Let My People Stay! – a new song Interfaith Immigrant Support Passover Seder – April 11, 2017

On the morning of April 11th, at a spirited interfaith seder/rally in support of immigrant advocate Ravi Ragbir and millions of other immigrants who are at risk of detention and deportation. My accordion led the march with music from outside local ICE headquarters in Manhattan at 26 Federal Plaza to New York Law School, whose immigration clinic staff faculty and students have been defending Ravi with great skill and dedication. At the close of the seder, over 100 immigration activists movingly sang “Let My People Stay”. The Walkabout Clearwater Chorus and Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir also lifted people’s spirits with song. Thanks to photojournalist Erik McGregor for capturing the march. Printed below is the final published version of “Let My People Stay!”. It includes small changes and improvements over the version that was sung on April 11th.

Let My People Stay!
[to the tune of “Go Down Moses”
(Let My People Go)]
Words by Paul Stein

Immigrants helped build this land.
Let my people stay!
Hear our voices, we demand,
Let my people stay!

No ban! No wall!
Welcome all with love each day!
We take a stand throughout the land.
Let my people stay!

See our faces proud and strong.
Let my people stay!
All faiths and colors, we belong.
Let my people stay! [chorus]

Detention is a travesty.
Let my people stay!
ICE, set our friends and families free!
Let my people stay! [chorus]

Give me your tired, give me your poor.
Let my people stay!
Refugees flock to our shore.
Let my people stay! [chorus]

Together we fight bigotry.
Let my people stay!
Hate threatens peace and liberty.
Let my people stay! [chorus]

© 2017 Paul Stein

May be used for noncommercial purposes.

Walking While Black – A Song for Trayvon Martin

Walking While Black

Music and Lyrics by Paul Stein

People of conscience, please let me impart
An American story that’s breaking my heart.
Young Trayvon went out for Skittles and a can of ice tea,
Took a break from playing video games and watching TV. (chorus)


Trayvon is dead and Zimmerman’s free.
No justice, no peace, what a travesty!
Zimmerman claimed he was under attack,
But Trayvon’s only crime was walking while black.

Trayvon didn’t rush in the rain with his snack,
His father kept waiting for him to come back.
Trayvon wore a sweatshirt topped with a hood.
Zimmerman assumed he was up to no good. (chorus)

Zimmerman reported his unfounded suspicion.
This wannabe cop then embarked on a mission.
Against police advice he followed Trayvon.
Suddenly with one shot this black child was gone. (chorus)

At Zimmerman’s trial, the jury acquitted.
“Racial profiling” evidence could not be admitted.
Trayvon was silenced so Zimmerman won.
No black boy is safe from any stalker with a gun. (chorus)

This story is tragic, it troubles me so.
Trayvon reminds me of children I know.
They see that the law puts their lives at risk too.
What should we say when they ask what to do?

© 2013 Paul Stein

[May be used without permission for noncommercial purposes]

I hope to post an MP3 within a few days.