2016/10/17

The Campaign Song


Joseph played this protest song for the time during its session of May 26, 2016 at WFUV to promote "The Family". This first version was played with a piano.


On 15 July 2016, a new "Guitar" version surfaced during his session for Paste Magazine.


On 27 September, a studio version of the song appeared on a SoundCloud account in the name of Lyburn. The cover of the song referred to a "Unfinished EP # 1". The track was deleted the next day.


On 17 October, Joseph Arthur releases free download of The Campaign Song, an Anti-Trump song America can rally behind!

Here's a copy of the official website :

"Like many Americans who are beyond appalled at the candidacy of Donald Trump, Joseph Arthur felt the need to speak out in the best way possible for him, a protest song.

The Campaign Song is the result of Arthur’s frustration with the current state of affairs around this year’s Republican candidate.

“Woody Guthrie wrote a protest song about Donald Trump’s grandfather. So this is like carrying the torch for Woody,” Joseph remarked. “I used the lingo of a by gone era to accentuate that aspect like ‘America really should boot bums like this out’ and ‘Old scratch’. I wanted to use the lingo of Trump’s elders as subtle form of linguistic manipulation designed to send him under his bed shivering like the whimpering maggot that he is.”



Download Now

The video, created by Ehud Lazin features footage from artist Spencer Tunick’s large-scale anti-Trump installation “Everything She Says Means Everything.” (http://www.elle.com/culture/news/a39943/spencer-tunick-donald-trump-documentary/)

“The old guard, extremist republicans are an enormous threat to the rights and freedoms of women and immigrants,” Tunick commented. “It was true before but has become even more dangerous with the republican ticket of Trump and Pence. Joseph Arthur’s new anti-Trump song recognizes this threat as he voices his opinion regarding these issues in the best way, a song that we can all really get behind. Spreading the word through protest music and art has a long history in Rock and Roll. I am honored that Joseph chose my footage from my 100 woman nude Cleveland Republican National Convention art action to interweave into his new video. These women went to extremes to show their disdain for the Republican ticket. I hope everyone can share Joseph’s new song!"

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The Campaign Song / Lyrics

Let’s make America great again
Is the slogan of the liar
who is stoking up the fire
of the racists and the bigots who are following him

Trump is a chump
Trump is a con
Old scratch himself
Selling us to Babylon
Cut himself like a pig
From one ear to the next
So we could watch him bleed out
All this hatred he’s vexed.
Him and his people
Racists of clout
America should really boot
Bums like this out
America in trouble
From within and without
Our freedom being tested
Just like crops in a drought

Let’s make America great again
Is the slogan of the liar who is stoking up the fire of the racists and the bigots who are following him
So let’s take America
Back away from them
The prisoners of fear
Who could never get it clear
That the hatred that they’re spewing is just coming from them

The days of free weapons
And mass murder glare
It’s hard to say Jesus
Or even God could still care.
Trump is a rat
But we are his hole
America now rotting
From its need to control
Where lunatics thrive
And idiots rule
and prayers for the dying
Are coming from every fool
America now shattered
From it’s stolen greed
Falling over survivors
Breathing heavy from their need.

Let’s make America great again
By not voting for the liar who is stoking up the fire of the racists and fear mongers following him
So let’s take America
Back away from them
The prisoners of fear
Who could never get it clear
That the hatred that they’re spewing is just coming from them

Outro:

We know the way
So we gotta move on
If we want to make the grade
We’ve been enslaved
That’s the times we live in
Most of us are underpaid.


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2016/10/02

Joseph Arthur on "Days Of Surrender"



I made this record mostly alone in my small studio in Brooklyn
Played all the instruments and sang all the songs
Engineered it as well
Except for when I recorded the drums
(And then Merritt Jacobs lent me his expertise and enthusiasm
Nothing gets done without enthusiasm so thanks, Merritt.)

I didn't overthink it. I wrote the songs at the same time I recorded them. Wrote the lyrics on stretched canvas, because I didn't have any paper around. I'm a painter, so often I have canvas but sometimes not paper.

I think I spent about three weeks on this in total. But three weeks of constant work. 14 hour days. Almost like walking yourself into another sphere to create a sonic world from the ground up, and then it's done and you send it to a few friends and they like it, but you struggle with the idea as to whether or not you should release it. Finding a label. Going tour. Talking about it. Defending it. That part of the process is so far removed from what it was to actually just make it.

I think we live in such a strange time for art and music. The way people take it in or don't. Short attention spans and I-don't-hear-a-single thinking can crush the chance of expression just getting out.

I read something Brian Eno said a long time ago, that albums can have different intentions (I'm paraphrasing), that some albums are big albums and some are small, and not big and small in terms of quality, but more in terms of what their intention is in the world.

Artists are taught to be afraid. By the stakes of what they put out and the judgment of others. And though I agree that you shouldn't just release any ole thing.

My favorite albums by my favorite artists tend to be the intimate outliers. Or to quote Jimi Hendrix, “I'm gonna wave my freak flag high.”

I hope you enjoy this little record I made for no reason but to see if I could dance with it. One more time.

It's called Days of Surrender.

JA