Jean Rohe

Project 01 : Musician 22
Brooklyn, NY

Meeting of the Citizens Musical Underground

Calling all street corner poets: meet me in the back room
All ye bar bands, all ye handlers of pans, I gotta talk to you
You back porch strummers, you bedtime hummers,
You verse scribblers and griot drummers
It’s an emergency
Need you to talk to me

Y’see I met a little girl, says she can’t sing without a microphone–I know
Like the singers on her mp3s, the TV, and the radio
Oh, you laugh and you sigh but she’s just yay high and she’s got the disease
Won’t you help us please, wise sages of word and sound
Of the Citizens Musical Underground

…let the light in
Underground
Where’s the fight left in us?
Underground
When there’s a bite in the dust
Find a voice you can trust underground.

Calling on you in the back with the knit cap and the blue jeans
You say, “I sang my kids lullabies every night ’till they were in their teens.
No bright light shimmer no glitz and glimmer
No word from our sponsor when the lights get dimmer
Little girl can’t see
She wouldn’t know about the likes of me”

Then a voice pipes from the singer in The Roadhouse Symphony
She says, “They done a good job boxin’ all of us up in specialty.
The songs for the singers, the thoughts for the thinkers,
The laws for the makers, the bells for the ringers
Then who’s left when we are lost to make us found?
But the Citizens Musical Underground.”

…flame grows higher
Underground
Join the choir or alone
Underground
You can lose the microphone
Tell the story that you own underground
…let the light in
Underground
Where’s the fight left in us?
Underground
When it all bites the dust
Find a voice you can trust underground.