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Who Speaks for Me?


A E The army comes through, they curse us and prod us with guns. B7 E Sometimes they take us away - that's the end of that. A E They go where they like in our houses; their eyes miss nothing of value, B7 E And may the Virgin go with you if you've a gun or a knife. A E But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice. B7 E Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice. A E Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive? B7 E Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives? A E One question I'd ask, if I dared, of the ones whom we never see: B7 E Guns and dollars are voices for you, but who speaks for me?

We are never asked, we are simply shown to the fields.
We give of our youth and our blood to the cotton and coffee.
While the gods in their long white houses raise the dust in their long black cars,
They regard us with faces of stone and they grind us like corn.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask, if I dared, of the ones whom we never see:
Guns and dollars are voices for you, but who speaks for me?

We are born like calves; we are held to be valuable things.
The gods in the long white houses send to hear us sing.
In the heavy air of the evening while the blossoms float on the pools,
We pluck our guitars for survival, and we smile like fools.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask, if I dared, of the ones whom we never see:
Guns and dollars are voices for you, but who speaks for me?
One question I'd ask, if I dared, of the ones whom we never see:
Guns and dollars are voices for you, but who speaks for me
?

(Words and music by Tom Paxton, 1980)


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