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California Educators Rising Songbook

Download printable PDF

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

YouTube Version

Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around
turn me around, turn me around
Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around
Keep on walking, keep on talking
Gonna build a better world

Ain't gonna let union busters turn me around. . .
Ain't gonna let privatizers turn me around. . .
Ain't gonna let Broad Academy . . .
Ain't gonna let high-paid consultants. . .
Ain't gonna let school closures. . .
Ain't gonna let no cutbacks. . .

We are grateful to the Civil Rights, Labor, Women's and other movements for peace and justice for developing these songs & keeping them alive.

Come & Go with Me to that Land

African American traditional       YouTube Version

Come & go with me to that land (2X)
Come & go with me to that land where I'm bound
Come & go with me to that land (2X)
Come & go with me to that land where I'm bound

Union power in that land. . .
No school closures in that land . . .
You can't privatize that land. . .
Living wages. . .
Smaller class size. . .
Art & music . . .
Honor teachers. . .
Love our children. . .

De Colores

(Traditional- Mexican Folk Song)
YouTube Version
Download printable version (revised 1/17/12)

De colores, do colores se visten los campos en la primavera.
De colores, de colores son los pajaritos que vienen de afuera.
De colores, de colores es el arco iris que vemos lucir
Y por eso los grandes amores de muchos colores me gustan a mi (2x)

Canta el gallo, canta el gallo con el kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri,
La gallina, la gallina con el kara kara kara kara kara,
Los polluelos, los polluelos con el pio pio pio pio pio
Y por eso los grandes amores de muchos colores me gustan a mi (2x)

In Colors
In colors, the fields drape themselves in profusion of colors in springtime.
In colors, in colors the young birds arriving from afar
In colors, in colors the brilliant rainbow we spy
And that's why the great love of infinite colors is pleasing to me.

The rooster sings, the rooster sings with a cockle doodle do (kiri, kiri)
The hen, the hen with a cluck, cluck, cluck (kara, kara)
The baby chicks, the baby chicks with a cheep, cheep, cheep (pio, pio)
And that's why the great love of infinite colors is pleasing to me.

(translated by Abby F. Rivera 11/05)


by Bonnie Lockhart      YouTube Version

We're talkin' about dignity
We're talkin' about self-respect
We're sayin' that unity
Is the way to get it
Don't tell me that times are tough
You know that I've heard that stuff
This union ain't gonna bust
You can just forget it!

They tell us tighten up your belt that's what we need
We're lean and mean, our budget's nearly bare
Well if you want to do away with waste and greed
Don't tell the union, tax the millionaire!

They tell us that we've got to be competitive
We can't afford these unions any more
Well take a look around the world and you will see
That unions never made a nation poor

They say we'll lose a lot of jobs if we hold out
Well, under slavery everyone's employed
We just can't compromise on solidarity
We will not let our union be destroyed!


by Jon Fromer      YouTube Version
What's our dignity* worth
You can't buy it (Oh no)
What's our dignity worth
It's not for sale—
If you put it on a scale our dignity will prevail
You can't buy it 'cause it's not for sale

*Our Union
Our Struggle
What are children worth (you can't buy 'em. . .)
What's Community worth. . .

Solidarity Forever

Ralph Chaplin (2. Bonnie Lockhart, 4. Steve Suffet)    
YouTube Version  

1. When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
But the union makes us strong.

CHORUS: Solidarity forever (3x)
For the union makes us strong.

2. We're in high schools and in childcare and in elementary schools
We have suffered long from cutbacks but we will not suffer fools
Education will be funded when we fight to change the rules
And we make our unions strong!

3. They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
That the union makes us strong.

4. They divide us by our color, they divide us by our tongue,
They divide us men and women, they divide us old and young
But they'll tremble at our voices when they hear these verses sung
For the union makes us strong

5. In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
For the union makes us strong.


This Little Light

(African American Trad)      YouTube Version

All around our children
All around our teachers
All around our public schools
All around a fair contract
All around our union
Organizing every school
Esta luz mía, voy a verla brillar/ A brillar (3x)
All around the world

When We Rise Up

(When the Saints Go Marching, African American Trad)

When we rise up and change the world (2X)
Oh how I want to be in that number
When we rise up and change the world

When teachers earn what we are worth
When we build schools instead of jails
When taxes fund the common good
When we protect all workers' rights
When we choose love instead of hate

We Shall Not Be Moved

Adapted from the African American Traditional
YouTube Version

We shall not, we shall not be moved (2X)
Just like a tree that's standing by the water
We shall not be moved
Students, parents, teachers,
we shall not be moved . . .
Lower class sizes, we shall not. . .
Fair compensation, we shall not . . .
You can't privatize us! we shall not. . .
No more rich consultants! we shall not
No, no, no nos moverán, (2x)
Como un árbol firme junto al rio,
no nos moverán...
Unidos en la lucha. . .
We need a fair contract, we shall not be moved . .