1848, yawning discreetly

from Martha by Martha

/

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Liz Cady Stanton had the signature to beat,
So complex and beautiful and yet quite neat,
And with 99 beside her,
It still wasn’t hard to find her,
Hope and anger in the ink and on the streets,

He has deprived, he has withheld,
He has usurped, he has compelled,
He has denied, and that’s not right.
But when standing side by side,
This pattern doesn’t seem so permanent tonight,

Old Freddie Douglass had a word or two to say,
And as oratory goes well his was great,
He could speak the truth to power,
He could do it in an hour,
And that’s really not a talent one should waste,

They have deprived, they have withheld,
They have usurped, the have compelled,
They have denied, and that’s not right.
But when standing side by side,
This pattern doesn’t seem so permanent tonight,

So take me to Seneca Falls,
And let me drown in it all,
Such onerous privilege,
Take me and make me sing,
Come on baby make me sing.

We’ve got a little bit of time,
And I’m ashamed to let mine slip away,
Into the listlessness and apathy and boredom that’s engulfing everything.
So take me to Seneca Falls,
And let me drown in it all,
Such onerous privilege,
Take me and make me sing,
Come on baby make me sing.

***

The Seneca Falls Convention took place in New York State in 1848. The ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ was signed by 100 of the convention delegates; it reimagined and subverted the US Declaration of Independence to include the female pronoun. It demanded civil, social and political rights for women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the first signature on the declaration. Among the other names was former slave and civil rights activist Frederick Douglas. That both of their signatures should appear together is an extremely powerful symbol of the need for a holistic approach to resistance. The chorus is based on the actual ‘sentiments’ listed in the document. But further to that, this song is about privilege and responsibility. A person’s gender, ethnicity or sexuality should not preclude them from raising their voice in opposition to the injustice they see and experience in the world. Together we are stronger, just like Liz and Freddie. Popular punk-rock band, ‘The Distillers’ also have a song about Seneca Falls.

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from Martha, released February 10, 2012

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Martha Durham, UK

Martha is a pop band from Durham city.

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