MY VOTE, MY VOICE, MY RIGHT
It’s tempting to think of voting rights as one of those issues we can all agree on. But “issues we can all agree on” are like, you know, unicorns. They might exist, but no one’s ever seen one. In fact, as our song says, “always in the shadows there are those who want you not to vote.” That’s especially true this year.
In early 2013, a re-consideration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was pending before the Supreme Court. Filmmaker Steven Armsey wanted a song for a documentary he was producing about voter suppression, and he commissioned Melanie and me to write that song.
“My Vote, My Voice, My Right” tells the story of our struggle as Americans to secure, expand and freely exercise our right to vote.
We finished the song in March of that year. By June, Steven’s film had premiered at the Scary Cow Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Supreme Court had struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act. Ruth Bader Ginsberg famously observed that the court’s decision was tantamount to “throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
Melanie and I shot a video of the song [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-X-uBIqeVM] at the 1898 Memorial in Wilmington, NC which commemorates the only successful coup in American history. On November 10, 1989, White Supremacists in Wilmington violently overthrew the bi-racial city government, burned down the black-owned newspaper and murdered over 100 black citizens. The US government did not step in, signaling the end of federal protections for black voting rights.
This year we’ve lost both Justice Ginsberg and civil rights giant John Lewis, and we wanted to honor their memory by reprising “My Vote, My Voice, My Song” by way of a populist Virtual Sing-In.
CLICK HERE to get your FREE DOWNLOAD of the mp3 audio single of the new version of “My Voice, My Vote, My Right.”
CLICK HERE to get “My Vote, My Voice, My Right” merchandise - shirts, hoodies, mugs and vinyl stickers.
We are so moved when others perform our songs. “My Vote” has been covered by numerous choirs. Enjoy this soulful sampling ...
Voices Rising Chorus (Boston, MA) - CLICK HERE
Women in Harmony (Portland, ME) - CLICK HERE
One City Chorus (St. Petersburg, FL) - CLICK HERE
Womansong Chorus of Asheville - CLICK HERE
Let us know if your choir would like to sing “My Vote, My Voice, My Right” and we’ll send you the sheet music.
-- Roy and Melanie
We are pleased to offer you FREE DOWNLOADS of the mp3 audio files for some our recent videos. Just click on the record player.
If you're able and so moved, you can also make a contribution of $5 or $10 to help us produce our next Virtual Sing-In. To add a contribution, just click on either the “Kick In a Lincoln” or “Kick In a Hamilton” box below.
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Roy Zimmerman and Melanie Harby