Give me liberty AND give me death

Give me liberty AND give me death

mike skliar's picture



Liner Notes: 

So I first have to give a shout out to our very own @Stephen Wordsmith (swordsmith), who was in the slackchat with me a few hours ago- we were talking about those who refused to wear masks, using that old 'its my liberty, dammit, common good be dammed' argument .. and swordsmith came up with the twist on the old patrick henry line, saying 'give me liberty and give me death'. I basically ran with it and dashed off something.

Second thing I need to say is that, I don't wish that anyone gets this virus, no matter what they're attitude is- but channeling some of the anger that I think is valid, towards those who care so little about others that they are willing to let others die so they can walk around without a mask indoors in a store or something.... well, i think at least some folks here will understand the direction that this took.

Third (and last thing) i need to say is that this is a very rough recording- I'm still working out how to get from the end of the chorus back to the verse, and you'll hear i did it differently both times. Quick iPhone recording, using music memos, live guitar and vocal. That's about it- enjoy!

(and as a PS- great minds think alike, after this was posted, John Staples did his own rockin' take on the subject, check that one out too!)


Give me liberty and, give me death
Two for one said the mask-less hoards
Who won’t wear a mask while taking a breath
In the running to win the Darwin awards

Socially distancing is not for these clowns
They’d rather swallow detergent and tide pods
they’re letting innocent people down
killing nurses and old folks while they play the odds

take your freedom from responsibility
and your stupid gullibility
I’d like to entertain the possibility
That you carry some legal liability

Stay six feet apart or better yet
Huddle in close and cough you traitors
Call me crazy but I’ll take that bet
Soon you’ll be sporting a new ventilator

take your freedom from responsibility
and your stupid gullibility
I’d like to entertain the possibility
That you carry some legal liability

(c) M. Skliar 2020

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


cindyrella's picture

Great idea followed through. Just how I feel as well

tcelliott's picture

Kinda harsh on the "huddle close and cough you traitors" line, but I think you speak for a lot of people with this song. And the driving guitar works well here. This fits nicely in the folk/protest tradition, I think.

Stephen Wordsmith's picture

What can I say? I love the title hook :P

The chorus is the strongest part, for me - diving into the warring ideas around whether or not rights come with responsibilities. People seem a lot more enamoured with the idea of having the former than the latter, it would appear...

billwhite51's picture

aside from a few killer lines, you might be going a little too soft on these typhoid marionettes. , imagine the treatment they would receive from dante or bosch. the music is punchy, though, and carries the anger well.

coolparadiso's picture

nicely done - you need to do a duo with Staples love the guitar bounce - got some dylan here

kahlo2013's picture

Perfect! Timely and truthful!
Crazy behaviors and attitudes seem to rule these days... thanks for getting thoughts I think into songs!

IA's picture

I admire people who have fight in them.

This is great. Tell em how it is!

It's just that even if they huddle, they probably won't die. Not good enough. Beee

Oh well!

phoenixash's picture

I was wondering when I was going to hear a song about the pandemic. I'm glad it was this Yes, I feel your rage, it's very punk rock and very very real unfortunately. Rock on

cola's picture

Solid lyrics with a good message! Love the guitar groove you've got here as well. Great work!

paulotteson's picture

Great commentary on the madness of our country.. love the groove and the delivery. Bravo!