Download “Witness”, my Occupy song, for free.

It’s been over three months since I visited OWS in Manhattan and was inspired to join the nascent Occupy movement, and so much has changed and changed again.  I have to confess that I’ve also been a little distant from OO for the past two weeks, not for any principled reason, mostly just consumed with getting ready for Wednesday and other personal affairs.  Not that that’s stopped me from obsessively monitoring my Twitter feed.

This song was written so early in the process of what I now recognize as a profound political transformation which has still not yet run its course.  There are some ways in which a certain naivete is apparent, like the lyric “we ain’t settled on a story yet, ‘cuz the conch keeps going ’round”; clearly the voice of one disillusioned and disappointed by the current order, but lacking conviction in any other framework for justice.  Still, that’s who I was when I penned it, and it still seems apropos regarding the perennial tensions between forces militant and nonviolent, radical and conciliatory within the movement.  I am not bringing this up to pick a side, only to note that we are all a part of this, and no sect has sufficient clout to exclude another, nor should we.  Solidarity must be more than a slogan.

Download the song for free, share it with whomever you think might appreciate it.  If anyone wants to use it for some relevant purpose (video, etc.), just write me at shareef at shareefali dot com.


Mic check! Mic check! 
Let me know I’m not alone! 
I’m a witness to this movement, 
Manhattan to San Anton. 
We ain’t settled on a story yet, 
‘cuz the conch keeps going ’round. 
Like Jesse said, we need a gathering, 
not just another crowd. 

Mic check! Mic check! 
You know there’s always been a war! 
Black, white and brown don’t wanna scrounge 
for table scraps no more! 
Best come up with what we ask for. 
Someday always comes too late. 
You wonder how to do it faster? 
Allow us to demonstrate! 

World keeps on swinging, and a mighty arc it makes. 
So no, I don’t know how long a revolution takes. 
But it’s better to burn long than to burn too hot or bright. 
Brother, leave a light on, we could be here all night! 

Mic check! Mic check! 
Hey, is this thing even on? 
Sometimes I can’t hear my voice, 
been screaming for so long. 
You say you don’t hear a message, 
but that’s ‘cuz you’ve plugged your ears. 
But I know my brothers and sisters 
all receive me loud and clear! 

Mic check! Mic check! 
Hate to occupy your time. 
Then again, maybe that’s one more thing 
you’ve taken that was mine. 
You’re scared you’ll topple from your totem. 
No, I don’t feel bad for you. 
I know you’ve got ninety-nine problems, 
but guess what? We’ve got problems too! 

World keeps on swinging, and a mighty arc it makes. 
So no, I don’t know how long a revolution takes. 
But it’s better to be misunderstood than to never make a sound. 
Sister, bring a blanket, we’re sleeping on the ground!

One thought on “Download “Witness”, my Occupy song, for free.

  1. very well written content all about the music. through the article one can become to know that how can a song can present the current affairs of politics. lyrics was excellent. thanks to Shareef for sharing this nice stuff.

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