New Orleans

"New Orleans" by David Rovics

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Orleans

David Rovics link

Everybody knew that it could happen

The likelihood was clear

The future was coming

And now it's here

They had to fix the levees

Because otherwise they'd break

On one side was the city

Above it was the lake

It was in the daily papers

In bold letters was the writ

What would happen

When the Big One hit

But every year they cut the funding

Just a little more

So they could give it to the Army

To fight their oil war

In National Geographic

And the Times-Picayune

They forecast the apocalypse

Said it was coming soon

Preparations must be made, they said

Now is the time

It was years ago they shouted

Inaction was a crime

They said the dikes must be improved

And the wetlands must be saved

But Washington decided

Instead they should be paved

Because malls were more important

Than peoples' lives

So put some gold dust in your eyes

And hope no storm arrives

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

Years and years of warning

No evacuation plan

It was just if the waters rose

Just get out if you can

There were no buses

No one chartered any trains

There was no plan to rescue

All of those who would remain

All the people with no money

All the people with no wheels

All of those who didn't hotwire

One that they could steal

Thousands and thousands of people

Abandoned by the state

Abandoned by their country

Just left to meet their fate

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

And the people died

And then they died some more

They drowned inside their attics

An army of the poor

An army of the destitute

Who couldn't get away

And the world will remember

These sad and awful days

When people shouted from their houses

Dying on their roofs

When people came to find them

They were turned back by the troops

They died there with no water

They died there in the heat

They were shot down by the soldiers

For trying to find some food to eat

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

And now the city is in ruins

A massive toxic sea

Scattered through the nation

Half a million refugees

Here we are

In the richest country on the earth

Where the color of your skin

Determines what your life is worth

Where oil is the king

Where global warming is ignored

Where the very end of life

Is the place we're heading toward

Where it's more than just a metaphor

The flooding of the dike

And if we don't stop this madness

The whole planet will be like

updated: 16 years ago