Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Music – Song #114

John Cougar Mellencamp
“We Are The People” —

Also known as John Mellencamp and for a while, just Mellencamp, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, painter and actor. Mellencamp rose to fame in the 1980’s with a style that yielded a string of Top 10 singles including “Hurts So Good”, “Jack and Diane”, “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” and others. He collected 22 Top 40 hits and the only solo artist to have number one songs 7 times on the Hot Mainstream Rock charts and was nominated for 13 Grammy Awards winning one. Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

“We Are The People” is from Mellencamp’s 1987 album, The Lonesome Jubilee which features several songs that address troubling social issues including homelessness. In “We Are The People,” Mellencamp adds foolishly misplaced sympathy in the second verse for the “fortunate ones” and in a Sixties-style revival of political rhetoric in the last verse he warns manipulative leaders that if they try to “divide and conquer” that “the people,” will rise up against them.

There is a lot of energy that accompanies this song that sounds like it could be a good choice for bumper music at my next protest, rally or a somewhat peaceful demonstration.

If you’re feelin’ shut down
May my thoughts be with you

If you’re a black man bein’ beat down and shoved all around
May my thoughts be with you

If you’re world’s gettin’ a little too tough
You know our thoughts are with you

Hey I know it’s crazy out there
And my thoughts are with you

We are the people, And we live forever
We are the people
And our future’s written on the wind

On the wind

 If you are one of the homeless
May our thoughts be with you

If you are scared and alone
You know our thoughts are with you

If you are one of the fortunate ones
We all know it’s lonely up there

We understand that nobody’s got it made
So our thoughts are with you

We are the people, And we live forever
We are the people
And our future’s written on the wind

On the wind

If you see yourself as a leader
May our thoughts be with you

If you try to divide and conquer
We’ll rise up against you
We know only the strong will survive
but the meek will inherit

So if you’ve got a coat of arms oh friend
I suggest you wear it

We are the people, And we live forever
We are the people
And our future’s written on the wind

On the wind

See an entire collection of songs relating to homelessness here!

 

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About the Author

Tim Houchen
Tim Houchen was homeless and living at the Santa Ana Civic Center between 2011 and 2015. He began advocating for the homeless community there while he was still homeless as a founding member of the infamous Civic Center Roundtable. The “grass roots” organization was composed of homeless individuals living at the civic center and Houchen was elected to serve as the groups first official spokesman in 2014. Tim is now in permanent supportive housing and lives in the City of Anaheim where he serves as a Commissioner of Housing and Community Development. Tim is also a member of the Orange County Continuum of Care and serves as Co-Chairman of the Homeless Providers Forum. He founded the nonprofit, Hope 4 Restoration, in 2017 and serves as Executive Director of the organization. Houchen created this site as a vehicle to share his knowledge, information and most of all, his experience which allows him to view the current homeless crisis in Orange County from a different and very unique perspective, a “Homeless Perspective.”

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