That’s Not Nice!

Via Deborah Agre comes this civil rights song, “It Isn’t Nice,” by Malvina Reynolds.

It isn’t nice to block the doorway,
It isn’t nice to go to jail,
There are nicer ways to do it,
But the nice ways always fail.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom’s price,
We don’t mind.


  1. Ted Swedenburg October 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm | #

    No disrespect to Malvina Reynolds, but to my mind, the best version is by Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers.

  2. Edward Opton October 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm | #

    Malvina Reynolds got it just right, as usual.

    At the beginning of this academic year, University of California President Janet Napolitano seems to have asked the chancellors of each campus to promote “civility,” perhaps in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which is being celebrated in a number of ways (all quite civil, so far) on the Berkeley campus.

    Berkeley’s chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, complied with President Napolitano’s request by publishing a letter in the Daily Californian imploring “civility.” Many responses followed. The best was the response from a group of Free Speech Movement veterans in which they quoted “It Isn’t Nice” in full. That said it all.

  3. George Davis November 1, 2014 at 11:18 am | #

    Another good song: It’s Not Cricket to Picket.

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