George Mann and Julius Margolin (and Friends) | Hail to the Thief! Songs for the Bush Years.

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Hail to the Thief! Songs for the Bush Years.

by George Mann and Julius Margolin (and Friends)

ATTENTION: THIS IS THE FIRST "HAIL" CD (2001) -- BRAND NEW "Hail to the Thieves, Volume III" (9/06) and "Hail II" are also on CDBABY. What are you afraid of? The CD that takes on Dubya and his stolen election. Great Folk Music.
Genre: Folk: Political
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude: Hail to the Thief!
0:22 album only
2. I'm George W.
2:39 album only
3. We Know the Score
4:37 album only
4. Go Down Moses
2:49 album only
5. Carnivals
5:16 album only
6. First Interlude
1:08 album only
7. The Supreme Court Stole the Election
2:44 album only
8. It's Hard to Put Food On Your Family
4:41 album only
9. W. Medley
4:05 album only
10. The Corporate Welfare Song
4:23 album only
11. Second Interlude
1:38 album only
12. The Whitewash
4:37 album only
13. Beady Eyes
0:46 album only
14. We're Afl-cio
2:44 album only
15. I Cannot Sleep
4:43 album only
16. bonus
0:15 album only


Album Notes
ATTENTION: This is the FIRST Hail to the Thief collection, completed and kinda released in August 2001 (we pulled back in respect for the victims of 9/11 and the Bush administration's apparent failure to prevent the attacks, and didn't promote it until the spring of 2002).

On September 1, 2006 we released "Hail to the Thieves, Volume III: Songs to Take Our Country Back!" with Billy Bragg, Anne Feeney, Utah Phillips, Chuck Brodsky, Girlyman and many more (it's also on CDBABY, search for "Hail to the Thieves").

The second "Hail to the Thief II: Songs to Send Bush Packing!" CD, featuring Tom Paxton, Utah Phillips, Faith Petric, Kim and Reggie Harris, emma's revolution, Steve Brooks, Joe Jencks, Mark Levy, Magpie, Amy Martin, Lisa Rogers, and more-- was released in August 2004 and is also available from CDBABY!


Produced by labor folksingers angry at the theft of our nation's top elected office, "Hail to the Thief! Songs for the Bush Years" has 15 songs about Dubya and his right-wing administration. It is folk music with a twist of satire, parody, and dead seriousness about this travesty. "Hail!" is full of hard-hitting songs of the stolen election and the coming struggle against Bush's agenda.

Humorous and varied in styles, with two labor choruses (NYC and SF), Anne Feeney, Francisco Herrera, Bernard Gilbert, Jon Fromer, Chris Chandler, Chris Bricker, and George and Julius featured. Something for everyone who believes the 2000 election was stolen, also a good gag gift for your favorite Republican!

The CD has been featured on numerous websites and progressive radio stations around the country, and continues to grow as the Bush Boy continues his murderous occupation of Iraq.

Digitally recorded (24 track for the most part) and mastered, high-quality sound and songs. Recorded under union contract and put out by labor folksingers George Mann and Julius Margolin, who contributed six of the songs.

FLASH: George and Julius have a new CD,
"Just A Few Bad Apples,"
up on CDBABY

Plenty of anti-Bush stuff on this CD also.
Audio clips and info are up at our website:

Thanks for checking us out...

Here's a review:

Singing the
George Bush Blues
People's Weekly World


"Hail to the Thief! Songs for the Bush Years," produced by George Mann and Julius Margolin, songs performed by various artists, 2001.

I have a confession to make. I know most of the performers on this CD- all labor activists and members of the America Federation of Musicians. But this aside, it's a wonderful album or I wouldn't dare review it. From the first notes of the prelude to the last chords of the final cut, the album is chock full of pithy and pointed humor.

Where humor is not called for, the drama, pathos and anger at a government that fails to look after its poor, its aged and its youth take over. The prelude- aptly named "Hail to the Thief"- sets the tone with the drunken whine of a musical saw in tandem with the irascible kazoo.

Singer-songwriter George Mann does himself proud on cuts two, eight and 12 with a song parody ("I'm George W."), "It's Hard to Put Food on Your Family," a song in which he uses many of Dubya's earlier speech groaners, and "The Whitewash."

Only hellraiser Anne Feeney would define AFDC as aid to dependent corporations like she does in her new song "The Corporate Welfare Song." She's always been a songwriter who pulls off a high ratio of rhythm and rhyme per note. She really outshines herself on this cut.

Bernard Gilbert's writing on "We Know the Score" (with Francisco Herrera), and on the "W. Medley," is clever and catchy. The CD features coast-to-coast labor choruses- the Labor Heritage/Rockin' Solidarity Chorus in San Francisco and the New York City Labor Chorus. Thief rocks and moves.

The music is eclectic. Saw player Chris Bricker swings and swoops on "First Interlude" and "Second Interlude," giving listeners a chance to catch their breath. But if I had to pick favorites, which I don't so I won't, I'd tell you that I like the 85-year-old Julius Margolin's two songs best. Margolin knows how to write for his voice. The tunes are plain and very hummable. His lyrics are deep and simple. His writing and singing on "The Supreme Court Stole the Election" and "We're AFL-CIO" take the cake!

At first listen, the New York City labor Chorus soloist Percy McRae's "Go Down Moses" is a misfit. But then, we're all being held hostage by the Bush Administration. His strong and silky voice on this old spiritual brought tears to my eyes.

Chris Chandler and Anne Feeney chose "Carnivals" for their cut on the album. Their "folken word" creates a visual song that will dance through your head and phrases that will haunt you. Californians Jon Fromer and Francisco Herrera revive a wonderful Malvina Reynolds ballad, "I Cannot Sleep," about hungry children. Fromer and Herrera weave the English and Spanish words together into a fine tapestry. "Sleep" is the final cut. It will bring tears to your eyes.

Visit George Mann and Julius Margolin's website ( for song samples and ordering information or send $15 (includes postage) check or money order to:
George Mann, P.O. Box 697, New York, NY 10033.

--Review by Hilda Fort



to write a review

Katherine Hart

Fun CD,I enjoyed the variety
The CD is a nice mixture of anti-bush music. I buy political music to play on KUMD 103.3 FM on Folk Migrations, which I DJ once a month. This particular CD has a lot of variety and will get airplay.

Laura Hopkins

It will be played at all my Howard Dean for President parties - sooo important
This CD is clever, dynamic, fun, artistic and very timely. It did not buy it because I wanted it - I bought it because I needed it. It brings us back to the classic days of protest and brings fun back even in the darkest days of politics. With the current political disaster going on, there are a lot of events for people who think they can do a better job than George - which is just about everybody. I have chosen Howard Dean and plan to play this at all the fundraisers.

Peter Morris

I love it.
It's good folk music, nice to listen to even independently of the subject matter. As for the subject, I think we really need music and the other arts to speak about what this admin. is doing to the country and the world. Get this CD and listen to it, Buy 'Poets Against the War' and read it.

Baron David Romm

Labor Folkies Take On Bush
The Bush Backlash
By Baron Dave Romm

The Bush Backlash
Hail to the Thief and union songs

George W. Bush has the morals of a televangelist without the oratorical skills. As long as he's preaching to the choir, his bumbling and stumbling sermons get polite applause and church bulletins print nice things about him. No one else is fooled.

One of the great things about political satire from the center/left is that I can play them on the radio. What passes for conservative political commentary is rude, scatological and ad hominem; language unfit to play on the airwaves as restricted by Jesse Helms and co. While the left is not above the well-placed personal insult, there's usually substance behind it, and often a specific remedy beyond knee-jerk buzzwords.

My prediction (you heard it here first) is that the Bush administration will give rise to a new unionization movement. The workers who got shafted by Enron, Worldcom, etc. would still be out of a job -- if the company goes bankrupt, there is no work -- but a strong union would have helped prevent the loss of savings, protected severance pay and been the legal entity to sue the execs who cashed out leaving workers with nothing. Indeed, I predict that the new unions will want to be able to see the books of the company. Republicans are against trial lawyers because their arguments lose in a fair hearing. A union would provide necessary balance and oversight (governance in econo-speak), which would increase the value of the company.

I was therefore tickled pink to find the two strains together in the form of George Mann and Julius Margolin's Hail To The Thief. Buzzflash has been offering the CD as a premium for a while, and rightly so! The CD strikes the right political chords with well-chosen knocks on Bushisms and the stolen election with some well-crafted music. If anything, they're too nice, but the CD was pre-9/11 (I suspect) and the real criminal negligence of Bush and Cheney hadn't come to light. Still, it's fun and only a little cruel. The title song, Hail to the Thief, is a nifty short version of Hail to the Chief played on kazoo and saw. (The saw keeps sounding like a theremin to me; it's played well.)

My favorite cuts are It's Hard To Put Food On Your Family, about Bushisms (and only a few of the early ones) and I'm George W., to the tune of Oh Suzanna, "I'm George W., don't you cry for me, I've come all the way from Texas, just as dumb as I can be." This would be funnier if the issues weren't so important. The most serious, heavy-handed but ultimately damning song is The Whitewash, drawing a comparison between the lynching of an innocent black man a hundred years ago to the denying of votes to minorities by Katherine Harris in the 2000 elections. Also on the CD are songs about Corporate Welfare, a hidden track with the chant "three more years", a spiritual and several songs about unions.

George and Julius' Wobbly roots are more directly evident on Miles To Go Before We Sleep. Julius lived through the Depression (caused when a dumb Republican president and GOP controlled House and Senate ignored with the economy while it was collapsing, they made things far worse and... never mind...) and his memories form the introduction to We Demand a Living Wage. With friends of age 82, Julius urges Don't Let Age Get You Down while nearly getting run over by a bicycle followed by a rollerblader leads to A Pedestrian's Lament. Being a computer guy, I like Somebody Robbed the Pension Plan, to the tune of Somebody Robbed the Glendale Train, about IBM's trying to screw their workers in 1999. I'm pleased that folkies know who Tom Watson was. They do nice updated versions of Hobo's Lullaby and We Shall Not Be Moved/This Little Light of Mine. Folk, rock, country and a cause they believe in raises the energy of Woody Guthrie's Union Burying Ground to anthem level.

Ewan McColl died in 1989, but his influence is still being felt. He was a union man all the way, even to the point of being anti-technology in My Old Man. People worked for their bread, and it was good. Black and White, The Definitive Ewan McColl Collection, with several duets with his wife Peggy Seeger, has the songs that became hits (The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Dirty Old Town) as well as a bunch of others, 20 in all. (You can order it and hear samples here. His working-class background and distrust of those who would deny work pop out in Ballad of Accounting, My Old Man, Black and White, The Press Gang, Nobody Knew She Was There, Looking for A Job, and so on. Maggie Thatcher may have tamped the unions in the UK, but their spirit (and the reason why they were formed in the first place) has never died.

George W. Bush's dismal failure as a leader and hostility to labor unions is already drawing parallels with Hoover, and if the consequences are the same then the solutions will be similar. While I don't see anyone of FDR's stature on the horizon, one may have to rise to the job.
Aside: My favorite current Bushism, to quote from the second page of this report: Making the London rounds is the anecdote of a bemused Tony Blair hearing George W. Bush's simple explanation for France's economic decline. In this account of an aside at a recent summit, Bush told Blair that "the French trouble is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur."

Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia with a radio show, a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. He reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E here.