Election Day Tunes Tuesday: James McMurtry

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s finally Election Day!! I know that many of us are ready for the political ads and phone calls to stop – I am too. But today is election day and every vote matters.

It looks like it might be difficult to vote this year in some areas, which I think is outrageous. But I hope people do what they need to do to vote and that we have a clean and clear outcome at the end of the day.

Elections matter. And there is a lot at stake.

We Can’t Make it Here
James McMurtry

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free

No one’s paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget’s stretched so thin
And there’s more comin’ home from the Mideast war
We can’t make it here anymore

That big ol’ building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can’t make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They’re just gonna set there till they rot
‘Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don’t come down here ‘less you’re looking to score
We can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
The tip jar’s light and the register’s low
The bartender don’t have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can’t make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it’s way too late to just say no
You can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
‘Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ’em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their sh@# don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
Their kids won’t bleed in the da$% little war
And we can’t make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let ’em eat jellybeans let ’em eat cake
Let ’em eat sh$%, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can’t make it here anymore

And that’s how it is
That’s what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you’re listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That’s done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There’s rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can’t make it here anymore

What do you think? Have you voted? Did you have any problems voting? What do you think about the early voting challenges this year?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!


Filed under Culture, Economy, equality, Ethics, Income inequality, Music, Peace, Poetry, Policy, Politcs, Poverty, Privatization, Role of Government, War

23 responses to “Election Day Tunes Tuesday: James McMurtry

  1. I will be voting soon. One of the advantages of a small town: no waiting! Let’s hope this thing turns out well after all the wasted money and bloat and rhetoric.:)

  2. We can’t vote but we do hope it’s clear cut and no legal action is necessary.

  3. I have never missed voting in an election!

  4. I did it first thing this morning!

  5. We voted on Thursday and had no problem getting in and out. No lines is what I like about voting early.

  6. The money they have spent on this cirques … they could have fed so many people – they could have made schools better, help the sick and sheltered the homeless … but it just has gone up in smoke .. terrible.
    In Sweden when we have an election – 87% of us vote – and we have anything of this carry on, not even the shadow of it. American people, it’s your choice and .. only you can change it. Good luck today.

    • So true – imagine what we could have done with all the money that was spent on the campaigns…it is such a shame that money has so much of an influence in American politics. I wish a bi-partisan block of politicans would come together to change that. Thank you for the comment!

      • The money runs our whole world – but I wish that men that runs it .. should be more aware of what they spend money on.
        Money shouldn’t be the main reason for a man should make it to the White House or not.
        Terrible! But it’s only the men in the White House that can change that.

  7. Waiting in line. It’s been 45 minutes. My husband waited an hour and a half. I consider it a good problem that there are long lines.

  8. Wow!!, those words are very powerful. Never heard that song before. Thanks for posting.

  9. I voted, but have to say I will be glad when this is over. Politics has been so all consuming and vitriolic in this election. I hope we’ll have a clear winner tonight and can move on in addressing those issues James McMurty articulates so well.

  10. Great post. I am tired and happy this morning. Obama, Warren, Baldwin in and no to the inanity of Akin, Mourdock and West (and almost Bachmann).

    • 🙂 I was tired and happy all week – and really fell behind in the blogoshpere! Thanks for your comment here and your thoughtful commentary over in your world. I will catch up here soon! 🙂

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