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VIDEO: Patti Smith & Michael Stipe Perform at Democracy Now!'s 20th Anniversary

Web ExclusiveDecember 06, 2016
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Image Credit: Rafael Shimunov

The legendary singer, poet and author Patti Smith performed two songs Monday night at Riverside Church celebrating Democracy Now!'s 20th anniversary. Smith opened with "Peaceable Kingdom," a song she wrote for Rachel Corrie, the American activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. Smith dedicated the song to the young artists who died in Friday's fire in Oakland, as well as young journalists and activists who have lost their lives. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. then joined Smith on stage to perform "People Have the Power."

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Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s broadcast with the legendary singer, poet, author Patti Smith performing Monday night at Riverside Church, celebrating Democracy Now!’s 20 anniversary.

PATTI SMITH: I’m with Tony Shanahan and my daughter, Jesse Paris Smith. This first song Tony and I wrote in memory of Rachel Corrie, who died on a peacekeeping mission in the Gaza Strip. Such a young girl. And we’d like to do this song for all the young people that we have lost globally—young reporters, activists, photographers, just all the—all the young people who have put themselves out in the front lines, who have—who want—as the young man said, all they want is change. All they want is peace. And we also would like to remember all the young people who lost their lives in the Oakland fire. And when you look at the pictures of them, all of them brimming with such hope, we need our young people. We pin our faith on them. They are going to make the most revolutionary changes in human history. They will continue to build peace movements, to protect our environment. And so we sing this little song for them.

[singing] Yesterday I saw you standing there
With your hand against the pane
Looking out the window
At the rain

And I wanted to tell you
All your tears were not in vain
But I guess we both knew
We’d never be the same
Never be the same

Why must we hide all these feelings inside?
Lions and lambs shall abide

Maybe one day we’ll be strong enough
To build it back again
Build the peaceable kingdom
Back again
Build it back again

Why must we hide all these feelings inside?
Lions and lambs shall abide

Maybe one day we’ll be strong enough
To build it back again
Build the peaceable kingdom
Back again
Build it back again
Build the peaceable kingdom
Build it back again

I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleepin’ it was broken
But my dream it lingered near

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air rarefied
And my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry

That the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule

Thank you. So, we’d like to do a song for all of you, to all of our speakers, to everyone who’s here, and send also a salute to our brothers and sisters in Standing Rock.

[singing] I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
Well, of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleepin’ it was broken
But my dream it lingered near

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air rarefied
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry

That the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power, come on!
People have the power, believe it!

Vengeful aspects became suspect
And bending low as if to hear
And the armies ceased advancin’
Because the people had their ear

And the shepherds and the soldiers
Well, they lay beneath the stars
Exchanging visions, layin’ arms
To waste in the dust

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air rarefied
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
Make it so!

Where there were deserts, I saw fountains
And like cream the waters rise
And we strolled there together
With none to laugh or criticize

Well, the leopard and the lamb
Lay together truly bound
Well, I was hopin’ in my hopin’
To recall what I had found

I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
God knows a pure view
As I surrender into my sleepin’
I commit my dream with you

People have the power to dream
People have the power to vote
People have the power to strike
People have the power to live

The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the world from fools
It’s decreed the people rule
Well, it’s decreed the people rule

Listen, I believe everythin’ we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution

People have the power
People have the power
The people have the power
People have the power

Don’t forget it! Use your voice! Democracy now!

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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