ASWS

CREDITS
Producer: Holly Near
Mastering Engineer: Paul Stubblebine
Production Coordinator: Alison de Grassi
Art Direction/Graphic Design: Jill Davey, JPD Communications
Photography
Front cover: Mike Rogers
Back cover and flap: J.A. Rubino
CD trays: “Bandada de Pájaros” batik Lisa Kokin
Booklet cover: Paul Dix
Disc one: J.A. Rubino
Disc two: Vicki Vanderslice

THE PLAYERS
The numerous players on the 37 tracks in this two-CD set are identified in the packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

This collection of 37 songs (mostly from out-of-print recordings) remains emotionally intense yet politically articulate. Live and studio performances include duets with Mercedes Sosa, rousing songs with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Ronnie Gilbert, passionate vocal collaborations with Rhiannon and Brian Green, a tender lullaby with Inti Illimani, and anthems like Singing For Our Lives and The Great Peace March.


TRACK LISTING


DISC ONE DISC TWO
Fired Up!
I Ain't Afraid
Voices
They Are Falling All Around Me
To Raise The Morning Star
Foolish Notion
I Got Trouble
No More Songs
Family Promise
Power
Simply Love
In The Face Of Love
Ain't Nowhere You Can Run
Wrap The Sun Around You
Change Of Heart
No More Genocide
O Holy Night
Wish You Were Here
It Could Have Been Me

Sing To Me The Dream
La Pajita
La Marusa
They Dance Alone
Todavia Cantamos
Pallet
Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida
Fight Back
Waterfall
We're Not Alone
Mountain Song
Singer In The Storm
Ella's Song
Harriet Tubman
Don't You Worry
Te Doy Una Cancíon
The Great Peace March
Singing For Our Lives


LYRICS
The lyrics below are songs that Holly either wrote, co-wrot, or arranged only. Lyrics written by others, which appear on the CD, are not listed for copyright reasons. Click the name of the song to open the lyrics.

Fired Up!
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Fired up ain't gonna take it no more
Tied up ain't gonna take it no more
You say cool down, we say step down
You're breaking my mother's heart

Fired up ain't gonna take it no more
Tied up ain't gonna take it no more
You say cool down, we say step down
You're breaking my mother's heart

Children need schools more than they need jails
That's where our society fails
First seven years creates the child's foundation
Mandatory for a healthy nation

How could we forget that the children come first
We left them alone and they died of thirst
Mothers and fathers confused and forlorn
When the children are missing there's something wrong

Can't just focus on kids with wealth
Can't pick and choose who gets the health care
Take an honest look at the great divide
Looks dangerously similar to genocide

Fired up ain't gonna take it no more
Tied up ain't gonna take it no more
You say cool down, we say step down
You're breaking my mother's heart

Ain't gonna take it no more
Tied up ain't gonna take it no more
You say cool down, we say step down
You break another mother's heart

I Ain't Afraid
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

I ain't afraid of your Yahweh
I ain't afraid of your Allah
I ain't afraid of your Jesus
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I ain't afraid of your churches
I ain't afraid of your temples
I ain't afraid of your praying
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

Rise up to your higher power
Free up from fear, it will devour you
Watch out for the ego of the hour
The ones who say they know it
Are the ones who will impose it on you

Rise up, and see a higher story
Free up from the gods of war and glory
Watch out for the threats of purgatory
The spirit of the wind won't make
A killing off of sin and satan

Voices
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Listen to the voices of the old women
Calling out the messages
Of the moon and sea
Telling us what we need to know
In order to be free
Listen to the voices of the old women

Listen to the voices of the Indian Nations
Calling out the messages
Of the earth and sky
Telling us what we need to know
In order to survive
Listen to the voices of the Indian Nations

Listen to the voices of the young children
Calling out the messages
Of the heart and soul
Telling us what we used to know
Before the lies were told
Listen to the voices of the young children

Listen to the voices of the Indian Nations
Listen to the voices of the old women
Listen to the voices of the living

Foolish Notion
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Why do we kill people who are killing people
To show that killing people is wrong
What a foolish notion
That war is called devotion
When the greatest warriors are the ones that stand for peace

War toys are growing stronger
The problems stay the same
The young ones join the army
While general what's-his-name
Is feeling full of pride
That the army will provide
But does he ask himself

Death row is growing longer
The problems stay the same
The poor ones get thrown in prison
While warden what's-his-name
Is feeling justified
But when will he be tried (when justice is denied)
For never asking why…

Children are so tender
They will cross the earth if they think they are saving a friend
They get drawn in by patriotic lies
Right before our eyes
They leave our home
And then they find out once they're all alone
They're asking the age old question
Why?


I Got Trouble
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

New lyrics to a song formerly known as "Laid Off"

I been laid off, trouble got trouble
I been laid off, trouble tonight
First I want to talk about it
Then I want to fight
Then I want to make love to you all night
I been laid off, trouble got trouble
I been laid off, trouble tonight

You know we need the money, we need it bad
The money I was making is the last that we had
To do the feeding, feeding, our kids need clothes
They need feeding, payment on the loan

I came home angry, I let it show
I didn't mean to blame it on the best friend I know
I love you darlin', darlin', let's sleep in late
Come tomorrow, I'll go out and agitate

They hire a computer, hire a machine
And then they call the product "The American Dream"
And it ain't working, working, it's no surprise
When you ain't working, time to organize


Family Promise
Words by Holly Near; Music by Holly Near and Jeff Langley / © Hereford Music

Finally a baby born in the spring time
Then helping us all face a death in our lives
Your mother and your grandma
And your aunts so proud and grateful
Your father and you are now the men in our lives

But outside the shelter, the war claims the children
That you might grow up to be friends with one day
And what of the water, the air and the desert
We make a family promise on your first birthday

While we're alive in this world
We will try to disarm every nuclear nation
An everyday gift to the child
A gift to ourselves, while we're alive

Amazed by the details we watch you for hours
Just like our dad did, you make us all smile
Such inspiration for facing the future
Demanding survival, your fist still so small


Simply Love
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Why does my love make you shift restless in your chair
And leave you in despair
It's simply love – my love for a woman

It's a simple hand on a warm face to say
A glance to see if love is still ok
A glow at dawn when love is still there
Tears and strong arms at the end of the day
And simply love – my love for a woman

It's the laughter as the kids clown
And tease our weary thoughts away
It's looking 'round the table
And knowing hard work fed us one more day
And simply love – my love for a woman

Why does my love make you shift in your chair
It's the bombs across the border
That should make you tear your hair
And yet it's my love leaves you screaming out your nightmare

Perhaps you know there's something you should fear
If my love makes me strong and makes you disappear
It's simply love – my love for a woman

In the Face of Love
Words and Music by Holly Near and Steve Wood / © Hereford Music; Albedo Music

Written during the US war against Nicaragua.  Strategical planning. Collateral damage. It is much more personal than that. Chemicals explode blowing up vegetable gardens. Hands are blown off children. Ancient forests are destroyed, orchards demolished, wells polluted, grandparents’ hearts broken.

Silver hair falling over me
So soft, so fine, I hold my breath
And I feel you moving up like a sunrise over my body
Inside we remember birth
Outside we are facing death
In the face, in the face, in the face of love

Silver hair falling over me
So brave, so strong, I find your eyes
And I feel you moving down like a sunset over my body
Inside we are making love
Outside another dies
At the front, at the front, at the front for love

The guns are waiting in the mountains
Kids playing quiet in the dust
It's time
And if I make it back to you
My sunrise, my sunset, my earthquake, my soft and fine silver hair...

Ain't No Where You Can Run
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

From Fire In the Rain (1981)

There ain't no where you can run no, no, no
There ain't no where you can run

You can move to California
Or you can move to Spain
But there ain't no where you can run
From the nuclear rain

You can hand out flowers in airports
You can stay on your knees and pray
But there ain't no where in this whole wide world
That you can run away (you know you've got to face it)

It gets into the blood of the workers
And then it rides through the land on a train
After thousands of years in containers
It still remains

It can get you on the top of a mountain
Or it can ooze under prison doors
It can kill us slow in a lifetime

Or get you fast in a nuclear war!
Wrap the Sun Around You
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

From Fire in the Rain (1981)

Wrap the sun around you like a rainbow
Let the mighty breezes be your lullaby
Feel the power of the sea
Mother Nature's energy
Is washing over me

We can make it if we try
I've seen it done before
Where we all opened up our hearts
And that opened up the door
Don't you remember
It wasn't so long ago
Been going on forever
In fact, it's happening right now
While we're singing

Wrap the sun around you like a rainbow
Writing songs that wake us out of lullabies
Learn the lessons of the past
We're not the first
And we're not the last
To sing about freedom
To live our lives for freedom

Singing, singing songs about freedom
I can remember we were singing
Singing songs about freedom
People, you have the light and the sun
Like a rainbow
You are like a rainbow, magic colors
We are like a rainbow, in the sky
Side by side, such a sight

Don't you remember talking about freedom
Think back to all who come before you
Think back to all who danced before you
Think back to all who loved before you
Think back to all who sing before you

Freedom is not to be the same
Freedom is to cherish who you are
Freedom is to know

No, no don't melt into one
Wrap the sun around you like a rainbow
Be tender with your heart

Just like a rainbow
Change of Heart
Words by Holly Near; Music by Holly Near, Jim Scott and Derek Nakamoto© Hereford Music

From Musical Highlights (1993)

Something changes in me when I witness someone's courage
They may not know I'm watching, I may not let them know that
Something changes in me that will last me for a life time
To fill me when I'm empty, and rock me when I'm low

Something changes in me anytime there's someone singing
All the songs I've never forgotten, let out voices sing them strong
Something changes in me anytime there's someone standing
For the right to be completely all the good things that we are

There's a change of heart
Anytime there's someone counting
All the lives that won't be thrown away
There's a change of heart
Anytime you join the choir, be a voice up on the mountain
Or see a fire...in the rain

Something changes in me when my arms are held wide open
Fear and hate are set aside and only love remains
Something changes in me and I feel a deep emotion
While the ones who offer help replace the ones that just complain

Do not forget the children, they are singers in the storm
And when their hearts are threatened, well a fire is bound to start
It wakes us up at midnight, we feel an ancient pain
And I do believe that loves directs the flame

No More Genocide
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

From Musical Highlights (1993)

Why are our history books so full of lies
When no word is spoken of why the Indians died
Or that the Chicanos loved the California land
Do our books all say it was discovered by one white man

That's just a lie, one of the many and we've had plenty
I don't want more of the same
No more genocide in my name

Nazi forces grow again, ignorance gives them a place
The Klan is teaching children to hate the human race
Where once there was a playground, now an MX missile plan
Do they think it's fun to see just how much we can stand

People die all around the world from starvation and grief all the time
Some folks try to avoid the truth by saying God and gun will provide
In Auschwitz, Capetown and Beirut, San Salvador, Greensboro,
   Belfast, Manila and many more
It's a crime, do we think the fascist right will save the world in time

They try to tell us so but we’ve got to tell them no
O Holy Night
New lyrics Holly Near

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
This is the time a new decade is born
Long has lived the world in fear and error pining
But when peace appears, the soul knows its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Rise from your knees, and hear the people’s voices
O night divine, O night let peace be born

O night, O night, O night divine
It Could Have Been Me
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

From A Live Album (1974) and Journeys

It could have been me, but instead it was you
So I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two
I'll be a student of life, a singer of song
A farmer of food and a righter of wrong
It could have been me, but instead it was you
And it may be me dear sisters and brother
Before we are through
But if you can work for freedom
Freedom, freedom, freedom
If you can work ( die, sing, live, work, speak) for freedom I can too

Students in Ohio 200 yards away
Shot down by a nameless fire one early day in May
Some people cried out angry you should have shot more of them down
But you can't bury youth my friend
Youth grows the whole world round

The junta broke the fingers on Victor Jara's hands
They said to the gentle poet "play your guitar now if you can"
Victor started singing but they brought his body down
You can kill that man but not his song
When it's sung the whole world round

A woman in the jungle so many wars away
Studies late into the night, defends the village in the day
Although her skin is golden like mine will never be
Her song is heard and I know the words
And I'll sing them until she's free

Studio recording 1983

The songs of Nicaragua and El Salvador
Will long outlast the singers who face the guns in war
They sing at the line of fire, they sing from the fire within
All across the land the poets stand
El pueblo unido jamas sera vencida
El pueblo unido jamas sera vencida

Additional verse not included on this recording

One night in Oklahoma Karen Silkwood died
Because she had some secrets that big companies wanted to hide
There's talk of nuclear safety and there's talk of national pride
But we all know it is a death machine and that's why Karen died

Sing To Me the Dream
Holly Near & Jorge Coulon / © Hereford Music

When you speak the language of your life
I do not know the story
The words are only sounds, they leave my mind to wonder
Perhaps you speak of the mountains,
or the child you used to be
Of the city Santiago and the moment you were free
To sing of hungry hearts and of the dream, do you speak of the dream.

When you speak the language of your love
I do not know the story
The words are only sounds and they leave my mind to wonder
But when you soar through my heart with a melody
I hear the dancing feet, I taste the salty tears
I know the laughing child and the moment of the dream

When you sing the language I feel love
Now I know the story
the songs are mighty sounds that fill my mind to wonder
And when you soar through my heart with a melody
I hear the dancing feet, I taste the salty tears
I am the laughing child, sing to me the dream
Come fill my mind with wonder
And sing to me the dream

Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Michelle Peña Herrera
Nalvia Rosa Mena Alvarado
Cecilia Castro Salvadores
Ida Amelia Almarza

Clara Elena Cantero
Elisa Del Carmen Escobar
Eliana Maria Espinosa
Rosa Elena Morales

Hay una mujer desaparecida
Hay una mujer desaparecida
En Chile En Chile En Chile

And the junta, and the junta knows
And the junta knows where she is
And the junta knows where they are hiding her, she's dying
Hay una mujer desaparecida
Hay una mujer desaparecida
En Chile En Chile En Chile

Missing in Brazil
Missing in Uruguay
Missing, Guatemala
Missing, El Salvador
Hay un hombre, hay una niña
Oh los niños

But a spirit lives in Chile
New lives
New songs are rising up

Fight Back
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

By day I live in terror
By night I live in fright
For as long as I can remember
A lady don't go out alone at night, no no
A lady don't go out alone at night

But I don't accept the verdict
It's a wrong one anyway
‘Cause nowadays a woman
Can't even go out in the middle of the day, safely
Can't go out in the middle of the day

And so we've got to fight back
In large numbers
Fight back, I can't make it alone
Fight back, in large numbers
Together we can make a safe home
Together we can make a safe home

Women all around the world
Every color, religion and age
One thing we’ve got in common
We can all be battered and raped
We can all be battered and raped

Some have an easy answer
They buy a lock and they live in a cage
But my fear is turning to anger
And my anger's turning to rage
And I won't live my life in a cage—no!

By day I live in terror
By night I live in fright
For as long as I can remember

A lady don't go out at night—fight back
We’re Not Alone
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

From This Train Still Runs (1996)

I shall not tire of the road we're walking
Your smile a candle, I shall not tire
I shall not weaken in the face of danger
But draw you close to me
We're not alone, we're not alone

Earth like a friend who's wounded
Child, you're the fragile promise of tomorrow
You, who become a condor in a moment
Shall you spread your wings of courage and fly on

Trees are a story telling
Stars, like the burning sun that warms the water
Wind is a force that cleans our sails of sorrow
Woman guide the ship of freedom and sail on, sail on

Creatures of courage make a chain that can't be broken
Like my heart can be broken
Links must withstand the strain and pull
That tries to tear our souls apart

Hands like a map I follow
Songs are the haunting call that draws me forward
Hearts be the drum that keep my feet from slowing
Like a cadence that is crying come on, come on

Force that has turned the flower of the people
Into steel that strikes a fire
Can we use the heat to solder such a chain
Believe on, believe on

I shall not tire on the road we're walking
Your smile a candle, I shall not tire
I shall not weaken in the face of danger
But draw you close to me
We're not alone, we're not alone

Mountain Song
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Inspired by an elder activist who protested the strip mining of her land.  They carried her off the mountain and put her in jail. But the great part about the story is that she did not go willingly and for that moment in time, she knew exactly where she stood. May we all know such moments.

I have dreamed on this mountain
Since first I was my mother's daughter
And you can't just take my dreams away ­– not with me watching
You may drive a big machine
But I was born a great big woman
And you can't just take my dreams away ­– not with me fighting

This old mountain raised my many daughters
Some died young – some are still living
But if you come here to take our mountain
Well we ain't come here to give it

I have dreamed on this mountain
Since first I was my mother's daughter
And you can't just take my dreams away ­– not with me watching
No you can't just take my dreams away ­– without me fighting
No you can't just take my dreams away

Singer In The Storm
Words by Holly Near; Music by George Merril / © Hereford Music; Boy Meets Girl Music

A dove flies free from the prison bars
And lights the candles with the stars
And carries news home from afar
She's a singer in the storm, she's a singer in the storm

She does not fear the pouring rains that drench her to the bone
She only fears the consequence of living all alone
She does not mourn the lessons learned
While falling from the sky
She only mourns for those who turn away as they pass by

He who joins with people's voices
He who honors women's choices
He who dares to cry, rejoices
With the singer in the storm

She does not fear the raging wind that calls her into a song
She only fears the consequence of a forest dead and gone
She celebrates her lover's touch, it caught her by surprise
Still she mourns for the narrow minds who stare as they pass by

Late in the night she hears the painter scream
But tonight she knows it is not a dream
Again and again recurring themes call for the singer
To come and heal a wounded heart
Confront an ancient lie
To cross a fragile bridge
And offer hope to those to dare to try

She who walks the unpaved road
She who picks up half the load
She who knows that the dove is code
For the singer in the storm

The dove flies free from the prison bars
And lights the candles with the stars
And carries news home from afar
Are you the singer in the storm
Let the dove fly free
The dove is in me and she lights my way
So I may be the singer in the storm

Don't You Worry
Holly Near; Music by Jeff Langley / © Hereford Music

Well here we are, they call it winter
And the air feels like the desert
The current of this river is standing still against its will
Well here we are with too much feeling
It damns all sense of motion
But don't you worry, that's how love is, so they say

Well here we are, you're asking questions with your silence
 Still I know you're crying
And I tend to hide away behind a smile, that's my style
Well here we are and we're falling into arms that know our sorrow
But don't you worry, that's how love is, so they say

Like a fat white cloud goes rolling by on a humid summer day
It will cross a perfect sky and soon it's far away
Can love outlast such a day

Well here we are, first day of winter
And the air cold as the desert
No love can last forever without a pain, without a doubt
Well here we are with too many reasons to keep the love
To keep the motion

But don't you worry, that's how love is, so they say

 

The Great Peace March
Holly Near /
© Hereford Music

Ancient eyes are watching in the night
The stars come out to guide the way
The sun still shines despite the clouds
 And the dawn is dusk is dawn is dusk is day

Farmers rise and dream to feed the world
The world awakes to feed the heart
Hearts beat while a thousand flags are waving
And the farmer sees a dream has played a part

We will have peace, we will because we must
We must because we cherish life
And believe it or not, as daring as it may seem
It is not an empty dream
To walk in a powerful path
Neither the first nor the last great peace march
Life is a great and mighty march
Forever for love and for life on the great peace march

Are you black like night or red like clay
Are you gold like sun or brown like earth
Grey like mist or white like moon
My love for you is the reason for my birth

Peace can start with just one heart
From a small step to leaps and bounds
A walk becomes a race for time
And a brave child calls out from the crowd

Singing For Our Lives
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

I wrote this song after Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were killed in a homophobic hate crime in 1978.

We are a gentle angry people
And we are singing, singing for our lives

We are a land of many colors
We are gay and straight together
We are a peaceful loving people