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Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

2012/01/15

Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald are a Northern California-based folk duo. This song, Ship Gonna Sail, was written for discouraged activists several years ago:

Paul wrote the song with the late Utah Phillips in response to frustration their local Peace Center friends felt when they tried to affect change, in particular after 9/11 and the subsequent wars. Paul and Eleanore explained, “‘Ship gonna Sail’ is Utah’s entreaty to us to not lose hope, and a reminder that many others before us have struggled to bring about positive change, often at great personal cost to themselves. The parts that make up a ship are many and varied, and each is important in its own way. We benefit from the work of others, as others will some day benefit from ours.”  (From LaborNotes.org)

*

Working on a ship we may never sail on 
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Working on a ship we may never sail on
But we’re gonna build it anyway

Sojourner Truth said “ain’t I a woman?”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Mother Jones said, “no child labor!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Eugene Debs said “no more prisons!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Joe Hill said “Don’t mourn, organize!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday

Working on a ship we may never sail on
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Working on a ship we may never sail on
But we’re gonna build it anyway

Mother Bloor said “sit down, sit down!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Paul Robeson said “I won’t stop singing!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Martin Luther King said “I have a dream!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Malcolm X said “Power to the people!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday

Working on a ship we may never sail on
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Working on a ship we may never sail on
But we’re gonna build it anyway

Dorothy Day said “swords into plowshares!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Cesar Chavez said “Viva la huelga!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Judi Bari said “No more compromise!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Phil Berrigan said “No more atom bombs!”
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday

Working on a ship we may never sail on
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Working on a ship we may never sail on
But we’re gonna build it anyway

Now they’re all gone but we’re still building
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Ship’s gonna sail to peace and justice
Ship gonna sail, gonna sail someday

Working on a ship we may never sail on
Ship’s gonna sail, gonna sail someday
Working on a ship we may never sail on
But we’re gonna build it anyway
We’re gonna build it anyway
We’re gonna build it anyway

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