DiFranco, Ani: Which Side Are You On?

Ani DiFranco, född 1970 och med judiskt-italienskt-amerikanskt påbrå, är en sångerska som man ofta återfinner på olika barrikader: hon har engagerat sig mot rasism, sexism, homofobi och fattigdom samt USAs krig runt om i världen och republikanska presidenter. Hon har en dragning till feminism och socialism, och det faktum att hon har gjort skivor tillsammans med den nu döde IWWaren Utah Phillips och sjungit bland annat Joe Hill placerar henne någonstans på den anarkosyndikalistiska kanten.

Musikaliskt gör hon intressanta plattor med mycket moderna rytmer i musiken, där arren är genomtänkta och de medverkande musikerna många. En av förutsättningarna för detta är säkert att hon ger ut sina skivor på det egna bolaget Righteous Babe.

Jag har förstått att hon är bisexuell, och den där dubbelheten tycker jag också – i flera avseenden – präglar låtvalet på CDn ”Which Side Are You On?” (Righteous Babe RBR073-D, 2012, distribution Border). En låt hyllar ”Promiscuity” (i flera meningar), medan man i andra finner en ömsint tvåsamhet – men kanske är det grundprincipen man hittar i ”Amendment”: ”family structures shall be free”.

Men i andra låtar tar hon häftigt ställning. Det gäller särskilt titellåten ”Which Side Are You On?”, där hon har satt ny text till gruvarbetarhustrun Florence Reeces klassiska text från 1931:

Which Side Are You On?

Ny text: Ani DiFranco, 2012
Ursprunglig amerikansk text: Florence Reece, 1931
Musik: Traditionell engelsk sång (”Jackaroo” / ”Jack Munro” / ”Jack Went A-Sailing” med flera) i bearbetning

They stole a few elections,
still we the people won.
We voted out corruption
and big corporations
We voted for an end to war
and new direction,
and we ain’t gonna stop now
until the job is done

Come on all good workers,
this year is our time!
Now there’s folks in Washington
that care what’s on our minds
Come one, come all voters!
Let’s all vote next time,
show ‘em which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?
Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

Thirty years of digging
got us in this hole,
the curse of reaganomics
has finally taken its toll
Lord knows the free market
is anything but free,
it costs dearly to the planet
and the likes of you and me

I don’t need no money lenders
suckin’ on my tit!
A little socialism
don’t scare me one bit!
We could do a whole lot worse
than Europe or Canada.
Come on Mr. President,
come on Congress, make the law!

Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?
Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

They say in Orleans Parish
there are no neutrals there,
there’s just too much misery,
there’s too much despair.
America, who are we,
now our innocence is gone?
Forgive us, Mother Africa,
history’s done you wrong.

Too many stories written
out in black and white,
come on people of privilege,
it’s time to join the fight
Are we living in the shadow of slavery
or are we moving on?
Tell me which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?
Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

My mother was a feminist,
she taught me to see
that the road to ruin is paved
with patriarchy
So, let the way of the women
guide democracy
from plunder and pollution
let Mother Earth be free

Feminism ain’t about women,
that’s not who it is for,
it’s about a shifting consciousness
that will bring an end to war.
So listen up you fathers,
listen up you sons,
and tell me which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

Which side are you on now.
which side are you on?
Which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

So are we just consumers
or are we citizens,
are we gonna make more garbage
or are we going to make amends?
Are you part of the solution
or are you part of the con?
Tell me, which side are you on now,
which side are you on?

De bästa insjungningarna av Florence Reeces originaltext har gjorts av Pete Seeger. Nu har han ställt upp med backing voice plus banjo i Ani DiFrancos nyinspelning och har dessutom med sig kören The Riverton Kids, som han tidigare har sjungit ihop med.

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