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Eliot Kenin

"You Ain't Done Nothing If You Ain't Been Called a Red" (karaoke)

"You Ain't Done Nothing If You Ain't Been Called a Red" (sheet music)


When I was just a little thing, I used to love parades

With banners, bands, red balloons, and maybe lemonade.

When I came home one May Day, my neighbor's father said,

"Them marchers is all Commies! Tell me, kid, are you a Red?"

 

Well, I didn't know just what he meant. My hair back then was brown.

Our house was plain red brick like most others in the town.

So, I went and asked my momma why our neighbor called me Red.

My mommy took me on her knee, and this is what she said:

 

"Well, you ain't done nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

If you've marched or agitated, then you're bound to hear it said.

So, you might as well ignore it or love the word instead

'Cause you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a Red."

 

When I was growing up, I had my troubles, I suppose,

When someone took exception to my face or to my clothes

Or tried to cheat me on the job or hit me on the head.

When I organized to fight back, why, the stinkers called me Red.

 

And you ain't done nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

If you've organized your workplace, then you're bound to hear it said.

So, you might as well ignore it or love the word instead

'Cause you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

 

When I was living on my own, one apartment that I had

Had a lousy, rotten landlord. Let me tell you, he was bad.

But when he tried to throw me out, I rubbed my hands and said,

"You haven't seen a struggle if you haven't fought a Red."

 

And you ain't done nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

If you've organized your neighbors, then you're bound to hear it said.

So, you might as well ignore it or love the word instead

'Cause you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

 

Well, I keep on agitating 'cause what else can you do?

Are you goin' to let those sons-of-bitches walk all over you?

My friend said, "You'll get fired hanging with that Commie mob."

I should be so lucky, buddy, for I ain't got a job.

 

Oh, you ain't done nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

If you've criticized anything, then you're bound to hear it said.

So, you might as well ignore it or love the word instead

'Cause you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

 

Well, I've been agitating now for many years and more

For jobs and for equality, and always against war.

I'll keep on agitating as far as I can see.

And if that's what being Red is, well, it's good enough for me.

 

'Cause you ain't done nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

If you've marched or agitated, then you're bound to hear it said.

So, you might as well ignore it or love the word instead

'Cause you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a Red.

 

Yes, you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a Red.


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