Sunday, March 2, 2014


Plowshares Please
by tnplowshares

Several people requested we post this song, performed at the most recent Festival of Hope. Lyrics are by Ralph Hutchison; the performed version lifted the tune from Joel Rafael's excellent piece, China Basin Digs.

Plowshares Please

They cut the fence and they started in about a half past two
They had no doubt when they thought about what they were called to do
The prophet said that hammers would make plowshares out of swords
And people turn their hearts to study peace instead of wars

The second fence had a low wall, and bright light shone beyond
The sprayed a message “Disarm Now” before the chance was gone
In a moment they’d be surely caught, and so they poured their blood
A symbol of the justice that would flow down like a flood

Before them stood the Y12 plant, where nuclear bombs are made
Where Hiroshima’s death was formed, and where the devil’s paid
Their cutters snipped the second fence and they headed for the third
Compelled to act by lessons they had learned from Nuremberg

When people see the government is bent on doing wrong
They have no choice, they have to act, they can not go along
Whispering prayers they forged ahead, the nun was first in line
The reached the third fence and they read the lethal warning sign

But the cameras failed to capture them, the alarms were all ignored
They crept ahead and came to where the nuclear swords were stored
Still no guards came, they later said it was a miracle
They were kept at bay, heads turned away, the angels in control

They unrolled crime scene tape to say, “What happens here is wrong”
Poured blood and painted “Plowshares please;” they wouldn’t have too long
They painted on, each letter seemed, like a dove that was released
The words were like the voice of God; the fruit of justice, peace

And when a guard finally arrived, they met him with a bow
No gun was drawn, the guard could see there was no danger now
They offered him some bread to eat; they offered him their prayers
He radioed his bosses he had peace protesters there

They locked the Transform Plowshares up, for how long no one knows
But the seed of peace they planted there has sprouted and it grows
Who knows what act will turn the tide and lead the way to light
It’s the reason we’re required to do what we see is right

You don’t need all the answers, may not know precisely how
But ignorance is no excuse; the time to start is now
It’s enough to know we can not stand in silence anymore
Every dollar spent on bombs and guns is stolen from the poor

What started at Y12 that night in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Is somehow still a living thing, it lives in you and me
A dream, a vision, a prayer, a call for all those who have ears
Transform swords to plowshares, please, make pruninghooks from spears

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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