Are you looking for a fun, meaningful way to enjoy Memorial Weekend with friends and family?

Check out the annual Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center from Friday, May 27th to Monday, May 3oth.                                                Here is a complete schedule:

For example, join some of our SSCAN folks at:

Seattle Labor Chorus performance on Saturday, 5 pm at the Cornish Theatre and Singalong on Sunday, 6 pm at the Cornish Courtyard.

Just Us Singers’ Singalong on Saturday, May 28th at 2 pm at the Cornish Courtyard. For your convenience, see the lyrics below.

Just Us Singers Song Sheet   Please Sing Along!     NWFL May, 2022

Classic & original songs for a just world.  (206) 769-4204, Rainier Valley, Seattle. Listen to some songs at Mike Wold/Singing to Remember

Peace-Salaam-Shalom by Pat Humphries

Peace, Salaam, Shalom (4X); then repeat

Peace Medley

Vine And Fig Tree (Hebrew folksong)

And everyone ’neath their vine and fig tree shall live in peace and unafraid (2X)

And into plowshares beat their swords,

nations shall learn war no more (2X)

Love to your neighbor

and love to the spirit of all life (2X)

Repeat 1st & 2nd lines

Down by the Salish Sea

(African American Spiritual)

Gonna lay down my sword and shield,

Down by the Salish Sea (3x)


Chorus: I /Ain’t gonna study war no more, 6x

Gonna sing for peace around the world…


Chorus: I /Ain’t gonna study war no more, 6x

We Shall Not Give Up On Peace

(South African Folksong)

We shall not give up on peace.

We have only started, 3x; (Repeat all)

We’ll put an end to violence,

Hand holding hand, 3x, (Repeat all)

There’s enough for all of us;

Peace will prevail, 3x (Repeat all)

Singing Through the Hard Times

by Utah Phillips

Sometimes our living gets so dark & lonesome

It seems like there’s nothing we can do

So we reach out to each other

& raise a song together

And let our voices carry us through


We are /Singing thru the hard times (2x)

Working for the good times to come (repeat)


And when the war clouds gather,

it’s so easy to get angry

And just as hard not to be afraid

But you know in your own heart,

no matter what happens

You just can’t turn your back and walk away

Chorus: We are singing….

So hand in hand together,

we help each other carry

The light of peace within us every day

If we can learn to live it, to walk & talk & give it

That world of peace won’t be so far away

Chorus: We are singing…. (2x)

Why We Sing by Mike Wold

Because a worker will make less

Than 50 years ago,

Because reforming welfare threw

So many off the rolls,

Because the social safety net

Has gotten full of holes, …that’s why we sing.

Because a woman’s choice

has been eroded by decree,

Because one soul in prison

means the rest cannot be free,

Because our climate chaos means

there’s no safe place to be … that’s why we sing.

Chorus: We sing the way some people laugh,

The way some people cry.

We sing because we’re not prepared

To cash it in and die.

We sing because we know there’ll be

No pie up in the sky.

We sing for the courageous folks

Who rise again and try.

Because the police seem to think

it’s OK to kill blacks.

Because the FBI and NSA

can sneak behind our backs,

Because our wars kill more than die

In terrorist attacks…that’s why we sing.



We sing our faith that change comes from

The bottom, not the top.

We sing our vow to fight for justice

And we’ll never stop.

We sing to bring about a world

Where all share what they’ve got.

We sing to bring the light of hope

To places where it’s not!

& we believe that everyone should live w/ dignity, And when the people join our song

It’s beautiful to see,

Because we want to live in peace

And in prosperity … that’s why we sing.            (Chorus) We sing……

That’s why we sing,

On picket lines, in concert halls,

That’s why we sing,

To those who struggle and to you all,

That’s why we sing,

We stand prepared to answer any call,

That’s why we sing, that’s why we sing.

A House for the Homeless  by Mike Wold

Chorus:Sing a dream house for the homeless

For the guy in the doorway,

The woman on the street

Sing a roof & 4 walls, bed & bathroom for all

And a kitchen with plenty to eat

Sing a dream house for the homeless

For the family asleep in their car

Where the rent is real cheap

There’s no shortage of heat

And the good jobs are not very far

Take Julie out there, looking worn out with care

Got an A.A. in office admin

But harassment at work got her out in the dirt

And she never got back in again

And Jimmy arrived from a long Greyhound ride

He was hired on a fast-moving line

But when orders slowed down,

No more jobs could be found

And he just couldn’t pay rent on time

Let’s change this world for the homeless


We all make mistakes; they say that’s the breaks

But when people get broken, that’s wrong

And sometimes we fall, but that shouldn’t be all

For folks like the ones in this song

I don’t like to preach, but I do have to teach

How what happened to them isn’t strange

We could all take their place,

With a small twist of fate

That’s why the whole system must change

Let’s dream a world for the homeless

Bob came from the res, made a good life he says

Bought a house where he thought he could stay

But the interest rate rose

and his home was foreclosed

So he’s down in Tent City today

And Nancy was smart, but a guy broke her heart

And took all her money besides

She’d be on her way up,

but she can’t make a buck

That’s why she’s sleeping outside

Let’s change this world for the homeless

There’s lots more we’ll do before we get to

A world that takes care of its own

Pay a livable wage, make rents harder to raise

Defend people’s right to their homes

And just to be fair, make the rich pay their share

What they pay now’s a sin and disgrace

So let’s organize and prioritize

What it takes to get out of this place

(Chorus)Sing a dream house…

Let’s change this world for the homeless

Across the Borderline                           by John Hiatt, James Dickinson, Ry Cooder There’s a place where I’ve been told           Every street is paved with gold                     And it’s just across the borderline

And when it’s time to take your turn

Here’s a lesson that you must learn

You could lose more

Than you ever hope to find


When you reach the broken promised land

And every dream slips through your hand

Then you’ll know that it’s too late

To change your mind

‘Cos you’ve paid the price to come so far

Just to wind up where you are

And you’re still just across the borderline.

Up and down the Rio Grande

A thousand footprints in the sand

Reveal a secret no one can define

The river flows on like a breath

In between our life and death

Tell me who’s the next to cross the borderline

(Chorus) When you…..

En la triste-oscuridad

Hoy tenemos que cruzar

Este río que nos llama más allá

But hope remains when pride is gone

And it keeps you moving on

Calling you across the borderline

(Chorus, repeat last three lines)

Locally Grown John Forster & Tom Chapin

If I were an apple, I’d be very unhapple

Traveling 4000 miles or more,
From far off Tasmania, in a shipping contain-ia,

To a shelf in a Washington store.

Why should I be tortured

When some Washington orchard,
Would be totally thrilled to the core

To pick me & crate me & load me & freight me, not 4000 miles, but 4?
An apple should be not far from the tree

where it ripens in the fall.
(Chorus) Locally grown and locally eaten

is globally good, good, good for us all. (2x)

If I were a berry, I expect I’d be very         contrary and hardly inclined
To ship out from Chile to a store in Tukwilly.
Hey, I’d have to be out of my mind.                      It seems paradoxic and carbon dioxic
That we force all our food to commute,       wasting gallons of fuel, which we know isn’t cool for people or planets or fruit.
A berry is fine not far from its vine,

near the farmer’s market stall.
(Chorus)Locally grown and locally eaten, is globally good, good, good for us all. (2x)      So when you’re walking the aisle

past a beautiful pile
Of the fruit you might want to take home.

Do not buy for your table,

‘Til you check out the label

and determine how far it did roam.
Aside from the karma of helping the farma,

who lives in your county or state.

The very best reason to buy what’s in season:

the taste is incredibly great!

So keep buying foods

from your regional dudes,

Keep your carbon footprint small.
(Chorus: Locally grown…) (2x)

Power from Above by Dan Berggren

Sinners are you ready for a little redemption

To receive forgiveness for what we’ve done?

The time has come to break bad habits

It’s time to turn to the wind and sun

Chorus: Just a little more power from above

Just a little more faith respect and love

For this old earth our only home

It may take strength to say no

to that power from below.

But there’s salvation in the power from above

There’s a better way than barrels of oil

There’s a better way than lumps of coal

There’s a better way to work together

Renewable power, that’s our goal


What will we do for a better world?

Get on our knees to hope and pray?

Well that’s not enough unless we change

The judgment day is every day

Wars have been fought over who owns oil

Lives have been lost and fortunes won

But you and I will someday win

‘Cause no one owns the wind or sun


Yes there’s salvation in the power from above

Simple Song of Freedom  by Bobby Darin


Come and sing a simple song of freedom.

Sing it like you’ve never sung before.

Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere,

We, the people here, don’t want a war

People round the world can you hear us?

We don’t want to occupy your land

We just want to be someone known to you as me

And we’ll bet our lives you’ll understand


And people ’round the world, are you listening?

Lots of what you hear is full of lies

But speaking one to one, ain’t it everybody’s sun

We wake to in the morning when we rise?


Now some folks just enjoy doing battle

Like presidents, prime ministers and kings

So let ’em scream and fuss,

but please don’t involve us

The people of the world would rather sing.

(Chorus) (repeat last two lines at end)

Can You Breathe? by Mike Wold

Can you breathe

when a man dies in a choke hold

Can you breathe

when they clear protest off the street

Can you breathe when the verdict is foretold

Can you breathe

when they knock folks off their feet?

(Chorus)  Can you breathe? Can you breathe?

While all around you all the people grieve?

Can you live as you choose,

What is it you believe

If after all that you have seen

You can breathe?

He was drivin’ down the street                    mindin’ his business                                      When the police pulled him over for a stop    They say he offered them too much resistance But murder’s just the same done by a cop        His death was “unfortunate, an accident”       They thought his hand was pullin’ out a gun  They treated it like just another incident          And his killer still is walkin’ in the sun.      Chorus. Can you breathe….

Now you know that we’re all in this together

And a total system change is what we need

There are lots of different ways

our lives are fettered

& those chains are reinforced by corporate greed

Can you breathe

when they lock folks up for lifetimes

Can you breathe while they build that border wall

Can you breathe

when they build another pipeline

Can you breathe while the rich take it all?

Chorus. Can you breathe….


Now I won’t say that I don’t believe in progress

And it’s clear the good that civil rights did bring

But still this society’s in regress

And it’s time to give that pendulum a swing

If you want to breathe,

then tell them black lives matter

If you want to breathe,

then come out, take a stand

If you want to breathe,

then let’s create the answer

Let’s roll justice out right across this land.

Chorus; Can you breathe…..

Power of the Union by Si Kahn

Some people never say no to the boss

They take what they get for their labor

Others will stand up whatever the cost

And fight for the rights of their neighbor

Chorus: Every day, every night, will you fight for the things that you believe in?

Will you stand, hand in hand,       

Hand in hand with the power of the union?

Some people never say what’s on their mind

In a hard time you hardly can find them

Others will stand up the first in the line

And hold on till there’s hundreds behind them

(Chorus) Every day,….

Come in, close the door, between you and me

I’ll tell you just what the truth is

The power and spirit we feel in this song

Are born in the power of the union.

(Chorus) Every day,…

Some people never say yes to a dream

They say change can wait until later

Others will keep on until they succeed

Then fight for a dream even greater

(Chorus) Every day…


There Is a Wall by Charlie King

There is a wall and it’s the tallest wall of all       There is a wall and it’s the tallest wall of all    They named a street for it                                      where numbers roll and eyes go blank                A wall of gold, they buy the future with the past They call it work, just feels like money in the bank                                                                        And way down at the foot of that wall          Where the guard can barely see her at all           A woman is standing, not asking, not demanding   a poor woman is standing

with a hammer in her hand

Chorus: Don’t you want a piece of that wall   when it comes down?                                    Don’t you want to live to see it fall

when it comes round?                                               When that wall is gone,                                   no matter which side you were on                   Can you say you took a piece of that wall down? Don’t you want a piece of that wall?

There is a wall and it’s the meanest wall of all

Stretched from my doorstep straight back to 1492

It hides the ovens,

it hides the settlements, the homelands

Pink triangles, shackles, passbooks and tattoos

And way down at the foot of that wall

Where the guards can barely see him at all

An old man is standing not asking not demanding

An old African is standing

with a hammer in his hand

(Chorus) Don’t you want…..

There is a wall and it’s the oldest wall of all

A wall of fear, holds danger out, desire in

A wall that bristles,

each time the warden brings back tales

Inside we’re starving…

to buy the bricks to build the cells to bury love

To bar the door, to ban the stranger

And way down at the foot of that wall

Where the guards can barely see at all

A stranger is standing, not asking not demanding

A stranger is standing w/ a hammer for your hand

(Chorus) Don’t you want….


Freedom Medley

Woke Up This Morning

By Rev Osby & Robert Zellner

Woke up this morning with my mind

(my mind it was) stayed on freedom (3x)

Hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah!

Walkin’ & talkin’ with my mind…

Singin’ & workin’ with my mind…

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody (Albany movement)

Ain’t gonna let nobody / turn me around (3x)

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around.

I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a talkin’ Marchin’ down to freedom’s land.

Ain’t gonna let injustice / turn me around (3x)                 Ain’t gonna let injustice turn me around

I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a talkin’ Marchin’ down to freedom’s land

 This Little Light of Mine (traditional)

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (3x)                                      Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

All around the whole wide world,

I’m gonna let it shine (3x)

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

We Shall Overcome by Zilphia Horton, Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan, Pete Seeger

We shall overcome (3x) some day,

Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

We shall live in peace (3x) someday.

Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.