Solidarity Sing Along | This Is What Democracy Sounds Like

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Folk: Political Folk: Political Folk Moods: Type: Political
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This Is What Democracy Sounds Like

by Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along is an on-going singing protest. The music we have recorded is a testament to the spirit of the people of Wisconsin and their continuing struggle to reclaim the Wisconsin we believe in.
Genre: Folk: Political
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Wisconsin State Constitution, Article 1, Section 4
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0:51 $0.99
2. This Land Is Your Land
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3:42 $0.99
3. We Shall Overcome
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3:35 $0.99
4. There Is Power in a Union
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2:02 $0.99
5. Whose House (Chant)
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0:18 $0.99
6. Keep Your Eyes On the Prize
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3:26 $0.99
7. Bring Back Wisconsin to Me
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1:43 $0.99
8. Union Maid
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2:17 $0.99
9. What's Disgusting? (Chant)
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0:22 $0.99
10. Solidarity Forever (Gospel Version)
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4:43 $0.99
11. Roll the Union On
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2:50 $0.99
12. Singing for Our Lives
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3:38 $0.99
13. I Don't Want Your Millions Mister
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3:50 $0.99
14. One Year Longer, One Year Stronger (Chant)
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0:36 $0.99
15. Which Side Are You On
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2:22 $0.99
16. Scotty, We're Coming for You
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2:04 $0.99
17. Watch Him Stew
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3:25 $0.99
18. Show Me What Democracy Looks Like (Chant)
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0:38 $0.99
19. Solidarity
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2:48 $0.99
20. Roll Out the Recall
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2:18 $0.99
21. Solidarity Forever
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3:37 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Solidarity Sing Along—This Is What Democracy Sounds Like

It was just supposed to be a protest.

In February of 2011, a historic series of protests began against Governor Scott Walker, his Republican allies, and their assaults on unions, teachers, the middle and lower classes, education, voting rights, the environment, and the arts. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. The Wisconsin State Capitol was occupied for three weeks. Fourteen State Senators left the state to block a vote on Walker’s union-busting bill.

Scott Walker’s union-busting bill passed, but the protests continued. However, as the occupation and the large rallies ended, many people were looking for a way to continue the spirit of the occupation, to keep the momentum going, to keep the energy alive as we began to work toward longer-term solutions, toward the recalls, toward stopping the extreme agenda being foisted upon our beloved state.

On March 11, Steve Burns printed up some song books and led the first Solidarity Sing Along in the Capitol. The idea was very simple. Stand in a circle. Sing for an hour. Leave. Come back the next day and do it again.

Since then, we have held a sing along at the Capitol every single weekday from noon to one o’clock—over 350 of them, at the time of this recording’s release. (I took over as song leader and organizer at the end of the first full week, when Steve returned to teaching at the end of spring break.)

During those first few weeks, we’d be lucky to get 15 people in the circle. We’d stand there, staring nervously at each other, and we’d sing. Our voices might have been shaking, but we sang. We sang out our frustration; we sang out our anger. While there were no longer 100,000 people in the streets, we wanted to make sure the legislators in the Capitol knew that the citizens of Wisconsin had not gone away. That we had not forgotten. That we were still here. That this was all far from over. That we would continue to fight for the Wisconsin we believe in.

We sang every day. A dozen of us. Then two dozen. Then, all of a sudden, we were getting a hundred people every day.

And slowly, without anyone really noticing, some remarkable things started to happen.

A community developed. Friendships formed. We supported each other. We cried together on the bad days and hugged each other on the good days.

We found that, although the main point of the sing along was still the petitioning of our government, a secondary purpose had developed. The sing along was strengthening us. The power of singing together was unmistakable. We left stronger than we arrived. We might arrive in despair, shocked at some new atrocity the Walker administration was attempting to foist upon our state, but we could leave strengthened and ready to get back to the important work of participatory democracy.

Perhaps most remarkably, we started—on occasion—to sound good. I suppose it should have been no big surprise. If you do anything for an hour 300 times, you will improve, but it still came as a surprise to us.

After all, it was just supposed to be a protest.

Some people who attend the sing along are professional-level musicians and singers. Some never even considered singing in public before the sing along began. Yet we all blend together into a harmonious whole.

Once or twice a week, we sing outside. Over the course of several months, as musicians began to bring instruments, an ad-hoc band formed. They have been dubbed The Learning Curve, due to the ever-changing nature of who they are and what they are asked to do. They’re never the same group of people, but they are always amazing. (On one recent cold and snowy day, The Learning Curve consisted of a harmonica, a kazoo, two drums, and a maraca. Even then, they were pretty damn good.)

Eventually, through the goodwill of some very generous people (in particular: Steve Gotcher, Audio For The Arts and Sally de Broux) we were asked to do a recording. And here we are.

What you hold in your hands documents a remarkable time in Wisconsin and a remarkable time for democracy.

It may not be the most polished recording ever made, but the passion of these citizens of Wisconsin, who make their way into the Capitol every single weekday to sing for what they believe in, is unmistakable.

We have never thought of what we do as a performance. One of the central ideas of Solidarity Sing Along is that anyone can participate. If you show up, you stand with us. If you show up, you sing.

So, please, as you listen to this document of a remarkable time—

Sing along.

--Chris Reeder
--Organizer and Song Leader, Solidarity Sing Along


Reviews


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Arlene Renner

Just Buy It!!
These recordings will be instantly included my Christmas Music Rotation, and will bring the same joy to my heart as the other classics of the Holiday! I can't believe how good these sound, and I absolutely love the inclusion of the People's chants! Just trying to figure out how to 'give' purchased copies of this as gifts, with no pressed cds and gift certificate option. Maybe I'll just send folks $10..00 through PayPal, with a link. Enjoy!

Susan

This is what democracy sounds like
This sounds great! I love the number of voices and the energy they were able to capture.