21st-Century Do Re Mi

Based on Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” (1940).

Lots of folks down south, they say, headin’ north every day
Desperate to get away from poverty and crime
Back home the gangsters own the cops, climate change has killed the crops,
The tragedies just never stop, their lives’re on the line.

But the police at the port of entry say,
“You’re number fourteen thousand for today,” and


If you ain’t got that do re mi, boys,
If you ain’t got that do re mi,
You better go back to beautiful Libya,
Guatemala, Nicaragua, DRC.
You may dream of being European,
Or America may be your fantasy,
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got that do re mi.

Maybe they board a leaky boat, or maybe they try to swim or float
To happiness that’s just across that river or sea
Or jump a train that’s speedin’ by, or just keep walkin’ if they can’t fly,
Riskin’ life and limb, to be free.

But the Northern papers say it every day:
“We don’t want you brown-skin people, go away!” and


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