Be a Pain: An Album for Young (and Old) Leaders

by Alastair Moock

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Tess
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Tess Absolutely brilliant, inspiring, and empowering. NOT just for kids. Thanks for once again sharing your transcendent artistry with us, Alistair & Co. Young artists, your work is *amazing*! Favorite track: What is a Leader? (Feat. Rani Arbo & some smart kids).
skunk1966
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skunk1966 I just love the music he creates. Also he's a very nice and caring person
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 13 Alastair Moock releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Be a Pain: An Album for Young (and Old) Leaders, Everybody Was a Kid (Live with Ms. Jessica), Alastair Moock, All Kinds of You and Me, Inside a Book, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids, These Are My Friends, A Cow Says Moock, and 5 more. , and , .

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1.
Chorus: What is a leader? What does a leader do? What is a leader? What does leading mean to you? If a leader walked into the room Would you know it right away? What would they look like? What would they talk like? What would a leader say? Chorus Who are the leaders you’ve heard of? Where did you learn their names? Does a leader need to be famous? Can you lead if you don’t have fame? Chorus Is a leader a man or a woman? Are they LGBTQ? What color would their skin be? Could a leader look like you? Chorus Should a leader do what they’re told to do If what they’re told to do’s not right? If a leader sees a wrong somewhere Should they run or stay and fight? Chorus Chorus: What is a leader? What does a leader do? What is a leader? Could a leader be you?
2.
Be a Pain 03:56
If you see something that’s wrong, raise your hand and say that’s wrong Point it out and name that thing by its name Don’t stand by and stare –– if it’s wrong, it’s your affair Don’t be quiet, make a riot, be a pain Chorus: Be a pain, be a pain, shout about it and complain Ignore the crowd and go against the grain Don’t be polite, raise your voice and do what’s right Be a pain, be a pain, be a pain When Rosa Parks sat on that bus, she chose to make a fuss She chose to break the rules and take the blame Her choice to sit and fight helped to bring on Civil Rights Because one strong woman chose to be a pain Chorus: Be a pain, be a pain, shout about it and complain Ignore the crowd and go against the grain If they say, “You have to move,” say “I’ll remain” Be a pain, be a pain, be a pain Harvey Milk, he chose to run for the council board and won Even though folks said, “You can’t because you’re gay” One brave LGBTQ elected leader ran and knew You can change things if you choose to be a pain Chorus: Be a pain, be a pain, shout about it and complain Ignore the crowd and go against the grain Tell ‘em, “I won’t let you make me feel ashamed” Be a pain, be a pain, be a pain A tennis star named Billy Jean told the world she had a dream That men and women would be paid the same She refused to hit the ball ‘til there was equal pay for all She was a King because she was a royal pain Chorus: Be a pain, be a pain, shout about it and complain Ignore the crowd and go against the grain If they refuse to pay, refuse to play the game Be a pain, be a pain, be a pain Kids from Parkland led the fight for something they all knew was right They said, “It’s time for us to finally make a change If adults can’t compromise, we must go march for our lives” They spoke out and led the charge, they all were pains Chorus: Be a pain, be a pain, shout about it and complain Ignore the crowd and go against the grain When you’re faced with laws you know are just insane Be a pain, be a pain, be a pain Chorus: Be a pain, be a pain, shout about it and complain Ignore the crowd and go against the grain Don’t be polite, raise your voice and do what’s right Be a pain, be a pain, be a pain
3.
Two little eyes staring from a crib A tiny little mouth drooling on a bib A tiny little fist with a tiny little grip Before they grew up, everybody was a kid Malcom X was a kid and Dr. King was a kid Mahatma Gandhi was a kid, the Dalai Lama was a kid Before they got tall, before they grew big They used to be small, everybody was a kid You are a kid, you got dirt on your hands You wipe ‘em on your shirt, you wipe ‘em on your pants But one of these days you’re gonna get real big How do I know? ‘Cuz everybody was a kid So where you gonna go? What you gonna do? Who you gonna be? We’re waiting on you We’re holding our breath and our lips are all bit Because we all know everybody was a kid Oprah Winfrey was a kid and Angelina Jolie Even Bill Gates and Muhammad Ali Before they got known, before we knew what they did Before they got grown, everybody was a kid Two little eyes staring from a crib A tiny little mouth drooling on a bib A tiny little fist with a tiny little grip Before they grew up, everybody was a kid So where you gonna go? What you gonna do? Who you gonna be? We’re waiting on you We’re biting our nails though we keep it well hid Because we all know everybody was a kid
4.
Chorus: People, get to work, people, get to work Roll your sleeves up, knuckle down, people get to work A boulder won’t just move itself, shoulder up and start to help People, get to work, people, get to work Children, gather round, children, gather round Put your hands in, pick your tools out, children gather round You can’t get no building done when your hammer isn’t swung Children, gather round, children, gather round Chorus: People, get to work, people, get to work Roll your sleeves up, knuckle down, people get to work That boulder won’t just move itself, shoulder up and start to help People, get to work, people, get to work Children, love’ll win, children, love’ll win Pick your chin up, plant your seeds now, children love’ll win Put your muscle in this fight, what is wrong, you make it right Children, love’ll win, children, love’ll win Chorus: People, get to work, people, get to work Roll your sleeves up, knuckle down, people get to work Put your shoulder to that boulder, one, two, three, now, roll it over People, get to work, people, get to work People, get to work, people, get to work
5.
‘Ol Pete Seeger was a man, a banjo in his hand He spread his messages of justice all throughout the land ‘Ol Pete Seeger fought for fairness, peace, and civil rights For working folks of every color, brown and black and white Chorus: Round and round, go Pete go, round and round I say Planting seeds, fighting wrong until your dying day Round and round, we’re up next, time to take our turn ‘Tis the season, grab your hammer, show ‘em what we’ve learned ‘Ol Pete Seeger went to Harvard for a couple years But he dropped out and rode the rails, still wet behind the ears He studied in the migrant camps and down inside the mines He struck and stood for stronger unions on that picket line Half Chorus: Round and round, go Pete go, round and round I say Planting seeds, fighting wrong until your dying day ‘Ol Pete Seeger sang a song, from labor rights it come He helped to shape and turn it into “We Shall Overcome” ‘Ol Pete Seeger sang another that’s a real fine jammer He and Lee Hayes wrote and called it “If I Had a Hammer” Chorus ‘Ol Pete Seeger had a wife, Toshi was her name Toshi worked as hard as Pete and kept him on his game Toshi stood with Pete in Congress, 1955 He wouldn’t name no names or plead the fifth ‘gainst all advice Half Chorus ‘Ol Pete Seeger was blacklisted all throughout the fifties But ‘Ol Pete still found ways to play because ‘Ol Pete was sneaky Pete would go to schools and sing for kids of every age Inspired them to join the fight, some even took the stage Chorus ‘Ol Pete Seeger stood against the war in Vietnam He didn’t think we should’ve sent them soldiers to Saigon He sang, “Lay down your sword and shield, no more war you’ll study” He went on the TV, sang, “We’re waist deep in the big muddy” Half Chorus ‘Ol Pete Seeger saw pollution up and down the Hudson His solution was to oversee a boat’s construction Pete and others sailed that boat, they sang and gathered cash They helped to clean the river up by getting new laws passed Chorus ‘Ol Pete Seeger marched with Martin, stood with Cesar Chavez Rode with Woody, mentored Dylan, Springsteen, and Joan Baez ‘Ol Pete Seeger sang and fought ‘til he was 94 There’s never been another like him, since then or before Chorus
6.
7.
8.
There’s no wall between the branches of a tree There’s no wall between the river and the sea There’s no wall around the heart that can set one life apart There’s no wall between you and me Chorus: We are marching toward tomorrow all together We are making for a distant shining shore We are walking hand in hand ‘til we reach that promised land Where no wall separates us any more There’s no wall between an ending and a start There’s no wall between the sunshine and the dark There’s no us, there’s no them All walls fall down in the end Chorus: Todos juntos vamos hacia el porvenir Hacia una orilla lejana y feliz Codo a codo caminamos hasta que por fin llegamos Donde los muros no nos puedan dividir No hay muro entre lo antigüo y lo de hoy Entre élites y masas, muro no hay Por distintos que seamos, el mismo aire respiramos No hay muralla entre tú y yo Chorus: We are marching toward tomorrow all together We are making for a distant shining shore We are walking hand in hand ‘til we reach that promised land Where no wall separates us any more Codo a codo caminamos hasta que por fin llegamos Donde los muros no nos puedan dividir Where no wall separates us any more
9.
‘Til every child can go to school I am Malala, you are Malala too ‘Til freedom peace and justice rule I am Malala, you are Malala too Chorus: I am Malala ‘til the sun has shone ‘Til dignity and truth are known I am Malala ‘til the day is new I am Malala, you are Malala too One among many raising up my voice I am Malala, you are Malala too Speaking for all the girls and boys I am Malala, you are Malala too Chorus I raise up my voice for an equal chance To live and learn and grow To be who I want to be and explore The things I want to know Malalalala Malalala I am Malala, you are Malala too Malalalala Malalala I am Malala, you are Malala too Malala Malala Malala Malala Malala Malala Malala Malala
10.
11.
12.
You are who you choose to be When you choose to be who you are The world may be confused by you But you know who you are That face there in the mirror Has the sleep wiped from its eyes As the sun rises, so do you my dear Go shine, go shine You are who you choose to be When you choose to be who you are The world’s not quite like it used to be Thank God we’ve made it this far But this journey’s just beginning And your finding your own way I’ll follow right behind you Whatever road you might take Here’s my vow to you, I’m so proud of you And I will be for all of my days Astounded and amazed by you You’re a rocket, you’re ablaze You are who you choose to be When you choose to be who you are This world is yours to move and change To shape with your hands and your heart That face there in the mirror Doesn’t need to wear a disguise As the sun rises, so do you my dear Go shine, go shine, go shine
13.
Kids can do great things You can fly a long, long way on little wings Figure out the answers only you can bring Believe me when I sing Kids can do great things Kids can open doors Lead us through a world of undiscovered shores Show us what you notice when it’s all brand new Step on through, we can go explore Kids can open doors You can be strong enough to face something you fear You can be kind enough to pull somebody near You can be brave enough to stand up for what’s right Even in the darkest hour, you can shine a light Kids can do great things You can fly a long, long way on little wings I’m thinking of tomorrow and what time may bring When I sing, “kids can do great things” Oh, kids can do great things
14.
November was cold, as cold as cold can be It left me bare and windblown as a Maple tree I see the look on your face and I recognize that place I know you feel about the same as me Pre-Chorus: But I’m picking up a shovel in the morning Hand my old overalls to me Chorus: I’m putting seeds in the ground and the world keeps spinnin’ round There’s sunshine coming, just look up and see I know the wind’ll blow but that January snow Is gonna bring up something good behind It’s holding in the heat deep down below our feet And now it’s just a matter of time Pre-Chorus Chorus Spring is coming on and the days are getting long The wintertime will be a memory soon That snow is gonna melt and the water that it held Is gonna bring up something new Pre-Chorus Chorus x2
15.
Be kind, be fair, do right Cooperate, do the dishes, be nice Don’t pull your sister’s hair Don’t bully, remember to share When we tell our children something matters Do we listen to ourselves? Who are we? We are them Who are they? They are us Be kind, be fair, do right Cooperate, be nice Don’t pull anybody’s people’s hair Don’t bully, remember to share

about

Alastair Moock’s new album, Be a Pain, is a joyful, musical rallying cry for young (and old) leaders in these turbulent times. It looks to the heroes of our past (Dr. King, Harvey Milk, Billie Jean King, Pete Seeger, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X) and our present (Malala Yousafzai, the Parkland student protestors, climate change marchers) to inspire our kids to move the ball forward. The album features guest turns from a powerful and diverse group of musicians and change-makers, including Sol y Canto, Alisa Amador, Reggie Harris, Mark Erelli, Melanie DeMore, Kris Delmhorst, Rani Arbo, Crys Matthews, Sean Staples, Heather Mae, Boston City Singers, and GRAMMY-nominated producer Anand Nayak.
Moock’s plan is to give away free copies of the album –– along with free programming on social justice history –– to underserved schools in the Boston region and beyond. So far, the fund has raised over $10,000 towards that goal. More info here.Boston City Singers

Alastair Moock is a 2014 GRAMMY Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, and recipient of the ASCAP Children’s Music Award. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twins in 2006. The New York Times calls him “a Tom Waits for kids” and The Boston Globe declares that, “in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids’ music that parents can actually enjoy.”

“How lucky we are to have Alastair Moock around these days! When too many adults are role modeling the pursuit of fame, fortune, or personal gain, Alastair’s songs encourage our kids to pursue goodness, kindness, awareness and courage. Adults might listen up!”
- Nora Guthrie, President, Woody Guthrie Publications

“With ‘Be a Pain,” Alastair puts himself firmly in the tradition of singers, songwriters and activists who know that music can move people towards a better world. The songs are rock solid in melody, singability, and meaning. This album should be played out loud, not on headphones, so everybody in the room hears it and sings along.”
– Bill Harley, multiple GRAMMY-winning children’s artist

credits

released April 3, 2020

Alastair Moock – vocals, acoustic guitar
Anand Nayak – electric guitar, piano, ukulele, sampler, banjo (1, 9, 11), electric bass (4), additional percussion, background vocals
Eric Royer – banjo, dobro, pedal steel guitar
Paul Kochanski – upright and electric bass
Scott Kessel – drums, percussion

~ with ~

Sean Staples – mandolin (1, 3, 5, 11, 14)
Jamie Walker – electric guitar (2, 4, 7, 14)
Lily Sexton – fiddle (1, 5, 11)
JJ O’Connell – additional percussion (9)

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Alastair Moock Boston, Massachusetts

A 2013 Grammy Nominee and two-time Parents' Choice Gold Medal Winner, Alastair Moock makes music for the whole family: kids, parents, even discerning pets. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twin daughters in 2006. The Boston Globe calls him “one of the town's best and most adventurous songwriters." ... more

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