ILGWU, "Our City, Our Union," 1940, Tamiment Library, New York University.

Pins and Needles started at the small Labor Stage theatre, but after a year moved to the larger Windsor Theatre to accomodate demand for tickets.

 

SITTING ON YOUR STATUS QUO

From “Pins and Needles”
Music and lyrics by Harold Rome
Sung by Barbra Streisand

Are you ready to hear your lesson for the day?
--Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher!
Are you ready to learn what history has to say?
--Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher!
Then take your books and follow me
To 1776 A. D.
And as the history page is turned,
We will see what we can learn.
--Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher!

In 1776, Tom Paine
Was writing books with a might and main.
The Tory said "Now man alive,
Stop giving out with this here liberty jive."
---Stop giving out with this here liberty jive.

"Don't sing of people's rights that way.
They might believe in what you say.
So stop your song, it's not polite.
Pipe down before you start a fight."

--You don't say, teacher. Is that right?

Aha, but Tom Paine looked ahead
And to those Tories, Thomas said
'No, no, no, no --
When you got to go, you got to go.
You can't stand still on freedom's track.
If you don't go forward, you go back.
You can't giddyup by saying 'Whoa'
And sitting on your status quo."

--Yes, teacher! - Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher!

To Washington at Valley Forge,
A wise guy whispered, "Slow down, George.
Why start up trouble for the king?
This freedom racket is a corny thing."

--This freedom racket is a corny thing.

"Your troops are ickys, they can't move
You'll never get them in the groove.
So if you're wise, you'll just lay low,
And play with the guys that have the dough.".

--You don't say teacher, is that so?

Aha, but George just looked ahead
And to that Tory, Georgie said."No, no, no, no.
When you got to go, you got to go.
You can't stand still on freedom's track.
If you don't go forward, you go back.
You can't giddyup by saying, 'Whoa'
And sitting on your status quo."

--Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher!

Now Paul Revere saw a belfry light,
And that boy rode to town one night --
Sang to the farmers, near and far,
"Here come the British beating eight to the bar."

One slippery Tory said, "Now, Paul.
You're manners aren't nice at all.
Turn back, don't be an old hep cat --
The right people don't sing like that."
--But Paul Revere turned him down flat.

Aha, that's right, he rode ahead
And to that Tory, Paul just said,
"No, no, no, no.
When you got to go, you got to go.
You can't stand still on freedom's track.
If you don't go forward, you go back.
You can't giddyup by saying, 'Whoa!'
And sitting on your status quo.

Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher! Yes, teacher!

So, students, now you're hep, don't stop!
Keep stepping to that freedom hop.
Although the Tories beef and blow
To keep you sitting on your status quo.
-To keep you sitting on your status quo.

When they say,"Let's stand still a bit.
Give up some rights, no harm in it."
Remember those are just the tricks.
That did not work in '76.

--Now ain't that right, the same old tricks?

Though Tories talk, don't be misled
And do what all those others said:
"No, no, no, no --
When you got to go, you got to go.
You can't stand still on freedom's track.
If you don't go forward, you go back.
You can't giddyup by saying, 'Whoa!'
And sitting on your status ...
Sitting on, yes, sittin' on your status...
Quo!
Oh!

 

 



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