Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

What Do You Mean By Freedom?

Don’t you like liberty? Don’t you want us to be free?
Well let me see… what do you mean by freedom? 
I think you should pay your share But you want laissez-faire
You’re on the air… what do you mean by freedom?

A certain kind of freedom May bring you happiness.
You get all the profits While we clean up all the mess
Freedom just to roll the dice While other people  pay the price,
Well, that ain’t nice: what do you mean by freedom?

Freedom to start a war Put your money right off shore
Well, let’s explore … what do you mean by freedom?
Hide the money, hide your tracks, Blowin’ off your income tax,
Get off our backs… what do you mean by freedom?

Freedom to tap the phone, Free to read our mail.
Free to get too big to fail, Too big to put in jail
Free to cause a lot of pain, Acid rain and hurricanes,
That’s why I’m sayin… what do you mean by freedom?    

The 1% can rob you with a seven-letter word,
Twist it all around until you don’t know what you heard.     
Get to feeling dizzy, and start to turning green.
How ’bout we talk about what it really means?

It’s not just for some, it’s for everyone.
That’s what I mean by freedom.
An opportunity to live in dignity.
That’s what I mean by freedom.

Clean water, clean air, Good food, and folks who care,
To speak any time without fear.
Where everyone in town has enough to go around,
That’s what I mean by freedom.
When we vote on ending wars, And my vote’s as good as yours,
That’s what I mean by freedom !    

©Doug Hendren and Nancy Beall 2014

What’s it about?  In a word, language matters. Americans have very strong feelings about the words “Liberty” and “Freedom”, but in recent years, the notion of “Freedom” has been used against our people and our democracy, with devastating effects. A paper-thin veneer of ultra-wealthy people have captured our political system and our economy. In the name of “freedom” the Wall Street banks have escaped regulation and crippled our economy. The so-called “free market” is free for transnational corporations, but disastrous for poor people and nations, and has hurt millions of Americans whose jobs were shipped overseas. I don’t need to belabor the point. I only ask people to start thinking critically. Whenever you hear someone talking about freedom, ask yourself what they really mean!

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