To recognize the power of protest music, acknowledge its role in creating a culture of dissent and how musicians translate social issues and systemic problems into song, The Dissenter has launched a daily feature that highlights a protest song every weekday.

Strike Debt, an organization rooted in the idealism of the Occupy movement, declares on its website, “As individuals, families and communities, most of us are drowning in debt to Wall Street for basic things we need to live, like housing, education and health care.” This is why it has launched the Rolling Jubilee to bail out people in debt and abolish their debt by buying it for pennies on the dollar.

Today’s song is a selection for those seeking a People’s Bailout. It is by rapper and songwriter Everlast and is called “I Get By.”

It begins with this verse:

Government man keep calling my house
Talking ‘bout I owe, harassing my spouse
Gotta park my truck on another block
Cause the sub-prime loan got my ass in hoc

The person going through poverty in the song has a “couple good friends with helping hands,” but that isn’t enough. He needs a “brand new job with a health care plan.” The plant he used to work at closed.

In the meantime, he smokes a little grass and drinks a little wine, watches a little tube and tries to kill a little time and “every single day” he falls more behind.

His debt is clearly an affliction. He tries to get by and he barely gets by. He seems to recognize that it is not as bad as some others he might now, but, still, he barely gets by trying to “keep the rent paid and the power on.”


If you have requests for songs that should be featured or if you have a protest song you recorded, which you would like to see featured, email [email protected]

And all previous Protest Song of the Day selections can be found here.