Willie Nelson reads poem for Occupy Wall Street protesters

Video Link: Willie Nelson and his wife wrote this poem in solidarity with the "Occupy" movement. "We're the ones we've been waiting for," they read. Disclosure: I love this totally awesome dude, and he can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. (via Greg Mitchell's excellent OWS liveblog at The Nation)


  1. Since they apparently took that video in a mirror (unless their T-shirts are some sort of clever statement; I yield to few in the degree of my ignorance of fashion) does someone know how to mirror-image the video and post it looking right?

    1. A lot of webcams do that by default, so that your view looks like you’re accustomed to seeing it in the mirror.

  2. @Warren_Terra:disqus : watch the video in a mirror if you want to read her shirt. :)

    Is it just mean, or was that sort of a really bad peom. I mean, repetitive to no end, and not really much to say. We’re the doors and the floor… really?

    1. I disagree, I thought it was great. “We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for” gives me a shiver its so powerful.

      But ultimately the greatest thing about this poem is to see the support coming from so many places now, which is an amazing thing.

  3. I share Xeni’s love for Willie. But the line about don’t mind paying taxes was pretty funny. I didn’t see Willie wink when he read that; probably he was winking on the inside.

  4. in the world of slick, heartfelt/homely/hippy sensitivities are sometimes squandered. I’ve left myself in tatters loving and leaving homes from Fukushima to Europe’s fjordy bits, my euro-canucklehead self somewhere in between. nobodies are saving me but me, yet our bodies are saving we, actively, not couchside snively. rock on Xenis, Willies, all y’all got a good heart, and that’s what we can all tap into, eh. just back from Sendai, change is forced upon us, sentiment is not, reaction is not.

  5. Gotta love Willie!  After all, he’s the only man to go on national television and admit to getting high on the roof of the White House.  He’s a national treasure.

    1. Now that I know this I love Willie even more! He allegedly referred to the joint he smoked there as “a big fat Austin torpedo”. What is beautiful is that he’s not the only one.

      I’m no literature graduate, but I am confident that this poem is not going to win any prizes.

  6. “You do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever. And that goes for
    everyone…except Willie Nelson. 24 million dollar tax bill, Willie was
    a little looser than the rest of us. I just avert my eyes when he sings
    about tacos, ya know what I mean?” #Hicks

  7. I had the pleasure of seeing Willie in concert some years ago and I was inspired by his strength.  He’s such a beautiful man.  This only seals the deal for me.  Willie Nelson, you are incredible.  Thank you.

  8. I am at a loss for words, over the irony, and the hypocrisy.

    He means well, I’ll give him that.

    1. > I am at a loss for words, over the irony, and the hypocrisy.

      How does being charged with tax evasion years ago disqualify someone from standing behind a movement to remove corruption from the financial industry and our government?

      And @silent3: the movement is about MUCH more than wanting rich folks to pay their share of taxes. The primary tenets of the movement are that the banking industry needs to be regulated so it doesn’t collapse again, and that we need to get the money (corporations) out of politics.

      1. >How does being charged with tax evasion years ago disqualify
        >someone to stand behind a movement to remove corruption
        >from the financial industry and our government?

        It doesn’t, and I never said it did.  But it is very ironic to constantly hear a couple repeat “we are the 99” when they haven’t been part of the 99, speaking financially, for several decades.  It’s very hypocritical for them to comment about being happy to pay their taxes.

        But like I said, they mean well.  But meaning well also doesn’t disqualify them from being either ironic or hypocritical.

        1. So now you’re saying having some money and success disqualifies someone from standing behind a movement to remove corruption from the financial industry and our government?

          Remember, this movement isn’t trying to destroy capitalism, but rather to regulate it so it doesn’t destroy itself and us.  In essence its trying to save capitalism and our government from themselves.

          This speech from Robert Reich might help you understand things a little better:

          Lord knows it helped me.

          And all this calling people hypocrites is a really cheap way to argue, by the way.

      2. Well, that is your interpretation of what the movement primarily represents…for others there are issues of social welfare and society’s responsibility to our weakest. Dealing with these issues requires tax dollars.

  9. Yeah, Willie can do no wrong….except for that part about not paying taxes.  Here’s a pro-tip:  stop identifying with a movement that wants rich folks to pay their share if you don’t pay yours.  Blaming your accountants doesn’t work either…..Willie is a great musician, but ‘do no wrong’?  Hardly.

    1. Yup. Perhaps would have gotten booed had of there had he appeared in person, as did Bank Spokesperson Alec Baldwin.

  10. You have to love it when multi-millionaire tax-dodging “celebrities” show up to grab the sporlight for a while in “solidarity”.

    No thanks, can’t stand his singing, can’t stand his hypocrisy, not interested in his opinions or politics.

  11. Calling Willie Nelson a hypocrite and a tax dodger isn’t accurate. He claims to have been led astray by the accounting form the band used, Price Waterhouse. He sued them and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. If he was in the wrong, why would the accounting firm settle out of court?  All of the band and crew members who were also with Price Waterhouse except for Willie, Paul English (the drummer), and Bee Spears (the bass player) filed for bankruptcy because of the problems they claimed that Price Waterhouse created for them. Willie was the only person that people had heard of, so there weren’t news stories about all of them being hit. They’re not all tax dodgers. They are guys who know how to play music who made a lot of money when most of them were young and didn’t know enough to know when they were getting bad advice.  I know because my dad was one of them. My sister’s and my college savings were depleted to pay the tax bill, and my dad was absolutely stunned–like everyone else in the band.

    And, few celebrities have done more for people than Willie Nelson. Farm Aid  helps family farmers every year. And at any given town where they play, there’s a half dozen people who have their hands in Willie’s pockets for things they need.  He is a very generous, very down-to-earth person. A lot of people deserve the negative opinions that people have about them. Willie isn’t one of those people. 

  12. Yeah, um, speaking from experience and proximity, sometimes when people who come from working-class or middle-class backgrounds work very hard and get lucky, they make a fair amount of money.
    What to do with it, and how to deal with it properly and legally, is then a mystery. Having been raised in environments in which they have not been exposed to personal bankers, financial consultants, and CPAs, etc, they often hire the first professionals recommended to them. Sometimes those professionals make mistakes and those formerly-naive successful people learn lessons. Which are frequently costly and painful, as witnessed by thivai.

    It does happen. Rather frequently in fact. When the people who create their own success find themselves achieving the stereotypical “American Dream,” they are on their own when it comes to navigating the seas most frequently sailed by people who are born into the culture that surrounds creating and maintaining wealth. And, sorry for the over-wrought metaphor, those are some treacherous seas. I have known several people who’ve worked their asses off and lost the “wealth” they gained because they lacked experience and trusted the wrong established expert or firm. Or they lacked a financial buffer to cover their first mistakes. So I’m a bit hesitant to judge…

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