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Give A Damn


Noel Stookey
1971 Songbirds of Paradise Music

You remember the song called "Give a Damn"
Some group sang last summer?
About people livin' with rats and things
The paper couldn't cover?
Well, it wasn't very popular
Nobody wanted to hear
And that's a shame 'cause a pretty tune
Was just what we needed that year

The first thing nobody wanted to hear
was "damn" - that was on the label
I mean it's okay if you just read it there
But you didn't bring it up at the table
So the radio didn't play the song
Except on the FM stations
Until some looter worked his way
Down to the United Nations
Then word got around that there's this song
All about the riots and stuff
So, they played "Give A Damn" on the noon report
Just once, but that was enough
Some cameraman with groovy footage
Of glowing embers and charred remains
Put the pictures with the song on the six o'clock news
Following the baseball game
Then everybody said it was a real fine song
"Why didn't we hear it before?
Let's all blame the radio stations
For bringing on the domestic war
Oh sure, we'd seen some articles
We knew some people needed help
But social workers take care of that
I mean, why give a damn yourself?"

Well, the reason that you didn't
And the reason that you  won't
Is you think you got a lot to lose
And the other fella don't
Oh you give a damn, well so does he
'You think the rest of us are just fakin'?
I mean what do you need that you got to give
Less than what you're takin'?
Where could you go?
Who could you see?
What could you do the best?
The book is in your left hand
Your right hand knows the address
Address your questions, address your money
Address your telephone number
But above all else, please address yourself
To give a damn this summer



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