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Origins: Who Speaks for Me (Tom Paxton)

06 Jan 09 - 05:39 PM (#2533460)
Subject: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: olddude

I just found this one. There are other Tom Paxton video on youtube but just ran across this one . I don't remember this song by him. Can someone refresh my memory for me. What record was this on? When did he do it?

Tom Paxton who speaks to me


07 Jan 09 - 08:41 AM (#2533976)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Rog Peek at work

on 'Bulletin' (Hogeye Records HOG 004 (42028)
1983)

Rog


06 Mar 09 - 07:32 AM (#2582474)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Jos

Has anybody got the lyrics?


06 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM (#2582631)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Vin2

Saw Tom in Manchester last week and he is a brill as ever. Some luvly new songs and the owd favourites with the audience singing along nicely. Great stuff. May he sing long and prosper!


06 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM (#2582651)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,brother

I saw him in Newcastle and he was fantastic , great songs in fine voice and still took time to meet everybody after the show .
Great guitar backing and instrumentals from Robin Bullock also.
Trevor Bond


06 Mar 09 - 03:28 PM (#2582812)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Joe Offer

This page (click) has lots of Paxton lyrics, but not "Who Speaks for Me." Anybody got a transcription handy? The YouTube recording is a bit too garbled to transcribe.

-Joe-


06 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM (#2582877)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Tinker from Chicago

Well, I remember the chorus at least. It has to do with, I believe, the average poor person in a war-torn nation trying to get by:

Who speaks for me, I who have no voice?
Who decides for me? It seems I have no choice.
Will I live, will I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One thing I would ask, if I dared, of the ones we never see:
Guns and dollars are voices for you. Who speaks for me?


06 Mar 09 - 06:24 PM (#2582908)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST

This is (about) what I hear, but I'm missing some parts:

      They only come through
      They curse us and thought us with guns
      And sometimes they take us away
      And that's the end of that
      They go where they like in our homes
      Their eyes miss nothing of value
      And may the virgin go with you
      If you are ……….

    For who speaks for me? I, who have no voice
    Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice
    Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
    Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lifes?
    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?

    Mmm, mmm, mmm…..

    We are never asked, we are simply shown who …..
    We give up our youth and our blood, to a …………
    While the gods in the long white houses
    W……. the dust in their long black cars
    They regard us with faces of stone
    And the grind us like corn
   
    But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice
    Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice
    Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
    Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lifes?
    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?

    Mmm, mmm, mmm…..

    We are going like cars
    We are held to be valuable things
    But gods in the long white houses, ask just as soon
    ……………………………………..
    We plug our guitars in silence, and we smile like fools

    But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice
    Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice
    Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
    Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lifes?
    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?

    One question I'd ask if I dared
    Of the ones who we never see
    Guns and dollars are voices for you.
    But who speaks for me?


06 Mar 09 - 07:16 PM (#2582936)
Subject: ADD: Who Speaks For Me (Tom Paxton)
From: Joe Offer

I think you did a noble effort of transcribing a piece that was very hard to hear. I found a recording on a CD called Shaw Brothers Collection. Here's my transcription:

WHO SPEAKS FOR ME?
(Tom Paxton)

The army comes through,
They curse us and prod us with guns;
Sometimes they take us away,
And that's the end of that.
They go where they like in our houses;
And their eyes miss nothing of value;
And may the Virgin be with you
If you've a gun or a knife.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will this side, will that side allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask if I dared Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you. But who speaks for me?


We are never asked,
We are simply shown to the fields;
And we give up our youth and our lives
To the cotton and coffee.
While the guards in their long white houses
Raise the dust with their long black cars,
They regard us with faces of stone
And grind us like corn.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will this side, will that side allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask if I dared Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you. But who speaks for me?


We are born like calves,
We are held to be valuable things;
And the guards in their long white houses
Send to hear us sing.
In the hot, still air of the evening,
While the blossoms float on the pond,
We pluck our guitars for survival,
And we smile like fools.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will this side, will that side allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask if I dared Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you. But who speaks for me?


One question I'd ask if I dared
Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you.
But who speaks for me?


I think the Shaw Brothers are New Englanders. I'm sure they must be singing about "the guards in their long white houses," but it sure sounds like "gods."

-Joe-


06 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM (#2582948)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Beer

One of my favorites songs. I do it when the audience is right for it.
Beer (adrien)


06 Mar 09 - 07:36 PM (#2582950)
Subject: ADD: Who Speaks For Me (Tom Paxton)
From: Joe Offer

Now that's I've heard the Shaw Brothers recording, maybe I can make something out of Tom Paxton himself on the YouTube Recording:

WHO SPEAKS FOR ME?
(Tom Paxton)

The army comes through,
They curse us and prod us with guns;
And sometimes they take us away,
And that's the end of that.
They go where they like in our homes;
And their eyes miss nothing of value;
And may the Virgin go with you
If you've a gun or a knife.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask if I dared Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you. But who speaks for me?


We are never asked,
We are simply shown to the fields;
We give up our youth and our blood
To the cotton and coffee.
While the guards in their long white houses
Raise the dust in their long black cars,
They regard us with faces of stone
And they grind us like corn.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask if I dared Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you. But who speaks for me?


We are born like calves,
We are held to be valuable things;
The guards in the long white houses
Ask us to sing.
In the heavy air of the evening,
While the blossoms float on the pool,
We pluck our guitars in silence,
And we smile like fools.

But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
Do I live, do I die? Will my family survive?
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
One question I'd ask if I dared Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you. But who speaks for me?


One question I'd ask if I dared
Of the ones whom we never see,
Guns and dollars are voices for you.
But who speaks for me?


07 Mar 09 - 09:29 AM (#2583241)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Jos

Now that's just fantastic, Joe. Thanks a lot.
But having the english words, that's just my first step.
I sing Tom Paxton songs in dutch...


07 Mar 09 - 09:58 AM (#2583265)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: topical tom

Simply one of his many great songs by a true living folk legend.


08 Mar 09 - 11:42 AM (#2583888)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: banjoman

Saw Tom in Basingstoke 27th Feb - keeps on getting better and singing as well as when I first saw him in Liverpool back in the sixties. Long may he keep on singing. I rate him almost along side Pete Seeger as an Icon


08 Mar 09 - 12:19 PM (#2583902)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: Rog Peek

Tom was in Bristol 26th February, another great show. I'd say he's singing better than ever, and the songs keep on coming. From what he was saying, he's planning another trip next year, so we can look forward to that.

Rog


10 Mar 09 - 09:09 AM (#2585523)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST,Jos

The song is very "American"
I noticed, the americans understand right away what Tom is talking about.
For us europeans that's much more complicated.
We think, he's pointing at life in Latin America.

Could someone explane a little bit more?
For example about "the guards in the long white houses".


19 Apr 09 - 07:51 PM (#2614691)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST

It's not
"the guards in the long white houses"
but
"the gods in the long white houses"

It's possibly my favoriate Tome Paxton song, and from one of my favorite Tom Paxton albums, but I think the publisher went out of business leaving the rights in limbo, so it's never been released on CD. I wore out my vinyl copy long ago, sadly. Worse, becuase the album isn't well know, Tom doesn't sing many of the songs on it often.


19 Apr 09 - 08:00 PM (#2614694)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tom Paxton Who Speaks For Me
From: GUEST

Also, it's not
"We pluck our guitars in silence"
but
"We pluck our guitars for survival"


09 Nov 14 - 09:05 AM (#3675901)
Subject: RE: Origins: Who Speaks for Me (Tom Paxton)
From: GUEST

I think you will like this. Tom's original versions:

From Bulletin (1983)
From Politics (1988)


11 Mar 15 - 10:48 AM (#3693081)
Subject: RE: Origins: Who Speaks for Me (Tom Paxton)
From: Jason Xion Wang

I think it's "the gods in long white houses". Tom said in a 1988 concert that he wrote the song a few days after the murder of three nuns in El Salvador in 1980.

I've put the chords to the song on my website here and I think I'd better put it here too:

               A                         E
The army comes through, they curse us and prod us with guns.
               B7                               E
Sometimes they take us away - that's the end of that.
                   A                                  E
They go where they like in our houses; their eyes miss nothing of value,
            B7                                     E
And may the Virgin go with you if you've a gun or a knife.


                   A                  E
But who speaks for me? I, who have no voice.
                B7                         E
Who decides for me? For it seems I have no choice.
                A                      E
Do I live, do I die, will my family survive?
                      B7                                                E
Will the ones who leap down from the trucks with their guns allow us our lives?
                A                                    E
One question I'd ask, if I dared, of the ones whom we never see:
                     B7                                 E
Guns and dollars are voices for you, but who speaks for me?