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Poetry may not motivate folk to register to vote

So I had another of my many hare-brained ideas: I thought mebbe I'd write some poetry and head off to a community poetry night to see if I could snag some voter registrations

Lesson 1. Writing voter registration poetry is hard! This took more time than I expected!
Lesson 2. Community poetry nights can go on a long time! I was there about four hours in all!
Lesson 3. Either I met a whole lot of civic-minded poets or else mebbe some folk didn't tell me the whole truth. Anyway, my net voter registration score was zero. That's a new low for me in number of voter registrations in number of registrations per hour of effort

So I'm recycling my poem here:


Fannie Lou said later
she finally just got sick and tired
of bein sick and tired

Back in 62
Fannie and some friends took a bus
26 miles to the county courthouse
to register to vote

And when they got there
police were everywhere

First on the long registration form was:
what your name?
and next:
who you work for?

They all filled out the form
then got back on the bus again
to go the 26 miles

Fannie Lou was sick and tired of it

And the police followed them
stopped the bus
and fined everybody ridin on it
for ridin in a bus painted the wrong color

made them all dump out their pockets
thatís how the police fixed the fine:
just took everybodyís money
eighteen dollars and mebbe some change

Fannie Lou sure was sick and tired of it

She got home in the dark without any change
her boss was waitin there
and he told her she was fired
and he kicked her out of her house that he owned

Fannie Lou was so sick and tired of it

She found friends to stay with
and when sheíd been there a few nights
somebody shot sixteen bullets through the window

Oh! Fannie Lou was sick and tired of it
but Fannie Lou was also real sick and tired of bein sick and tired
so she didnít stop

Today the police donít follow you
when you want to register to vote
your boss canít fire you for that
you donít have to go 26 miles on a bus
and the form isnít very long

You can register here and now
and you can vote in May and November

You can take a minute to stand
on Fannie Louís strong shoulders
if you look, you'll see
thatís why sheís standin back there in 1962 and 63

I pray:
dear Lord
next time Iím feelin sick and tired
please give me some of Fannie Louís blues
and make me sick and tired
of bein sick and tired
Posted by struggle4progress | Fri Feb 10, 2012, 02:56 PM (4 replies)
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