A funny thing happened on the 104 bus…

Jenny, Ahmad and I were among the marchers boarding the bus.

Friday night, October 21, a benefit concert by the environmental organization Clearwater was held Symphony Space on Broadway at  94th Street. Among the notable musicians were the legendary Pete Seeger, composer-musician David Amram, and folk singer Arlo Guthrie.

Following the concert shortly after 10:30, up to 1000 people, (according to the Associated Press) many concertgoers along with others who waited outside marched down Broadway in support of Occupy Wall Street. Thirty blocks later, they entered the plaza at the statue of Christopher Columbus on 59th Street singing “This Little Light of Mine”, but substituting “We’re Gonna Occupy.” The songfest is described in this AP article.

After the gathering, several marchers, including two musicians, boarded an almost empty uptown 104 bus. When told about the protest, the driver muttered “Please don’t come to Staten Island.” As the bus moved on, the musicians, The Universal Truth, began to play and sing, with passengers clapping and singing along until getting off at their stops.

At one stop the driver told a departing passenger that he was enjoying the music.

Come gather round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth saving
Then you’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times, they are a changing

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pens
And keep your eyes open, the chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon, the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no telling who that it’s naming
Oh the loser will be later to win
For the times, they are a changing

Come senators, congressmen, please head the call
Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be her that has stalled
The battle outside raging will soon shake your windows
And rattle your hall
For the times, they are a changing

Come mothers and fathers all over this land
And don’t criticize what you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old role is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand
For the times they are a changing

The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast
The slow one will later be fast
And the present now will soon be the past
The order is rapidly fading
The first one now will later be last
For the times, they are a changing

– Bob Dylan

– Ann Shirazi
for the Granny Peace Brigade

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