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Origins: Who Speaks for Me (Tom Paxton)

DigiTrad:
BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
BOTTLE OF WINE
DAILY NEWS
FOREST LAWN
GOODMAN AND SCHWERNER AND CHANEY
I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER WHERE I'M BOUND
JIMMY NEWMAN
MARVELOUS TOY
OUT OF LUCK, OUT ON ANOTHER HIGHWAY
RAMBLIN' BOY
SULLY'S PAIL
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN SCHOOL TODAY
WILLING CONSCRIPT


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olddude 06 Jan 09 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Rog Peek at work 07 Jan 09 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Jos 06 Mar 09 - 07:32 AM
Vin2 06 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,brother 06 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM
Joe Offer 06 Mar 09 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Tinker from Chicago 06 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM
GUEST 06 Mar 09 - 06:24 PM
Joe Offer 06 Mar 09 - 07:16 PM
Beer 06 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM
Joe Offer 06 Mar 09 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Jos 07 Mar 09 - 09:29 AM
topical tom 07 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM
banjoman 08 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM
Rog Peek 08 Mar 09 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Jos 10 Mar 09 - 09:09 AM
GUEST 19 Apr 09 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 09 - 08:00 PM
GUEST 09 Nov 14 - 09:05 AM
Jason Xion Wang 11 Mar 15 - 10:48 AM
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Subject: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: olddude
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 05:39 PM

I just found this one. There are other Tom Paxton video on youtube but just ran across this one . I don't remember this song by him. Can someone refresh my memory for me. What record was this on? When did he do it?

Tom Paxton who speaks to me


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Rog Peek at work
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:41 AM

on 'Bulletin' (Hogeye Records HOG 004 (42028)
1983)

Rog


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Jos
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:32 AM

Has anybody got the lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Vin2
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM

Saw Tom in Manchester last week and he is a brill as ever. Some luvly new songs and the owd favourites with the audience singing along nicely. Great stuff. May he sing long and prosper!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,brother
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM

I saw him in Newcastle and he was fantastic , great songs in fine voice and still took time to meet everybody after the show .
Great guitar backing and instrumentals from Robin Bullock also.
Trevor Bond


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:28 PM

This page (click) has lots of Paxton lyrics, but not "Who Speaks for Me." Anybody got a transcription handy? The YouTube recording is a bit too garbled to transcribe.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Tinker from Chicago
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM

Well, I remember the chorus at least. It has to do with, I believe, the average poor person in a war-torn nation trying to get by:

Who speaks for me, I who have no voice?
Who decides for me? It seems I have no choice.
Will I live, will I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One thing I would ask, if I dared, of the ones we never see:
Guns and dollars are voices for you. Who speaks for me?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:24 PM

This is (about) what I hear, but I'm missing some parts:

      They only come through
      They curse us and thought us with guns
      And sometimes they take us away
      And that's the end of that
      They go where they like in our homes
      Their eyes miss nothing of value
      And may the virgin go with you
      If you are ……….

    For 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 lifes?
    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?

    Mmm, mmm, mmm…..

    We are never asked, we are simply shown who …..
    We give up our youth and our blood, to a …………
    While the gods in the long white houses
    W……. the dust in their long black cars
    They regard us with faces of stone
    And the 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 lifes?
    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?

    Mmm, mmm, mmm…..

    We are going like cars
    We are held to be valuable things
    But gods in the long white houses, ask just as soon
    ……………………………………..
    We plug our guitars in silence, 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 lifes?
    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who 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 who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?


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Subject: ADD: Who Speaks For Me (Tom Paxton)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:16 PM

I think you did a noble effort of transcribing a piece that was very hard to hear. I found a recording on a CD called Shaw Brothers Collection. Here's my transcription:

WHO SPEAKS FOR ME?
(Tom Paxton)

The army comes through,
They curse us and prod us with guns;
Sometimes they take us away,
And that's the end of that.
They go where they like in our houses;
And their eyes miss nothing of value;
And may the Virgin be with you
If you've a gun or a knife.

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 this side, will that side 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 never asked,
We are simply shown to the fields;
And we give up our youth and our lives
To the cotton and coffee.
While the guards in their long white houses
Raise the dust with their long black cars,
They regard us with faces of stone
And 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 this side, will that side 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;
And the guards in their long white houses
Send to hear us sing.
In the hot, still air of the evening,
While the blossoms float on the pond,
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 this side, will that side 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?


I think the Shaw Brothers are New Englanders. I'm sure they must be singing about "the guards in their long white houses," but it sure sounds like "gods."

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Beer
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM

One of my favorites songs. I do it when the audience is right for it.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: ADD: Who Speaks For Me (Tom Paxton)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:36 PM

Now that's I've heard the Shaw Brothers recording, maybe I can make something out of Tom Paxton himself on the YouTube Recording:

WHO SPEAKS FOR ME?
(Tom Paxton)

The army comes through,
They curse us and prod us with guns;
And sometimes they take us away,
And that's the end of that.
They go where they like in our homes;
And their eyes miss nothing of value;
And may the Virgin go with you
If you've a gun or a knife.

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 never asked,
We are simply shown to the fields;
We give up our youth and our blood
To the cotton and coffee.
While the guards 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 guards in the long white houses
Ask us to sing.
In the heavy air of the evening,
While the blossoms float on the pool,
We pluck our guitars in silence,
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?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Jos
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:29 AM

Now that's just fantastic, Joe. Thanks a lot.
But having the english words, that's just my first step.
I sing Tom Paxton songs in dutch...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: topical tom
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM

Simply one of his many great songs by a true living folk legend.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: banjoman
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM

Saw Tom in Basingstoke 27th Feb - keeps on getting better and singing as well as when I first saw him in Liverpool back in the sixties. Long may he keep on singing. I rate him almost along side Pete Seeger as an Icon


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Rog Peek
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 12:19 PM

Tom was in Bristol 26th February, another great show. I'd say he's singing better than ever, and the songs keep on coming. From what he was saying, he's planning another trip next year, so we can look forward to that.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Jos
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 09:09 AM

The song is very "American"
I noticed, the americans understand right away what Tom is talking about.
For us europeans that's much more complicated.
We think, he's pointing at life in Latin America.

Could someone explane a little bit more?
For example about "the guards in the long white houses".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:51 PM

It's not
"the guards in the long white houses"
but
"the gods in the long white houses"

It's possibly my favoriate Tome Paxton song, and from one of my favorite Tom Paxton albums, but I think the publisher went out of business leaving the rights in limbo, so it's never been released on CD. I wore out my vinyl copy long ago, sadly. Worse, becuase the album isn't well know, Tom doesn't sing many of the songs on it often.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 08:00 PM

Also, it's not
"We pluck our guitars in silence"
but
"We pluck our guitars for survival"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who Speaks for Me (Tom Paxton)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 14 - 09:05 AM

I think you will like this. Tom's original versions:

From Bulletin (1983)
From Politics (1988)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who Speaks for Me (Tom Paxton)
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 11 Mar 15 - 10:48 AM

I think it's "the gods in long white houses". Tom said in a 1988 concert that he wrote the song a few days after the murder of three nuns in El Salvador in 1980.

I've put the chords to the song on my website here and I think I'd better put it here too:

               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?


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