Pirate Radio Song

This is how it started
It’s not hard to understand
From coast to coast they’re lying
At a CEO’s command
From Nationalist Public Radio
Big Brother’s spewing propaganda
From the Disinformation Ministry

They say the economy is booming
We hear the homeless beggar’s cries
They say we help poor countries
We see bombs falling from the skies
Reality doesn’t exist
They’re trying to say
But some of us decided
There is another way

Seize the airwaves
Seize the time
Lying to the people
Is the real crime
When it’s all owned by corporations
And theirs is the only word
We will seize the airwaves
Speak freely and be heard

Someone got a transmitter
Started up a station
Then the idea spread
Right across the nation
Like the land and water
The air must be free
So let us shout together
“Fuck the FCC”


And we’ll do it all together
In a grassroots style
Breaking down the fences
Throughout this whole square mile
It’s the new Town Meeting
It’s the way the news should be
The rulers call it chaos
We say it’s democracy


So when you turn on the radio
And you’ve had it with this shit
From 88 to 107
Makes you want to have a fit
When you listen to the music
And it’s all the same pop song
Start up a pirate station
‘Cause that’s where you belong


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

“Pirate Radio Song” appears on the 2002 CD, Hang A Flag in the Window.

In my estimation, it was the decades in between the death of independent commercial radio in the US (a rapid process which began in earnest in 1980) and the beginning of streaming audio on the internet (around 1999, practically speaking) that pirate radio was particularly at the forefront of independent culture and politics.  The government apparently thought so, too, because they were constantly raiding pirate radio stations and confiscating relatively expensive equipment.  Most people don’t think of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) as a government agency that includes people with guns and such, but yeah, it does.