Song for the ELF

Civil disobedience
Has many permutations
You can block the streets in front of
The United Nations
You can lay down on the tracks
Keep the nuke trains out of town
Or you can pour gas on the condo
And you can burn it down

So here’s a toast to the night
Three cheers and a grunt
To the Earth Liberation Front
The Earth Liberation Front

You can go to Senate hearings
Wait til they call your name
My hat is off to anyone
With the will to play that game
But if you want to know the truth
What warms my aching heart
Is to see the masked avengers
Come to tear the road apart


There are so many things of beauty
In this world to see
A wild, running river
Or an old-growth redwood tree
But in such an ugly situation
So sinister and dire
There’s nothing quite so lovely
As a Wal-Mart on fire


They’ll tell you that it’s violent
To destroy a logging truck
These are the very people
Who’d kill the planet for a buck
Talk to the governor
Be reasonable, they say
Maybe we can talk tomorrow
But we can pull the crops today


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

“Song for the ELF” originally appears on the 2002 CD, Hang a Flag in the Window, and then the following year on Behind the Barricades:  the Best of David Rovics.

For the record, I think arson is a counterproductive tactic for the purposes of movement-building as a general rule.  I do admire many of the folks who have carried out these kinds of militant forms of direct action, some of whom are good friends, it turns out.