MADISON, Wisc. – A group of about 50 Wisconsin demonstrators has been singing protest songs inside the Madison Capitol every day at noon for almost two years. Their target is Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who pushed a law stripping public employees of certain labor rights. The demonstrators have a songbook of 44 songs, many of them traditional songs that have had the lyrics changed to target Walker.
Here are excerpts from a sampling of songs:
— "We Shall Overcome" — "We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome some day. ... Oh, deep in my heart I do believe Walker won't be governor some day."
— "This Land is Your Land" — "This house is your house, this house is my house, from the rotunda to the governor's office. Scott Walker will never push us out. This house was made for you and me."
— "When We Make Peace," sung to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In" — "When there's respect, for workers' rights, when there's respect for workers' rights, oh I want to be in that number, when there's respect for workers' rights."
— "It Isn't Nice" — "We have tried negotiations, and crossin' the state line. Somehow Walker didn't see us — you know, he might as well be blind. Now our new ways aren't nice, when we deal with men of ice, but if that is freedom's price, we don't mind."
— "Pass the Cheddar," sung to the tune of "Jambalaya" — "Goodbye Scott, you gotta go, me oh my oh, you're as harmful as your buddy in Ohio. To prevent you from further destruction, we will protest all over Wisconsin."
— "Oh, Scott Walker," sung to the tune of "Oh, Susanna" — "Oh, Scott Walker, now don't you mess with me. I come from all Wisconsin with a sign for you to see. Well, it snowed all day that Saturday, the people didn't care. Their cause so hot it kept them warm, and thousands filled the square. Now I come from all Wisconsin with my ballot in my hand, and I say to you Republicans I'm gonna take a stand."
— "Scotty, We're Comin' for You" — "I never knew how much I loved Wisconsin, 'till I stood in the Capitol dome. Signs on the walls and drums in the halls, cries of "Freedom!" ringing out all night long. All of us standing together, teachers in red, cops in blue. Hundreds of thousands show people have power. So tell me what are we gonna do? Scotty, we're coming for you!"
Source: Solidarity Singers songbook.