From the recording Gypsy Wagon Man
I Vote No (The Ballad of Jeannette Rankin)
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The daughter of a Montana rancher, Jeannette Rankin helped the poor.
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A social worker by trade and a suffragist and a pacifist to the core.
In 1914 Montana finally gave women the vote.
So in 2 years she ran for Congress. The first woman there was her hope.
When she entered that all male chamber, would she even be allowed to speak?
But when roll call came to her, the House cheered and rose to their feet.
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I vote NO. I vote NO. I vote No. (2x)
Courage is not in firing a gun or sending the young to die.
It’s acting on your convictions and never living a lie.
But World War One was brewing. They called her a crying schoolgirl.
She said, “I cannot vote for war.” on a people across the world.
Her fight was with mining companies and helping the 19th Amendment to pass.
Elected again in 1940 when threat of war was back.
“As a woman I cannot go to war and I refuse to send someone else.”
I know I’m alone and that I’ll be shunned, but I have to live with myself.
A vote for war followed Pearl Harbor. That’s all Congress needed to know.
Some tried to get her to abstain, but she stood tall and voted No.
In ‘68 she protested the Vietnam War. Over 5,000 came to her aid.
They marched for peace in Washington, dubbed the Jeannette Rankin Brigade.
Just before her death at 93, she confided to a friend.
We have to get out of Vietnam. Guess it’s time to run for office again.
Words and Music by David B. Hakan All rights reserved.
© 2017 David B. Hakan 1-6-2017