When the Tear Gas Fills the Sky (aka the Washing Machine Song)

Desert Rat & Brad Will
Language: English

Related Songs

Oh, I Really Like The Cops
(Desert Rat & Brad Will)
Song For Brad
(Stephanie Rogers)
En tu silencio
(Miguel Sevilla)

Trovata qui:

Una canzone in divenire, partita a Seattle nel 1999 durante le manifestazioni anti WTO e aggiornata fino al 2003 da tanti autori, i principali fra i quali sono Desert Rat di Tucson e Brad Will di New York.

"this song was originally written by Desert Rat after the Seattle WTO actions in 1999 and subsequently added to by Brad of Black Bridge International, women in DNC jail solidarity in 2000 and myself, evil from the industrial workers of the world, between february 2002 and march 2003. learn it, sing it, pass it on. this is everyone's.

it is sung to the general tune of an irish folk ballad. [...]

(note: as people write new verses, and those verses get spread, the song will grow as our story and movement does. hopefully, we will remember even the words that exist now, but this song is everyone's. peace, solidarity, love.)

(brief note on authorship: i believe desert rat wrote the first and possibly the second verse and the chorus, brad wrote possibly the second, but certainly the third and fourth verses, the women in dnc jail solidarity wrote the fifth verse, evil wrote the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth verses and war piper, a medic in miami, wrote this, the latest verse. as joe hill said, a pamphlet is read at best, once, but a song is memorized)."
I've seen the lands beyond these borders,
where the corporations rule
And they spin their lies and they globalize,
and the working man's their tool
And the streams are so polluted,
that the banks are bleak and bare
And the babies all are born deformed,
and the smog is everywhere
And the workers' wages dropped
thirty percent in just one year,
Now those greedy bastards want to bring
the same conditions here.

So I called upon you brother,
and you asked what I would do
And I told the truth dear sister
when I spoke these words to you.
I will stand beside your shoulder
when the tear gas fills the sky,
If a National Guardsman shoots me down
I'll be looking him in the eye.
I will wash their pepper from your face
and go with you to jail,
And if you don't make it through this fight
I swear I'll tell your tale.
I will stay with you in the prison cell
in solidarity
And I will not leave that cursed room
'til you walk out with me.
For we the people fight for FREEDOM
while the cops just fight for pay,
And as long as the truth is in our hearts
we're sure to win someday.
I will not falter when that iron fist
comes out of the velvet glove,
I will stand beside you comrade
to defend this land we love.

I've heard tales of conquered islands,
where the sweatshop barons rule
Recruiting girls from the Asian slums
to be the rich man's tool,
And they're promised lives of luxury
in the golden USA,
Then they're stranded on these islands
with their passports stripped away.
And their aging fingers toil and bleed,
year after grueling year
Now those greedy bastards want to bring
the same conditions here.


I've walked the misty forests,
pulsing vein from ancient time
They'll rip the heart out of a mountain
to kill the oldest things alive.
The rainforest dwellers smell a burning
and the 'dozers are close behind,
Replaced with plantations and cattle
plowing under whatever they find.
With the rain comes a raging mudslide,
where the land was stripped and sheared
Now those greedy bastards want to push
their bloody products here.


I've seen the oceans rolling,
schools of fish running under the tide.
Working fishermen grounding their nets
starving on a hook and line.
While the industrial fishers haul in their nets
scouring the ocean floor,
Dolphins and sea turtles will
ride the waves no more.
They'll rip the heart out of the deep blue sea
increasing every year,
Now those greedy bastards want to push
their bloody products here.


I've been inside the concrete cellblocks
where the fascist sergeants rule,
And they privatize and they criminalize
and the inmates are their tools.
And they march you down the hallway
with a chain around your waist,
You get one strike for your poverty
and another for your race.
And they contract out your labor
and they profit from your bail,
Now those greedy bastards want to build
another million jails.


I've read reports of Wall Street boardrooms
where they manufacture wealth,
And they've echoed lies so many times
they don't know the truth themselves.
They defraud the working families
blow their savings all to hell,
And you're forced to work for half the pay
while corporate profits swell.
And there's one law for the CEO's
and another for you and me,
Now those greedy bastards dare to claim
that you and I are free.


I watched the towers falling
and I watched my brothers die,
I watched in utter horror with
my only question "why?"
And all of Rumsfeld's bombers
and all of Cheney's men,
in three million years can never bring
my sisters back again.
You can wage war on the world
'til every coffin's filled,
But your leaders can't protect you
they can only get you killed.


For I've seen the warplanes leaving
to bring death to distant lands,
Bearing loads of missiles made
by working people's hands.
And they're guided 'cross the oceans,
and they're guided 'cross the skies,
And they're guided into Third World homes
where starving children die.
And they fuel the flames of hatred
and they teach the soul to rage,
Now those evil bastards want to write
another bloody page.


I've heard voices of the disapeared,
kidnapped in the night,
And they're thrown into detention camps
and locked away from sight.
While Homeland Agents scour the country
sowing seeds of martial law
With immigrant families waiting for
the other boot to fall,
And they claim it's for our safety
and we're told we shouldn't fear,
But those evil bastards want to build
another Third Reich here.


And the cops they fire bullets
of rubber, wood and pain,
And they beat the people to the ground
and shoot them once again.
The pepper flows like water
and their eyes are filled with hate,
They march like mindless zombies
forcing people through the gate.
And the people all are beaten
within inches of their lives,
Now those fascist pigs they want to spread
another filthy lie.


Contributed by Alessandro - 2006/11/3 - 17:49

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by