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ID Song: I Went down to the rich man's house

Pamela_Calvert@itvs.pbs.org 25 Mar 99 - 12:29 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 08 - 03:44 AM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 08 - 06:14 AM
Joe Offer 27 Mar 15 - 09:30 PM
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Subject: Went down to the rich man's house
From: Pamela_Calvert@itvs.pbs.org
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 12:29 PM

I work for ITVS, we develop public television projects including THE UPRISING OF '34, THE FIGHT IN THE FIELDS and STRUGGLES IN STEEL.

We're now into the final stretch on OUTRIDERS, about the Kensington Welfare Rights Union's 1998 'Freedom Bus' trip, and the producer has hit a snag; she needs to clear the rights for a song that begins:

We-lll, I
Went down to the rich man's house and I
Took back what he stole from me
Took back what he stole from me
[etc]

"Rich man's house" is substituted in other verses by "enemy's camp" or "President's house."

Problem: the producer doesn't know where it comes from, who wrote it, etc. and the woman who's singing it in the show says she learned it at a march and doesn't know either.

Do you know anything about this song, and if not do you know who else I could ask? I can play it over the phone with a little lead time.

Reply to my email or tel 415/356-8383 x 242.

THANKS

Pamela Calvert
ITVS


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Subject: ADD: The Rich Man's House
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 03:44 AM

Gee, I wish we had noticed this post years ago, when it was originally posted. Didn't find the songwriter yet, but I found one version at http://juliusspeaks.blogspot.com/2007/03/rich-mans-house.html.

THE RICH MAN'S HOUSE
Traditional Labor Movement Song

Well I went down to the rich man's house and I took back
what he stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
well I went down to the rich man's house and I took back
what he stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
Now he's under my feet, under my feet, under my feet
Ain't gonna let the system walk all over me!

Well I, went down to the Landlord's house and I took back
what he stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
Well I, went down to the landlord's house and I took back
what he stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
Now he's under my feet, under my feet, under my feet
Ain't gonna let the system walk all over me!

Well I, went down to the Welfare Office I took back
what it stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
well I, went down to the welfare office I took back
what it stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
Now it's under my feet, under my feet, under my feet
Ain't gonna let the system walk all over me!

Well I, went down to the Governor's house and I took back
what he stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
well I, went down to the governor's house and I took back
what he stole from me
took it back
took back my dignity
took it back
took back my humanity
Now he's under my feet, under my feet, under my feet
Ain't gonna let the system walk all over me!


Recording by the Kensington Welfare Rights Union here (click)

Anne Feeney also apparently had something to do with the writing of this song.


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Subject: ADD: The Enemy's Camp
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 06:14 AM

Well, this source says "Rich Man's House" was written and sung by members of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.

I also found here (click) that there was a similar gospel song called "Enemy's Camp."

THE ENEMY'S CAMP

Well, I went to the enemy's camp and
I took back what he stole from me (x3)
I went to the enemy's camp and
I took back what he stole from me

You know
He's under my feet (x6)
Satan is under my feet

I went to the enemy's camp and
I took back what he stole from me (x3)
I went to the enemy's camp and
I took back what he stole from me

You know
He's under my feet (x6)
Satan is under my feet

I went to the enemy's camp and
I took back what he stole from me (x3)
I went to the enemy's camp and
I took back what he stole from me

You know
He's under my feet (x6)
Satan is under my feet



Audio here (click)
Video here (click)

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Version: The Rich Man's House
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 09:30 PM

Here's the version submitted to the Rise Again Songbook. A good, rousing activist song.

THE RICH MAN'S HOUSE

Well I went down to the rich man's house & I took back what he [they] stole from me
(Took it back) Took back my dignity
(Took it back) Took back my humanity (repeat)
Now he's - under my feet (x4)
Ain't gonna let the system walk all over me!

Am - - - / Dm - Am - :// Am - - - / - Dm Am -

2. landlord's house   3. welfare office 4. governor's house


Kensington Welfare Mothers & Anne Feeney

On Anne Feeney Have You Been to Jail for Justice?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etHmutc_Py8


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