Are They Telling You It Isn’t Nice to Protest?

Are people telling you it isn’t nice to protest? Respond with, “If that’s Freedom’s price, I don’t mind!”

Get in the mood for your weekend demonstration with Malvina Reynolds‘ 1964 classic It Isn’t Nice. This version is sung by Barbara Dane and the Chamber Brothers.

Original Lyrics of “It Isn’t Nice”

By Malvina Reynolds

It isn’t nice to block the doorway,
It isn’t nice to go to jail,
There are nicer ways to do it,
But the nice ways always fail.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom’s price,
We don’t mind.

It isn’t nice to carry banners
Or to sit in on the floor,
Or to shout our cry of Freedom
At the hotel and the store.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom’s price,
We don’t mind.

We have tried negotiations
And the three-man picket line,
Mr. Charlie didn’t see us
And he might as well be blind.
Now our new ways aren’t nice
When we deal with men of ice,
But if that is Freedom’s price,
We don’t mind.

How about those years of lynchings
And the shot in Evers’ back?
Did you say it wasn’t proper,
Did you stand upon the track?
You were quiet just like mice,
Now you say we aren’t nice,
And if that is Freedom’s price,
We don’t mind.

It isn’t nice to block the doorway,
It isn’t nice to go to jail,
There are nicer ways to do it
But the nice ways always fail.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
But thanks for your advice,
Cause if that is Freedom’s price,
We don’t mind.

Malvina Reynolds holds a balloon that says, "Flower Power"

Malvina Reynolds (Photo: Wikipedia)

Malvina Reynolds’ It Isn’t Nice was a well-known 1960’s anthem for the civil rights movement and Vietnam War protests.

 

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