It’s My World, Too

cd cover: the feral crow by scott ainslie©2004 Scott Ainslie

I’m just 36, I’ve got 4 little ones;
I’ve been workin’ here 17 years.
Settin’ rivets and welding and working the cranes;
17 years, goin’ straight down the drain;
building a future that never came.

Don’t they know what they’re doin?
What we’ve made? And what they ruin?
Don’t they know it’s–it’s my world, too?
Don’t they know? It’s my world, too.

Newspapers leap and twirl down the street;
In a crazy kinda waltz.
Husbands and wives toss and turn in their sleep;
Our bridges are falling from under our feet.
Who’s sewn the seeds that we reap?

Don’t they know what they’re doin?
What we’ve made? And what they ruin?
Don’t they know it’s–it’s my world, too?
Don’t they know? It’s my world, too.

And your smokestacks have darkened the stars in our skies;—-
And your foundry that blew sparks and soot in our eyes—–
And looked like the 4th of July…

Verse Instrumental

The lights go out here ’bout a quarter to nine,
This old steel town is dyin’.
All these houses for sale, and ain’t none of them sold.
My pockets are empty, my fingers are cold.
And I’m so tired of doing what I’m told.
[I’m] so tired of doing what I’m told.

And your smokestakes have darkenend the stars in our skies;
Your foundry always blew sparks and soot in our eyes
and looked like the Fourth of July….

Personnel:

Scott Ainslie: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Scott Petito: Acoustic Bass, Mandolin
Jerry Marotta: Drums/Percussion
Marc Shulman: Electric Guitars
Peter Vitalone: Piano
Leslie Ritter: Harmony Vocals

I started writing the first verses of this song in the early 1980s, when US Steel was closing down the last vestiges of its plant in Pennsylvania. Having fabricated all the steel in the United Nations and the Empire State Building and numerous bridges across the nation, the plant was reduced to a skeleton staff simply making screws for mine ceilings. Most of the steel jobs went to Japan or to Germany, both of which had modernized their steel plants as they rebuild their economies after World War II.

The biographical details in these verses come straight out of a NY Times article where a number of the workers were interviewed. In a time of globalization, where corporations seem to be angling to replace nations states as the seats of power and organization, and where workers rights are systematicall being reduced and even the concept of a job is becoming temporary, I felt like finishing this song was important.

The polarization of wealth in our nation now makes us more closely related to Central and South America than to Europe. The same can be said for the politics of fear and the rabid attacks on those of us who dissent from the government-corporate line.

Long before he was lynched by his own people, the father of fascism, Mussolin noted that “Fascism should more accurately be named ‘Corporatism’, since it is the merger of State and Corporate power.”

This sounding familiar to you?

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