Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hazel Dickens

Hazel Jane Dickens - June 1, 1935 – April 22, 2011 -

Coupled with the recent passing of Joe Bageant, the death of the great Hazel Dickens is a tough one to take.

Just as you never had to wonder where Joe stood when you read one of his fantastic essay's, you could listen closely to the words of Hazel's songs and know she didn't just sing them, she lived, and believed them, with all of her heart. Here are two of my favorites from Hazel.

Black Lung -

"He went to the bossman but he closed the door. Oh, it seems you’re not wanted when you’re sick and you’re poor. You’re not even covered in their medical plan. And your life depends on the favors of man."

They'll Never Keep Us Down -

"...so working people get your help from your own kind. Your welfare ain't on the rich man's mind."

Hazel knew this as fact, she didn't have to be told different, she saw it and knew it. But, today we worship the rich. Many assume they got what they have because they were graced by God. Others assume they are rich because they deserve it. Joe and Hazel knew that they got rich off the backs of our brothers and sisters. And those of us who stand idly by and count the dollars we're able to skim away in our retirement plans, or as pickle vendors for the rich, because we're too damn scared of losing what we have, should be ashamed, simply ashamed. To paraphrase Joe, ARE WE OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER? THEN SEE TO IT THAT THEY GET A DAMN EDUCATION, SEE TO IT THEY GET A DAMN DECENT PAYING JOB! Don't sit behind your computer and type away on your blog about injustice, get off your ass and make it a personal mission to hold the rich accountable. They, and those that preceded them, have pulled the strings of power and created a country for their own benefit, one that continues to concentrate all of it's wealth in the hands of a few.

Bless you Hazel Dickens and Joe Bageant... you deserve better than the likes of me.

One of the documentaries on Hazel was appropriately titled, "It's Hard to tell the Singer from the Song"... you can view a clip of that one by clicking here.

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