I Had No Right
Dar Williams' most recent album is Emerald.
Williams wrote this song to commemorate Daniel Berrigan's resistance to the Vietnam War. Berrigan was a Jesuit priest who, along with eight other Catholic activists, burned draft files to protest the war. Of the incident, Berrigan wrote, "Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children..." He was sentenced to three years in prison.
God of the poor man this is how the day began Eight co defendants, I, Daniel Berrigan Oh and only a layman's batch of napalm We pulled the draft files out We burned them in the parking lot Better the files than the bodies of children I had no right but for the love of you I had no right but for the love of you Many roads led here, walked with the suffering Tom in Guatemala, Phillip in New Orleans Oh it's a long road from law to justice I went to Vietnam, I went for peace They dropped their bombs Right where my government knew I would be I had no right but for the love of you I had no right but for the love of you And all my country saw Were priests who broke the law First it was question, then it was a mission How to be American, how to be a Christian Oh if their law is their cross and the cross is burning The love of you The love of you God of the just I'll never win a peace prize Falling like Jesus Now let the jury rise Oh it's all of us versus all that paper They took the only way they know who is on trial today Deliver us unto each other, I pray I had no right but for the love of you And every trial I stood, I stood for you Eyes on the trial Eight a.m. arrival Hands on the Bible