The Commons

First you told us only through you could we know God
And if we dared to question He wouldn’t spare the rod
For you we worked the soil, for you we dug the moors
For you we shed our blood and fought so many pointless wars
And now you try to tell us there’s nothing we can do
You say the world around us belongs fairly to the few
But about eight billion people no doubt will agree
This world is our home, not your property

It’s the commons, our right of birth
And to you who would enclose the land all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who’d sacrifice the public good for your private gain

With our sweat we built the railroads, built cities on these shores
But because you own the money you say that it’s all yours
We laid the phone lines and the pipelines and then right before our eyes
You say these things our taxes paid for you now will privatize
Privatize the hospitals, privatize the schools
Privatize the prisons for all those who break your rules
And preparing for the day when all the wells run dry
You say you own the very rain that falls down from the sky

It’s the commons, our right of birth
And to you who’d own the water all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who’d sacrifice the public good for your private gain

You claim to own the harvest with your terminator seeds
You claim to own the genomes of every animal that breeds
You claim to own our culture and the music that we play
And with every song we download to your coffers we must pay
You would even own my name and you say it’s for the best
Maybe you’ll let us on your radio stations if our songs can pass your test
You own country, you own western, you say you’ve given us a choice
You may own the airwaves but you’ll never own my voice

It’s the commons, our right of birth
And to you who’d own the music all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who’d sacrifice the public good for your private gain

It’s the commons, our right of birth
And to you who would own everything all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who’d sacrifice the public good for your private gain

Sheet music:
Commons

“The Commons” is the title track of the CD from 2007.

Whose world is this?  Jim Page has a great song called that.  It’s a great question, and this song is one of my musical efforts to answer it.  The late, great Dutch musician, Armand, made a Dutch translation of this song and recorded it with the band, the Kik in 2015.

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