Tuesday, January 31, 2006

SoNG: Smash the System

Women's Video Collective. Copyright 1983. All Rights Reserved.

Women's mass civil disobedience action at the truck gate of the Seneca Army Depot, August 1, 1983.

Smash the System
From Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, origin unnknown

PeHP Source: Average Dyke Band songsheets, 1985; Peace Camps Sing
 produced by Sorrel Hays and Marilyn Ries, 1987.


When I was a little girl 

my mother told me, "It's a man's world.
You gotta try hard for an education 

'cuz that will improve your situation."
But mom was wrong and now I see, 

I've got to fight to set me free.

Smash the system, smash the state!
Why do we all sit and wait for someone else to do it 

when we could be free by now?

You close your eyes, you close your mind 

to things you think are a waste of time
It's easier just not to notice
You don't have to stand up and making a fucking protest!

Smash the system, smash the state!
Why do we all sit and wait for someone else to do it 

when we could be free by now?

The men in this world, the men in my life
Have given me nothing but trouble and strife
'Til I got wise and I said, "Just go!"
And the rest is herstory, you know
'Cuz now I'm a dyke and the strength I feel 

is the power to make these changes real.

Smash the system, smash the state!
Why do we all sit and wait for someone else to do it
When we could be free by now?


* The Average Dyke Band (ADB) sprang up from women living at the Peace Camp in the summer of 1985.  The theory we put into action was that songs, singing and musical instrumentation were not the domain of an exclusive, talented few.  We had found that far too many women fell silent musically because somewhere along the way they were told they didn't have a good voice, couldn't carry a tune, couldn't keep a beat.  The ADB, then, was the musical counterpart to the Camp's consensus process philosophy and practice - every woman's voice would be heard.  We were inclusive, we were average, and we had a damn good time.

2 comments:

  1. This song carries me through the too many times this country does something stupid. Reminds me that i am not powerless, though it feels that way at times.

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  2. Leeann IrwinOctober 01, 2015

    Though I was not at the camp the summer this song was song, it resonates so deeply. During 1985, I was in Europe visiting peace camps in the countries where the Cruise and Pershing II missiles were being deployed. Thanks for a song that keeps inspiring!

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