Saturday, July 17, 2010

David Rovics releases 10 fantastic new songs

Email from David (with my own favorite songs in red):
Hi folks,

Here are ten new songs, most written while I was on tour in Europe over the spring. If you like them and feel compelled to do something to support my musical efforts here are 3 things you can do:

1) Share these songs with your friends. (Especially your friends who host radio shows and organize festivals.)

2) Volunteer to organize a show next time I'm in your area. (I tour regularly on four continents, so there's at least a decent chance I'll be there soon...)

3) Drop a few coins in my Virtual Guitar Case – click the “donate” button at (contributions small, large and medium all welcome).

You can find my Ten New Songs as high-quality free downloads at (along with 238 other songs). You can also click on the link following each song title below and listen to the song that way.

Hope to see you on the road and in the streets!



On Earth Day last I was on a plane headed to Europe, reading Riki Ott's fantastic book, One Last Drop, about the Exxon Valdez disaster, just as the oil began to gush off the Louisiana coast. Everybody should read that book. Anyway, this song is about a particular incident in 1993 when fishermen blockaded the harbor.

If I Were Captain of the Pirates

My latest in a series of pirate-themed songs. I was thinking about what I'd like to do to the oil industry's executive officers and larger stockholders, but the song was getting altogether too violent and so I turned it into a pirate song, making it much more palatable and even child-friendly!

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler

Hearing the stories of out-of-work fishing communities in Louisiana, thinking about the history of the Cajun people, and how the refugees from Canada are now becoming refugees again. This time the reason is not the British Empire, it's a transnational corporation with a very British and very imperial history.

Song for the Mavi Marmara

I had friends on several of those boats, including the Mavi Marmara. Just when the most cynical of leftists thinks Israel can't possibly do something even more outrageous than the last outrage, they go and do it. They massacred unarmed activists trying to bring basic necessities in to help alleviate the suffering of a besieged, hungry population. Read Kevin Neish's firsthand account of the raid on the ship.

The Last Lincoln Vet

It's strange getting older. When I was young the old people around me were the 1930's generation, veterans of the massive Depression-era struggles of the day. Bob Steck lived a few miles down the road from my mother in Connecticut and was, among other things, a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and spent 16 months in one of Franco's concentration camps. He died a couple years ago at the age of 95, and this song is for him and others like him. Many of them of course were killed in battle in Spain long ago. Most of those who survived the war spent the rest of their lives serving humanity in one way or another. The few survivors are now in their nineties.

I'm Taking Someone With Me When I Go

I wrote this song after the last high school massacre. I don't remember where it was, but it followed the typical pattern – ostracized teenage boy finally snaps and shoots pretty, popular girls who tend to ignore kids like him. There will be more, unfortunately, and this song is for them, too.


There are persistent myths about Japan being a basically homogeneous society made up of obedient drones. It's not, and never has been – in fact a serious reading of Japanese history is full of dissent of all kinds, going back many centuries. During the Nazi holocaust in Europe there was a Japanese Schindler, and his name was Sempo Sugihara. I heard about him through my friend Ben Manski, who is alive today because of this man and his wife Yukiko. Ben and his grandfather, Samuil, are what some call Sugihara Survivors.

Riot Dog

On a recent trip to Athens, Greece I personally verified the legend: the dogs of Athens are on the side of the anarchists. This song is about a particularly legendary dog who I may have met, not sure, but in any case his name is Loukanikos and he has been photographed at every riot in Athens over the past two years, always right up in the faces of the police, impervious to tear gas, smoke grenades, and whatever else the cops throw at him.

Up the Provos (Song for Francis Hughes)

After playing a gig at Roddy McCorley's on the Falls Road in West Belfast, spending the entire night after the gig singing rebel songs with members and relatives of a band called the Irish Brigade, and then reading an excellent book I bought at the Sinn Fein book store about the 1981 hunger strike in the prisons there (Ten Men Dead, great book) I had to write a song about one of the hunger strikers and this is what happened.

Union Makes Us Strong

I was just fiddling around on the guitar one day and this is what came out. I was thinking of stories Bob and Jo Steck used to tell about the 1930's in their respective homes – Bob in Iowa and Jo in New York City. I suppose this song represents the most fundamental message I and others like me are trying to communicate – in union we can achieve anything.