Rise Up and Sing

Hope + change through song

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Zippers, chants & echo songs

These songs are ideally suited for picket lines, marches, rallies, and other situations where you want to get people singing together but do not haave any way to put lyrics in their hands.

  • zipper songs repeat most of the same words in each verse - "zipping" in a new word or two in successive verses so once participants learn the pattern they can easily join in
  • echo songs have the "audience" repeat each line of the song. (This is the similar to what was traditionally called "lining out" a song.)
  • chant (as used here) refers to very short (basically one verse) songs that are repeated over and over again

Many of these songs were originally African American spirituals or gospel songs and were later repurposed by the labor movement and still later by the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.

Some are great new songs (e.g. Melanie DeMore's "One Step/Lead with Love") Please share with us new songs we should add to this list! rasongbook@gmail.com

Hope / endurance

solidarity / resistance

Songs from the Labor Movement:

Songs from the Freedom Movement:

Some new racial justice related songs:

Climate / earthcare

Economic justice / poverty


Immigrant solidarity

  • So We Be by Ruth Pelham - on standing up to Islamophobia *

Women's songs (feminism)