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Ballads Under New Regime [Reprise]

by John Burgess & Jed Myers

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PACKED UP AND READY TO GO Got my passport renewed Got my address up north Got my trunk full of maps Got my tank full of gas Got my DNA test Got my Plymouth colonists Got my persecuted Protestants Got my Dutch immigrants Got my hoodie up Got my legitimate weed Got my savings in gold Got my wallet full of ID
MY GUY DOESN’T KNOW ALEPPO Oh darling, how dreadful these foreign affairs How love is buried under rubbled ton Who am I to speak of such matters Told in briefings, whispered in ear Advisors don’t know what land’s in your heart Let’s stay home, dear, keep our bedroom secure
Dakota 01:06
DAKOTA River will rise Flood that camp High water Leave no trace No tail no turn Redraw that line Drive your stake Into higher ground
WALT WHITMAN’S OCCUPATION IS POET Closeness happens as a matter of density Huddled atoms orbit, clash randomly Electric, riotous and well-loved Poets to come amass when shoved—
READING BEI DAO IN EXILE Write about the moon And it’s a political act Mention bees swarming And you get a riot Tell us what you dreamt And we interpret horses As unfettered democracy As cavalry charging in Choose the word “spring” And the Eastern City tweets Make it a couplet And you stop a tank
Idaho 01:00
IDAHO What love is found In predawn maneuvers Military trucks keep Engines humming No protection As troops advance Uneasy ceasefire Before detonation What line is drawn What border crashed A minefield waits Outside our room
HEY, THAT BOY’S WEARING PINK Take me down where the line gets blurred Take me down where the line gets blurred End up where there’s only one door I wanna be where labels don’t matter I wanna be where labels don’t matter End up where there’s only one door Don’t make me choose because I won’t Don’t make me choose because I won’t End up where there’s only one door Watch me cross their arbitrary border Watch me cross their arbitrary border End up where there’s only one door
BLAH BLAH BLAH (ANOTHER CONGRESSIONAL HEARING) Word choice matters Language clatters Media chatters Blah blah blah Tongued enemy No subtlety Lies publicly Blah blah blah Mouths flap Fill news gap Load of crap Blah blah blah
EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED IS MY FAULT —BOB KAUFMAN What proof you ever lived these times These streets your awareness walked History leaves movements in fragments Hauls your evidence away in trucks Documentation left in files Statements given and never taken Your memories redacted Unpublished and never spoken
Wyoming 01:32
WYOMING Boxed in and off the grid They’ll have to hunt us down Keep the shotgun loaded Hold me tight in your arms


America hungover ... Clouds gathering ... Talk of moving to Canada ... Lack of understanding of foreign affairs ... New nationalism ... Dakota Pipeline Access protest ... Tweets and text messages ... Military manuevers and terrorist attacks ... Gender and bathroom laws debate ... 24/7 unfiltered news ... And loss ... And love.

These ballads were written during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration (2017.01.20-04.29).

As always immense and deep thanks to Jed Myers for his incredible intuition in scoring and underscoring each track -- revealing and reveling in their intent and meaning. It had been 10 years since Jed and I recorded the first Ballads Under New Regime, then during the Bush Administration. Urgent and uncensored -- reflecting these times -- we reprised the Ballads in Jack Straw Studios -- more often than not in just one take -- live, together.

Hope for an end to these Ballads. --jb


released October 5, 2017

Words & Voice = John Burgess
All music = Jed Myers

Engineer & Mix = Moe Provencher
Recorded 2017.06.29 at Jack Straw Studios, Seattle WA

Cover photography = J. Edward Moss
More at Instagram @j.edwardmoss


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John Burgess Seattle, Washington

John Burgess writes poetry in public places. His first book was Punk Poems from Ravenna Press.

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