Have You Been to Jail for Justice?

from by Anne Feeney

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I wrote this song after traveliing with ADAPT and NOT DEAD YET to a disability rights conference that culminated with a march on and subsequent occupation of Democratic National Headquarters in Atlanta on the eve of Bill Clinton's second nomination. When the police showed up to remove the folks occupying the building, they confronted hundreds of protesters on gurneys, electric wheelchairs, white canes chanting "WE'RE ADAPT! YOU'RE TRAPPED! GET USED TO IT! They had chained themselves to every doorknob and handle in the building. Their commitment to justice was so inspiring. Every ACCESS van in Atlanta was summoned to DNC HQ. As the police began the laborious task of getting these fragile but determined protesters into vehicles to go to jail, I knew it was time to write a song in tribute to their courage.

To my delight, the song has really caught on in the social justice community and is sung by activists everywhere, including Peter, Paul and Mary.


Was it Cesar Chavez? Maybe it was Dorothy Day
Some will say Dr. King or Gandhi set them on their way
No matter who your mentors are it's pretty plain to see
That, if you've been to jail for justice, you're in good company

Have you been to jail for justice? I want to shake your hand
Sitting in and lyin' down are ways to take a stand
Have you sung a song for freedom? or marched that picket line?
Have you been to jail for justice? Then you're a friend of mine

You law abiding citizens, come listen to this song
Laws were made by people, and people can be wrong
Once unions were against the law, but slavery was fine
Women were denied the vote and children worked the mine
The more you study history the less you can deny it
A rotten law stays on the books til folks like us defy it

The law's supposed to serve us, and so are the police
And when the system fails, it's up to us to speak our peace
It takes eternal vigilance for justice to prevail
So get courage from your convictions -
Let them haul you off to jail!

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/anne-feeney/have-you-been-to-jail-for-justice-lyrics/#jHHl1rqJIRuAbzEB.99


from War on the Workers a Tribute to Anne Feeney, released December 28, 2016
Anne Feeney © (BMI)
Performed by Peter Yarrow



all rights reserved


Anne Feeney Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Anne Feeney is a front-line singer and agitator well-versed in the traditions of Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs and Tom Lehrer.

She's taken her musical message all over the US and Canada as well as Sweden and Denmark.

Based in Pittsburgh, PA, For almost 50 years, Anne has gone to wherever the fires of resistance burn brightly, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.
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