The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

This is What Democracy Looks Like

A rally-ready protest song licensed through Creative Commons

Music: Elizabeth Alexander

Words: Elizabeth Alexander

A short and sassy riff on the popular social justice chant. The verse is based on the First Amendments assurance of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” And the chorus? We all know what that’s based on!

Hint: There’s counting involved, making this song fun to sing with children: ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!

This is What Democracy Looks Like was composed especially for the Justice Choir Songbook, an initiative of JusticeChoir.org. It’s super-easy to DOWNLOAD THE LEAD SHEET. You may also download the lead sheet from this page (see below). Either way it’s commendable to MAKE A DONATION TO JUSTICE CHOIR.

* This song is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. Here’s what that means:

  • BY = Always give credit to the creator of the work.
  • NC = No commercial use allowed without permission of Creative Commons owner
  • ND = No derivative works allowed without permission of Creative Commons owner

Details and Ordering Information

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Text

This is What Democracy Looks Like

ONE: We see that there’s a wrong to be righted.
TWO: We know that we are stronger when united.
THREE: We exercise our right to assemble.
FOUR: That’s when the proud and mighty start to tremble.
Just in case you’re wonderin’,
Just in case you’re wonderin’,
Just in case you’re wonderin’,
Hey, hey, look this way!

This is what democracy looks like.
SHOW ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
This is what democracy looks like.
SHOW ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
This is what democracy looks like.
SHOW ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
This is what democracy looks like.
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!

Elizabeth Alexander, based on the popular social justice chant
© 2017 by Elizabeth Alexander

Performers

Performers

Premiere: JusticeChoir.org / Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. National Justice Choir Launch (Minneapolis, MN)

Alternatives to Violence Project / Anne Matlack (Chatham, NJ)
Children’s Choir of Unity Church-Unitarian / Kathleen Radspinner (St. Paul, MN)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, PA / Colleen Kennedy (State College, PA)
Guardian Angels Music Ministry / Roger Stratton (Oakdale, MN)
Justice Choir-Twin Cities. Minnesota Public Radio Exhibit, Minnesota State Fair (St. Paul, MN)
Justice Choir-Ithaca / Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum. Justice Choir Launch Ithaca (Ithaca, NY)
Justice Choir-San Diego / Emilie Amrein. Justice Choir Launch San Diego (San Diego, CA)
Justice Choir-Twin Cities / Abbie Betinis. Schubert Club Courtroom Concert (St. Paul, MN)
Justice Choir-Indianapolis / Meagan Johnson (Indianapolis, IN)
Seattle Labor Chorus / Miriam Anderson (Seattle, WA)
Trans Chorus of Los Angeles / Abdullah “Abby” Hall. 2021 Pride Festival (Los Angeles, CA)

…plus LOTS more I don’t know about! More and more Justice Choir events are happening all the time!