Author Archives: peter

Stand Up for Standing Rock

Stand Up for Standing Rock

Copyright by Peter Bergel 2016

Key of Bm

Bm                      E

Stand together; shout, don’t whine

Bm                F#

Pretty soon: no pipeline.



Bm                A

Stand up for Standing Rock

Bm               F#

Stand up for Standing Rock

Bm                E

Stand up for Standing Rock

Bm                       F#-Bm

Because we can’t drink oil.


Bm                            E

Our slogan is: coal, oil, and gas

Bm                               F#

We’ll stand to see that none shall pass

Em                               Bm

Through the pipe no oil will flow


DAPL has got to go




Water’s life we keep on saying

That’s why we are disobeying

You could end this acrimony

By observing mni wiconi




Bm                      E

We don’t worry ‘bout elections

Bm                                  F#

We’re people from the four directions

Em                   Bm

Corporations rule no longer


People power will prove stronger
Chorus – repeat last line 3x, end on B


Book Peter’s “Sing Like a Movement” Presentation for Your Next Event

Just 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, said, “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. You can book it for a church, class, fundraiser or other event by calling Peter at 503-428-4280.

Bergel is devoted to re-energizing today’s social change movements by offering readily sing-able songs – songs that have the potential to weld crowds 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.

Bergel’s recent CD, “Peace is Where You Make It,” featuring a dozen original participatory songs, can be available for purchase as well.

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.

CD: “Peace Is Where You Make It”

Get Peter Bergel’s CD Now!

Makes a Great Gift.

CD Ad layout

(Click image to enlarge)

To order your copies of “Peace Is Where You Make It,” click the button below.

You Are Invited to listen to the tracks from “Peace Is Where You Make It” by clicking the links below. If you download the tracks instead of buying the CD, you are requested to make a donation of $1 per song you download.  To donate, click the Donate button below.

Tracks from “Peace Is Where You Make It”

Leave It In the Ground

Medicare for All

The Man Who Outed the Snoops

Peace Is Where You Make It

Mad As Hell

A Whole Lot More Cooperation

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Madmen at the Throttle

Never Enough

Got No Home So I Got No Rights

Things About Comin’ My Way

Carbon Blues

Make It Funny

Crazy faceMake It Funny

Copyright 2015 by Peter Bergel





C                                                      A

If you wake up in the morning feeling bad


Kinda sad and kinda mad

G                                     G7                          C       G7 C

And then you find the taxes stole all your money


You can growl and look on the darkest side

And curse until you’re feeling fried

Or take my friend’s advice and make it funny


The elephant’s dumb and you cannot bear it

The donkey’s chicken and you don’t care if

It rains but global warming’s made it sunny


You’ve spoiled your child by sparing the rod

Says the preacher on the radio who thinks he’s God

There’s nothing left to do but to make it funny.


There’s war and warming from there to here

But we’re s’posed to worry about married queers

The idiocy all around is simply stunning


The war on drugs is nothin’ but whacko

But we subsidize growing tobacco

Sometimes it’s quite a challenge to make it funny.


“A few good men” says a deadpan adman

As he sends us to war in Afghanistan

Sometimes it’s not funny, it’s just funky.


And as if that wasn’t bad enough

He thinks war with Russia’s just the right stuff

So I looked up on my back and there’s a monkey.


So I come right back to the place I started

Just because I want to live open-hearted

There’s nothing left to do but to make it funny. (Repeat last verse)

The Corporation Blues

Corporate States of AmericaThe Corporation Blues

Copyright 1999 by Peter Bergel


You’ve heard of Gen’ral Washington and Valley Forge

You know he won our freedom then from ol’ King George

If he could see big bizness tryin’ to turn us into slaves

He’d freak out in his coffin and turn over in his grave


With the corporation blues, yes, the corporation blues

It’s mighty bad news,

‘Cause we’re losin’ our ability to choose.


When a president’s elected, folks, I feel just like a serf

‘Cause all I see that’s hap’ning is the power of the purse

They’re spendin’ so much money just to put their guy in office

You can’t get in the game unless your hand’s in some deep pockets


That’s the corporation blues, yes, the corporation blues

We’re payin’ more than dues,

‘Cause we’re losin’ our ability to choose.


They’re tearing up our planet just to sell what we don’t need

Their very highest values: makin’ profit, theft and greed

Now that big comp’nies have more power than a nation

Their tool for domination is the World Trade Org’nization


Got the corporation blues, yes, the corporation blues

Better wake up from your snooze,

‘Cause we’re losin’ our ability…

We’re payin’ more than dues,

‘Cause we’re losin’ our ability…

It’s mighty bad news,

‘Cause we’re losin’ our ability to choose.


A Whole Lot More Cooperation

Cooperating HandsA Whole Lot More Cooperation

Lyrics Copyright 2015

by Peter Bergel

Tune: A Whole Lot More of Jesus and a Lot Less Rock’n’Roll

From the album “Peace Is Where You Make It”


Domination is all around us

Takin’ shapes that are too many to name

It’s built right into our culture

And we’ve all gotta share the blame



We need love instead of profits

And we got to make this our creed

We need a whole lot more cooperation

And a lot less corporate greed.


We got to put away the carbon-based power

We got to put away the nuclear bomb

We got to figure how to feed the hungry

Not blow the world to Kingdom Come




I don’t work for a big corporation

Won’t let the fat cats steal my sweat

The system doesn’t work for poor folks

And I’m not about to work for it




You know we’ve got to protect our planet

‘Cause it’s the only one that we’ve got

We can’t put poison into our water

And make our air radioactively hot.



The Man Who Outed the Snoops

Edward SnowdenThe Man Who Outed the Snoops

Copyright 2015 by Peter Bergel

From the album “Peace Is Where You Make It”

Tune: Charlie and the MTA

Let me tell you of the story of a man named Edward on a tragic and fateful day

Copied lots of secret documents into his computer, flipped the bird at the NSA.


And did he ever return? No he never returned, and his fate is ruled by kooks

He may live forever on the suff’rance of the Russians

He’s the man who outed the snoops.


Turns out the snoops are spying on all of us, no matter how American we are,

They record all our phone calls and copy all our emails, the way they guard our freedom is bizarre.


They’re watching foreign diplomats and checking out the Germans, they can track a billion calls ev’ry day

So who ya gonna call to find your long-lost cousin? The answer is the NSA.


Edward tried to warn us, not to trust our government, and to suspect the telephone line,

But a US Senator said that he’s a traitor, keep in mind her name is Diane Feinstein.


It’s perfectly legal for the government to spy on us, according to a loophole in the law,

In fact it seems that they can do anything they want to, it’s kind of like domestic shock and awe.


Now we know the snoops broke the law and all the rules, thousands of times every year,

If we all demand it, we might get back to sanity and stop all this living in fear.

Last Chorus

Then maybe he could return, end his Russian sojourn, and his fate won’t be ruled by kooks

Instead he could receive the gratitude we owe him

As the man who outed the snoops.

Never Enough

Man Eating the WorldNever Enough

Copyright Peter Bergel 2015




From the album “Peace Is Where You Make It


Holes in the ozone, old growth at the mill,

Israel and Palestine are screaming for a kill,

Oil on the ocean, critters dyin’ in the spill,

Maybe we could stop it, but we haven’t got the will.

Can’t even stop spendin’ to curb the deficit

If you can’t dig that, maybe you can dig this:

There’s plenty in the world for everybody’s need,

But there’ll never be enough for anybody’s greed.



Half of all our taxes go to build an iron fist

To strike against the enemy and now he don’t exist,

And still our leaders tell us we had better not desist,

In order to be safe you gotta be a pessimist.

I’m looking for some courage and a little leadership –

Someone up in Washington who hasn’t lost his grip –

Who’ll crack the books of history and there will plainly read

That there’ll never be enough for anybody’s greed



If you really love your country, if you love your Uncle Sam,

And you want to see us keepin’ up with China and Japan

Then you better raise your voices just as loud as e’er you can

And let ‘em know in Washington you want to see a plan

For doing something different, something braver than before,

Something more constructive than plannin’ for a war

Tell ‘em you won’t follow unless you see ‘em lead

‘Cause there’ll never be enough for anybody’s greed.



We gotta clean the water and we gotta clean the air,

Shelter all the homeless, get the streets in good repair,

Give the kids a reason to stay away from drugs

Like hope and opportunity and love and lots of hugs;

So don’t you ever tell me there’s not enough to do

Take the money from the war heads, it came from me and you;

But while you’re makin’ changes, be clean in thought and deed

‘Cause there’ll never be enough for anybody’s greed.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Copyright 2015 by Peter Bergel

From the album “Peace Is Where You Make It”

D                                Bm                  G                             A

Ron Williamson of Oklahoma was 12 years on death row

D                                      Bm           E                      A

Then they checked the DNA and had to let him go.



What (pause) do our religions say?

G                                A

Thou shalt not kill is God’s command.


What (pause) do our religions say?

E                                   A

Thou shalt not kill is God’s command.

G                                      A                (hold the A 4 beats)

So what part of “Thou shalt not kill”

       G                     D

Don’tcha understand?

Millions lie in prison in the land of the free

And there’s millions spent each time we turn that final key


More are in our prisons than teachers in high schools

Do we think the world respects that? If we do then we’re just fools.


More than half the people in this rich and blessed land

Still believe in killer punishment; it’s time to take a stand!

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