There's an uproar in Charlottesville, Virginia over a bunch of third graders who sang a song that contains references to the Occupy Wall Street movement while in a school music workshop. The kids, working with a group called Kid Pan Alley that runs the workshops, composed the song and performed it at Woodbrook Elementary. Then conservative bloggers freaked out because of the song's overt political messages. They're worried that tax-payer dollars were somehow being used to indoctrinate young minds and turn the children into communists. It's too bad they got so worked up because if you listen to the song, it becomes clear that, even though the song references the 99 percent, these kids don't really have any idea what they're talking about. Here's the song's chorus:

Some people have it all
But they still don't think they have enough
They want more money
A faster ride
They're not content
Never satisfied
Yes, they're the one percent

Ok, fair enough. The one percent is perceived as greedy, etc. But then here's the first verse

I used to be one of the one percent
I worked all the time
Never saw my family
Couldn't make my life rhyme
Then the bubble burst
It really, really hurt
I lost my money
I lost my pride
I lost my home
Now I'm part of the 99

Wait, that is not how it went down at all. It's not like everyone was in the one percent and had miserable lives, and then after the financial crisis 99 percent of people are now homeless and without pride. It gets even more complicated in the second verse when they start singing about how they used to be sad as the one percent, but now they're happier because they don't have yachts and planes anymore. The verse ends with "Didn't need that extra stuff/ I'm happy to be part of the 99." I'm not sure, were you to go to any of the Occupy protests around the country, that you'd find a ton of people who had to give up their yachts and are now happy not to have any stuff...


So, phew! It seems like we can all take a deep breath. These third graders are not, in fact, on the verge of inciting class warfare with their not-even-very-catchy protest song. Crisis averted.

Occupy third grade? A song that uses protest rhetoric creates furor in Virginia {Washington Post]