Hearts and Dollars

Hearts and Dollars (1985)

Hard folk and medium-hard rock. Thanks to John Guth and Mark Dannon, who enveloped my ideas with good noise
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The Lyrics:


Poison from some atom bomb experiments
Turned up twenty years later in the streams of Jersey City
Invisible contamination causin who knows what mutation
The plague is invisible but it sure ain’t pretty

Chemicals dumped in Times Beach, Missouri
And all the A.M.A. can say is that it’s too soon to call it dangerous
Kinda gives you confidence in the medical profession
Nice to know that everything is arranged for us

Then the government calls a commission
To investigate themselves
And round up all the perpetrators and bail em out

The underground water is contaminated
There’s no national system to check it out
Just a national system to contaminate it
A national disgrace and a race with doubt

Coal and chemicals, byproducts of buyoffs
Trickle down and seep into our sustenance
Kinda funny, kinda stupid
Kinda terrifying

Kinda gets you thinkin, kinda gets you cryin
Either somebody’s stupid, or somebody’s lyin

Industry is dumpin and pumpin poison
Into the land and the water and the air and the brain
They got a lotta nerve, they got a lotta muscle
Enough to shove us all down the drain

Then the corporation calls a commission
To investigate themselves
And round up all the perpetrators
And put em in charge

Kinda gets you thinkin, kinda gets you cryin
Either they’re all stupid, or they’re all lyin


Go to work in the morning, stay there all day long
There might be some idle moments on the way there
Or on the way back home
But they fill them up with the daily paper
Did you every really stop to wonder
In the evenin we go to the latest movie
As if it was our sacred duty
And off in the distance you can hear the screamin
Cries of a people in pain
Comin from the music on the radio

The work is meaningless, it just makes you mean
Pushin pencils and runnin around for the boss
Deliverin other people’s things and runnin in circles
While those other people just sit around and gather moss

Career achievements haven’t come
You’re parkin cars at thirty-one
And I met a man washin dishes at the age of sixty-five
I’m talkin bout people who have had their lives destroyed

Couple been married 37 years, all they can find to talk about
Is the Holiday Inn in Guadalajara
Coco-cola mixed with blood, clothes made of cotton
Are killin cotton pickers in South America
And South Carolina
I’m talkin bout people who have had their lives destroyed

My neighbor’s tryin to tell me bout a great new thing
I got to buy
He can’t tell he’s sellin me down the line
In this prostitution house they call the marketplace
He’s doin their dirty work, free of charge
I feel sorry for him, he coulda gone so far
I’m talkin bout people who have had their lives destroyed

Why is everybody runnin around bargain-hunting?
Where’s the self-respect, why do we waste our lives
Comparing prices and other vices
When we coulda been doin anything we wanted to

Have you seen the faces set in anger
People have forgotten what it’s like to be overjoyed
So full of fear, don’t try to cheer em up
I’m talkin bout people who have had their lives destroyed


Dog eat dog, the rat race life
Is surely hear to stay
Well they taught us that, didn’t they?

To live inside a prison of self-sale
For petty cash, to avoid the clash

The poison in the atmosphere
The poison in the rain
The poison in the fruits of earth
The poison in the brain
The poison’s in the paper
That you read before you vote
The poison it is everywhere
But where’s the antidote? Must we


The woman walks alone at night
The fear is in her eyes
The man intent upon attack
He’s swallowed all those lies


People shoot their lovers
And steal your parking place
Cops and corporations
Attack another race
Life is artificially preserved
Preserving present order which is
undeserved, and so we



He listened to the drumming
He knew his time was coming
His life upon the Earth was soon to cease
In a world full of fighting
And wrongs in need of righting
The man who went to war would find his peace
He rode a wave, his help he gave
And he went out with the tide
Nothing is more worth living for
Than the things for which he died

Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam
Lit the fuse of the American time bom
El Salvador, El Salvador, El Salvador
I see your light, I join your fight
You’re not alone, this is my war

With the guerrillas, beans and tortillas
Walk all night, sleep when you may
My friend was wounded, his blood it flowed red
I expected to die that day
The man above aims his gun
Putting people on the run
The helicopters are in the air
But our army is everywhere

When the best that we can do with life
Is to give it for tomorrow
Then the vision of an end to strife
Will help us through the sorrow
When the finest form of writing
Is not written on the page
Then the highest form of love
Is love combined with rage
Every drop of blood spilled in another country
To win freedom for a friend
Can only help to win your own
Now is the hour of the furnaces
Our light will be seen
Our power will be known


The biggest problem that we have today
Is that we spend our time listening to lies
There is a danger that if we could see
We would behave like human beings and arise

The papers say there’s trouble at the border
But they don’t tell us that it’s only common sense
Our foreign policy is called starvation
It hasn’t changed under twenty presidents

Overseas companies kill the millions by disease
Then they lie and we buy it just to watch on our TV’s
If you wonder why the truth gets so hard to find
They have purchased a controlling interest in the country’s mind

A man grows up, he gets a job and dies
I just throw up when my TV lies

Most of the minds of the nation
Have been smothered under rotten magazines
The hearts of a people wrapped in dollars
Locked up inside limousines

Is that any way to talk about your country?
Anyone can see we’ve got the best
But when democracy sits side by side with poverty
Then I say that
Some folks are votin on the fate of the rest



Three trains a year, 200 bombs a train
Crisscross the nation, carryin the final rain
Meanwhile they round up all the refugees
Who came up from the south
Back home they’re bound to feed em
A bullet in the mouth
Stop the death train
Stop the death train

Make your missiles, bleed your ghettoes
Over the hungry long may you reign
Train your troops and send em south
Stand up and shout, Long Live John Wayne!
That’s the death train
Stop the death train

Trains are runnin back and forth
Bring death to people, people to death
They come at night, they say it’s right
But we have the facts so block the tracks
Stop the death train
Stop the death train

How can we sit by and wait til the bombs fly
They’re already fallin from the sky on human beings
Why do we wonder when the 3rd world war will begin
It’s already happenin, we’re just hard of seeing

And then the boxcar took away the Jew
Later they all said nobody knew
Maybe they didn’t and maybe they did
Box car is loose again, they’re tryin to keep it hid
Stop the death train
Stop the death train

One day you are my neighbor, the next day you are gone
I’m tempted to ignore it, close my eyes and carry on
But once you’ve seen the ashes, can you ever be the same
If this is where the cash is, I refuse to play the game
Stop the death train
Stop the death train

Repeat verse 3


One fine morning the sun was shining
My worries overcame my intelligence
A little problem in my mind was whining
So I called up the Secretary of Defense

I didn’t get the Secretary, I just got the secretary
And she said the Secretary is out to lunch
I said I know that, just have him to call me
I need some information, I just might have a hunch





A little later on the phone set to ringing
As I picked it up, I could hear him salute
He said Defense here, I said oh dear
I’ve got a question, and like always he said Shoot!

I said Mr. Secretary, I work in a weapons station
I operate a keypunch, I’m servin the nation
But we’re storin warheads, so I guess we’re gonna have a war
And if you’re goin that way, I’m goin the other

He said if you don’t like it, get another job
We’d love to keep you in the family
But if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the empire
I have every confidence we’ll pull this one out of the fire

He said if I was planning a war I surely wouldn’t tell ya
But since I’m not you can forget your stress
And if the time should come when I think you oughta move
I’ll send you a shovel by UPS

(My Generation:)
I’m not tryin to cause a big sensation
Just tryin to wipe out the next generation
People try to put us down
Just because we nuke around

If you don’t like it get another job
We’d love to keep you in the family
But if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
We’ve still got a four-minute warnin
So quit your bitchin!

Why don’t you all f-f-f-fade away!


I didn’t fight for the Romans
I fought for the Christians and Greece
But when Christians turned into Crusaders
I prayed for their tribes to decrease

And I didn’t fight for the Spanish,
French, Portuguese or Dutch
When their ships sailed into the Indies
I said look but do not touch

And I didn’t fight for the English
When the colonies had to go
But I have to say, the very next day
I was fightin for Geronimo

And I don’t like to kill
Never have and never will
But I will fight for freedom
Though the battle be uphill
And I don’t fight for conquerors
Even if they’re presidents
They try to buy me with dollars
They must think I’ve got no sense
And I don’t keep my silence
When my country bombs a town
Cause I don’t fight for conquerors
I fight to bring them down

I didn’t fight for the Ottomans
Or the empire of the czar
When they asked me to kill in their colonies
I said who do you think you are?

And I didn’t fight for the Nazis
No, I fought for the Jews
And when Israel asked me to conquer
You know I had to refuse

But whenever I wake to a battle
And I see a side that is just
I will be there and I think you’re aware
I will do it because I must

In the sixties I tried to stop a war
While all of my Presidents lied
When Presidents stoop to conquer
I’m on the other side


I think I’ll buy designer jeans this fall
Lot of people got no jeans at all
In our leisure time we buy escape from the memory into the lie
It’s too hard to look at it, too easy to shine it on

Contamination of every nation
They’re dumpin defoliants we banned over here
They spray it on the land
Raising profits by ten grand
And it comes back in our coffee
And it comes back in our tea
But it’s too hard to look at it
Too easy to shine it on

Out of sight, out of mind
You can’t fight what you can’t find
Napalm burning, we are learning
The Free World is not what it appears

Neighborhoods you wouldn’t wanta walk through
People there you wouldn’t wanta talk to
Fear and hate you can see in their eyes
That is something no one can disguise
Too hard to look at it, too easy to shine it on

If they’re Black you better shove em back
Put em in the jail house
And kill em one by one
From Haiti up to Harlem
There’s rats inside the shack
But you don’t hear nothin bout it
Til they hit the streets
Too hard to look at it
Too easy to shine it on

Look up into the friendly skies
They are flyin in free enterprise
Napalm, nerve gas and the news
Helpin out the peasants
Like the Nazis helped the Jews
Too hard to look at it
Too easy to shine it on


I went down, took a look around
I went down to the city
I went down, took a look around
What I saw didn’t look so pretty
Down the middle run a railroad track
One side white and one side black
One side of town live pretty well
Other side of town look just like hell

Oh I begin to thinkin
How did it get this way?
Then I begin to wonderin
How long it’s gonna stay
Time we got to movin
Make it go away

I went down, took a look around
Walked the streets and alleys
Saw a nation up in arms
The marches and the rallies
Down the boulevard come a white mob
Sayin them aliens took my job
Out on the corner were three police
Upholdin the rich man’s peace

Too many people sittin in jail
Cause they didn’t have a dollar
Ain’t nobody ever gonna go their bail
Makes you wanta scream and holler
Long as the law brings poverty
Ain’t nobody ever gonna be free
Every time America’s goin to war
Comin closer to my back door


From the Susquehanna to the Mississippi
The coal and steel and automobiles are dyin’
From Davenport to Denver, the farms are broke
And the Senators and lawyers all are lying, lying

Seems like people are out of work
And so are some machines
When there’s no profit, they just off it
And for you, you know what it means
Parts can be replaced, workers go on welfare
If you want a job, join the Marines, the Marines

Twelve million tons of tailings
Stacked along the Colorado
And among their other failings
They just forgot to tell ya
With your job you get free disease
So you say I’m gonna sue ya
They say be reasonable
You don’t wanta lose your job, now do ya?

So many kinds of murder, you can’t even list em
I hate to bring it up, but what do you do
With such a system?

The Rocky Mountains are the backbone of the country
Rip out the minerals and you got no spine
Drain the Earth of her spirit
She will cry but they do not hear it
Just say “what this country needs
Is another mine, another mine”

Along the Rio Puerco, 100 million gallons
Of radioactive water have been spilled
They buried the article in the paper
Like they buried the babies who were killed

Now you can own a house and you can own a car
But when you own a factory that’s going a bit too far
You may say, “Let him achieve the things for which he strives”
But where’s the achievement in ownin’ other people lives,
People’s lives

The town fell down when the mill closed up
And crossed the border south
Down there the death squad moved in
To shut some hungry mouth
In a frozen flat in New York City
A man is found cold and curled
And all these things together are called
The Free World

So many kinds of murder
You can’t even list ’em
I hate to bring it up
But what do you do?


Think of it this way, they come to your door
They say you must move and they will prove it
That can’t happen here you say, this is the USA
But it’s not the same for those who were here
Before Columbus came…they’ve got to give up their claim

In 19 hundred 23 a tribal council came to be
To represent the Navajo
of the Big Mountain soil
The causes of the council’s birth
Will tell you what the council’s worth
The council was formed by Standard Oil

They came to conquer, possess and destroy
Steal land and livestock, livelihood and joy
Rape and destruction of the Mother Earth
When the water is poisoned, what’s it worth?
The natural law says to live with the land
And keep it for a daughter to hold in her hand

To those who fence and confine it
Who kill it in order to mine it
All I can say is Mr. Relocation, shame on you!

To help the Indians to help themselves
Sounded like a noble goal
Until the lawyer for the relocation
Turned out to work for Peabody Coal

Money-grubbing politicians, they all got ambitions
To turn traditions into their opposites
Even a commissioner said the relocation
Reminded him of a place called Auschwitz

To live a life of fear, it is not pretty
Think about it
Whatever happens here will happen in your city
Do not doubt it

The land is the answer, the land is the cause
You try to break our lives
We’ll have to break your laws