be locked up for a very long time.  A society as wealthy as the modern-day United States that ignores the sick and poor is truly risking the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah and without doubt, a civilization borders on insanity when it punishes people attempting to legitimately work for wages.  Would we who control and hoard the wealth prefer that the poor rob stores and banks instead of standing on the corner in an effort to feed their hungry families in an honest fashion?  (See also Fleeing Sodom: The Lost Art of the True Patriot for more information.)

**FootNote II:  Inspired by the late Cesar Chavez, a life dedicated to the great cause of Human and Civil Rights---of social justice, equality and freedom, The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck, perhaps America's greatest novel and The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot.  Along with the life of Cesar Chavez and The Wasteland, The Grapes of Wrath, which is far from fiction, should today be required reading in order to receive a high school diploma (as it once was in some American schools).

NOTE ADDED 11/06/03:  In San Francisco, California recently, a candidate for city mayor received the largest percentage of votes (leading to a future runoff election) whose major plank of a misguided misanthropic platform was to come down hard on the city’s homeless population.  Candidates such as this and the business leaders and other voters who support them do not have a clue as to Who is ultimately in control of who eats and who does not eat, who has a peaceful existence and who does not.



           


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

       No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the author. Inquiries: Freedom Tracks Records or requested via eMail.  Essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced and distributed as desired.