Kid Pan Alley Helps Students Write Pro-Occupy Song, Sparking National Controversy (VIDEO)
An elementary school in Charlottesville, Va., has drawn criticism after some of its 3rd grade students apparently wrote and sang a song in favor of the Occupy Wall Street movement, CBS Washington reports.
According to the report, the song, titled "Part of the 99," was written and performed during a visit with Kid Pan Alley group, who, according to their website, "uses the group songwriting process to inspire and empower children to become creators of their own music."
In the sessions, children are asked what topics they want to sing about. In this case, one of the students at Woodbrook Elementary School said they wanted to write about "having it all and losing it all."
Despite nationwide controversy over the lyrics, Albermarle County School Board Chair Steve Koleszar told WCAV that they don't want to discourage students' creativity and that Kid Pan Alley was not steering the songwriting process.
"They don't censor what the kids write. They don't shape what the kids write," Koleszar said. "It all comes out of the kids own mouths and the kids own words."
The station's report included a full transcript of the song:
"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 1 percent
I used to be one of the 1 percent
I worked all the time
Never saw my family
Couldn't make life rhyme
Then the bubble burst
It really, really hurt
I lost my money
Lost my pride
Lost my home
Now I'm part of the 99
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
Yes -- they're the 1 percent
I used to be sad, now I'm satisfied
'Cause I really have enough
Though I lost my yacht and plane
Didn't need that extra stuff
Could have been much worse
You don’t need to be first
'Cause I've got my friends
Here by my side
Don't need it all
I'm so happy to be part of the 99"
Nevertheless, in a statement released today, Kid Pan Alley took responsibility for the lyrics, WCAV stated in a separate report.
Paul Reisler, the group's founder and artistic director, said they should have taken more care in keeping the song stance-neutral and avoiding phrases like "I'm part of the 99."
"This is a song about being satisfied with what you have, a song about how life has its ups and downs, as so many people in our country are experiencing now," Reisler told the station. "It was my personal mistake to introduce these phrases and I take complete responsibility for it. I will not make a mistake like this again."