Satan Your Kingdom Will Come Down

from by 12 Dead in Everett

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about

Early union organisers addressed their fellow workers with only the assistance of an upturned crate. The "soap-boxers" of an early, iconic American union – the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) – often found themselves competing with the over-powering tones of a Salvation Army brass band sent to disrupt their agitation and shepherd the souls of the assembled crowd in a less threatening direction. In this context, a growing tradition among radical songwriters – the co-option of Christian music – came into its own. The organisers would pen and distributed (often bitterly sarcastic) parodies of popular hymns to convey their political message, and thereafter simply encouraged their audience to sing along to the accompaniment that the brass band had so graciously provided.

Utah Philips once said of the tradition of co-opted hymns that, “we liked to steal the old Christian music because everybody knew the tunes. We just changed the words so they made more sense”. This version of 'Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down' is our own contribution to this tradition. The song began its life as a well-known and wonderfully spooky piece of North American gospel music, expressing an admirable, if misdirected, passion to fight oppressive forces. In this parody we offer our suggestions as to where this passion might be better addressed. We kept the amazing title though.

lyrics

Dollars your kingdom will come down
Dollars your kingdom will come down
I heard the voice of the hungry say
Dollars your kingdom will come down

Profit your kingdom will come down
Profit your kingdom will come down
I heard the voice of the workers say
Profit your kingdom will come down

Bosses your kingdom will come down
Bosses your kingdom will come down
I heard the voice of the union say
Satan your kingdom will come down

credits

from We Bid You Welcome Brother Debtor, released May 19, 2016
Traditional, re-written and arranged by 12 Dead in Everett.

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about

12 Dead in Everett England, UK

A low-down, seditious trio playing old time, folk and rebel music. Songs to fan the flames of discontent and tell your boss to go to hell. Sweet harmonies of reason in a world deaf to exploitation.

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