Tag Archives: Peter Bergel

“Sing Like a Movement” Presentation – Portland, Oct. 26

Music for Social Change logoJust about every significant movement for social change in U.S. history has had a body of participatory music – music known and sung by activists and supporters alike. Singing together, besides being fun, had the effect of welding the movement together.  Indeed, Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, says, “You will be a movement when you sing like a movement.” This presentation, by lifelong social change activist and song leader Peter Bergel, takes its title and inspiration from Yarrow’s comment. It will be sponsored by Students United for Nonviolence on October 26 at 6 pm at Portland State University in SMSU (Smith) Room 227. It is free and open to the public.

Bergel is devoted to re-energizing today’s social change movements by offering them readily sing-able songs – songs that have the potential to weld crowds of people into movements through shared participation in singing.

In “Sing Like a Movement,” he traces the use of participatory music from the abolition movement through the labor movement, the civil rights movement and the anti-nuclear power and weapons movements to the present day in a fast-moving presentation during which he gets us singing these old songs, as well as some newer ones he has written.  He will be accompanied by fiddler extraordinaire Mark Babson.

Bergel’s recent CD, “Peace is Where You Make It,” featuring a dozen original participatory songs, will be given free to the first 50 people through the door.

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/705279272954749/

Angst from the First World

Watch and Listen to Peter Singing Angst from the First World at Sisters Songwriting Camp, accompanied by The Small Glories, Radislav Lorkavic, and Sam Howard. September 2016

Copyright 2016 by Peter Bergel

They were rich and snooty, they were sittin’ at the bar

When I heard one of them, she was talkin’ ‘bout her car

It was a gift from her daddy but what she said was a dumb thing

“It’s not a Mercedes, but at least it’s something.”

Made me want to spill her designer beer

‘Cause a First World problem is what we got here.


There’s too much goat cheese in the salad

Turned my credit card down, said it wasn’t valid

I know I shouldn’t judge what I overhear, but

A First World problem is what we got here.


Twitter is down and the Internet’s slow

Got poor phone coverage, the service blows

My coffee’s too hot, my jacuzzi’s too cold

Bought too much stuff, more than I can hold

Life is real hard, though you appear sincere

A First World problem is what we got here.


Got a bad haircut and now it’s starting to frizz

The convenience store is out of Cheez Whiz

You know the world won’t end if you miss that premiere

A First World problem is what we got here.


I can’t figure out my vacation plan

My hand won’t fit in the Pringles can

Got a zit on my cheek that looks like a crater

Can’t fit all my food in my refrigerator

This restaurant has no atmosphere

A First World problem is what we got here.


My house is too big and so is my car

I butt-called my AA sponsor from a bar

I send so many texts my screen has a smear

A First World problem is what we got here.


Had to park a really long way from the door

Restarting my computer is such a bore

My tan’s so faded I look like a ghost

And nobody liked my Facebook post

When I’m typing, my fake nails interfere

A First World problem is what we got here.


But how I can help is kind of unclear

‘Cause a First World Problem is a-a-a-ll we got here.