Red Clay Ramblers pen protest song against NC GOP

01/31/2014 5:04 PM

01/31/2014 5:05 PM

North Carolina’s venerable folk band The Red Clay Ramblers have done what folk musicians are supposed to do: They’ve released a protest song.

The Ramblers have joined the political fray with a new song written in response to the sweeping changes the Republican-controlled state government has brought to the state.

“Pay it Back” is a call for good government and civic engagement, with allusions to Moral Mondays and a chorus punch-line that says, “They got to pay back the devil some day.”

Dome took a listen and transcribed some of the lyrics belted out by singer Toshia Cunningham of Raleigh and Ramblers stalwart Bland Simpson of Chapel Hill :

Sittin’ down here in North Carolina

Wonderin’, lord, what we’re gonna do

Here in the land of nothin’ could be finer

But some been drinkin’ witches’ brew

They punched a hole in the budget

Punched a hole in the schools

Health care, they don’t want the feds around

We were happy livin’ on the land, but now these fools

Can’t wait to punch a thousand holes in the ground

They got to pay it back

They got to pay it back

They got to pay

They can’t hide or run away

They got to pay it back

Ain’t gonna get no slack

They got to pay back the devil some day

Down in Raleigh, been meetin’ every Monday

Got the preachers and the teachers on their side

The time is comin’, lord, it’ll get here one day

That crazy crowd is gonna take a ride


Hey don’t you want to be around?

Don’t you want to be a witness when the deal goes down?

Ten million people in the very same boat

Oh don’t it make you want to get up and vote.

You can download “Pay It Back” at

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Under the Dome

Under the Dome is your inside source on North Carolina politics and government and has been a regular feature in The N&O since 1934. Check here for the latest on state and federal government, political advocacy and upcoming elections. This blog is maintained by the N&O politics staff.

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