The Death of David Chain

Tom Brokaw got on TV
And repeated the Big Lie
See the mill all boarded up
Hear the sympathetic sigh
He summed it up succinctly
With these vicious words
“It’s your paycheck or your planet
The loggers or the birds”

Pete Wilson and his cronies
Were nowhere to be found
They said “Big Timber is our business
And to the dollar we are bound”
Their absence was a message
“We’ll turn a blinded eye
Don’t expect us to give a damn
If anyone should die”

Charles Hurwitz told the nation
“The battle lines are drawn
These eco-terrorists won’t stop
‘Til all your jobs are gone”
The PR team worked overtime
To build up every wall
“These bomb-throwers and tree-spikers
Just want to kill you all”

A man stood with a chainsaw
Knowing only what he knew
Every lesson that he learned
Said it’s either me or you
His saw lanced through the redwood
Many hateful words were said
And several seconds later
David Chain was lying dead

Some will call this man a killer
Some will call this man a thug
Some will cover it with lies
And sweep it ‘neath the rug
But from Oakland to Fortuna
Sacramento to D.C.
There is murder in the air
And there are killers running free

From Oakland to Fortuna
Sacramento to D.C.
There is murder in the air
And there are killers running free

Sheet music to this song may be found in Songbook Vol I (1997-2004).

“The Death of David Chain” appears on the 1998 CD, We Just Want the World.

David Chain, aka Gypsy, was trying to stop a logging operation in an old-growth forest in northern California and was killed by an enraged logger.  Jim Page also wrote a song on this subject, which is better.

I think this was the first song I wrote that got played on Democracy Now!.  Jeremy Scahill was the executive producer at the time, and he called me to ask me to send him a recording of the song, after seeing the lyrics somehow or other online.  Those were the days…

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