Equality Road - double CD

The Living Wage

Kristin Lems
words/music Kristin Lems c 2007 Kleine Ding Music (BMI)


Just do the math....the minimum wage is not a living wage!!


The Living Wage

Words and music by Kristin Lems

© 2007 Kleine Ding Music (BMI)


Well I'm a working woman and a single mother too

I got a full time job, it seemed the only thing to do

Now I work five days, it's a 40 hour week

And here's my life, come close and take a peek (2x)


It's $1200 a month before the SSI and tax

The take-home pay is $900 and 1/2

And the rent takes half of that, leaving $475

With a hundred for the groceries to keep us all alive (2x)


From the $375, take out $50 for the heat

And $50 for the lights and phone, utilities complete,

From the $275 take my public transport pass

To get me to and from this job, for which I bust my ass (2x)


But I haven't finished yet, no, my babies are so young

That one is not in school yet, he has not yet begun

So I pay $200 to a mom who lives near me

So she can spend ten hours a day with him -- instead of me

So she can spend 10 precious hours with him - instead of me


And add to that the clothing bill, the cleaning bill, the shoes

Prescriptions and medicine, birthday gifts and Brownie dues

And take all of that from the sum of $75

And your guess is as good as mine just how we stay alive (2x)


But the system is so thoughtful and the bankers are so kind

They've given me some credit cards for when I fall behind

So I make my monthly payments, a mere 39 to go --

Just looking at this nightmare makes me want to stay at home  (2x)


They're trying to get welfare mothers into full time jobs

If we aren't thrilled to leave the home, they call us lazy slobs -

Offer minimum wage, no benefits, and no childcare, naturally

So more can join the weary ranks of working poor like me (2x)


Oh I'd like to take each potbellied pol who talks that way

And let him try to take a walk in my shoes for a day,

He'd be screaming and crying and begging and irate

To raise the living wage now, before it is too late (2x)


For I'm a working woman and a single mother too

I left my full time job, it seemed the only thing to do

And until that happy day that the living wage is raised,

I'll do odd jobs, stay with my kids, and home is where I'll stay

This rich land can afford it, we have got to find a way

We've got to raise the living wage -- we've got to find a way!



On the recording Equality Road - Kristin Lems - Carolsdatter Productions






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