Written by Michael Barber at the time of the last oil crisis (1979), this song is as sadly relevant today as it was then. Michael performed this song as part of his "Strawman" show in the 1980s. He writes:
"I read a book called 'Songs of the Bards of Bengal' - translations of songs improvised by mendicant mystics on the streets of 18th century Bengal. One line, attributed to madan, stuck in my head: 'I hear you call, my Lord, but I cannot advance; profits and teachers bar my way.' "
A Certain Coyote was lucky enough to play rhythm guitar on this track. To hear more of Michael's music, you can go to his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/thestrawman.
You must realize that:
The door to wealth is blocked by the oil company.
We want for each and every one prosperity
But instead we created IT&T
And do our institutions make us free
Or just tell us who can take the spoils?
Is this the Land of Liberty
Or the United Snakes of Oil?
The door to understanding is blocked by the news on our TV,
By newspapers, schools and colleges,
And by philosophies and the PhD.
The door to justice is blocked by our courts and our police,
By payoffs, graft and lawbooks
In the legislature, in the prisons, in the streets.
The door to peace is blocked by the Army and Strategic Air Command,
By the companies that make war machines
And then sell them in foreign lands.
The door to a healthy diet is blocked by MacDonald's and General Foods,
Captain Crunch and the quickie lunch,
Dead bread and chocolate-covered baboons.
The door to worship is blocked by the churches and synogogues,
By Jimmy Jones and the Irreverent Moon
And the racially biased gods.