Witness

by Shareef Ali

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about

"Witness" was written on a train from San Antonio to Tucson in early October 2011. I had visited Occupy Wall Street on September 30 while on tour, and decided to visit as many Occupy sites as possible. To date I have visited New York, San Antonio, Austin, Tucson, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and UC Berkeley. This song is in solidarity with all those involved in the struggle.

lyrics

Mic check! Mic check!
Let me know I'm not alone!
I'm a witness to this movement,
Manhattan to San Anton.
We ain't settled on a story yet,
'cuz the conch keeps going 'round.
Like Jesse said, we need a gathering,
not just another crowd.

Mic check! Mic check!
You know there's always been a war!
Black, white and brown don't wanna scrounge
for table scraps no more!
Best come up with what we ask for.
Someday always comes too late.
You wonder how to do it faster?
Allow us to demonstrate!

World keeps on swinging, and a mighty arc it makes.
So no, I don't know how long a revolution takes.
But it's better to burn long than to burn too hot or bright.
Brother, leave a light on, we could be here all night!

Mic check! Mic check!
Hey, is this thing even on?
Sometimes I can't hear my voice,
been screaming for so long.
You say you don't hear a message,
but that's 'cuz you've plugged your ears.
But I know my brothers and sisters
all receive me loud and clear!

Mic check! Mic check!
Hate to occupy your time.
Then again, maybe that's one more thing
you've taken that was mine.
You're scared you'll topple from your totem.
No, I don't feel bad for you.
I know you've got ninety-nine problems,
but guess what? We've got problems too!

World keeps on swinging, and a mighty arc it makes.
So no, I don't know how long a revolution takes.
But it's better to be misunderstood than to never make a sound.
Sister, bring a blanket, we're sleeping on the ground!

credits

released January 16, 2012

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Shareef Ali San Francisco, California

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