The Ballad of Percy Schmeiser Lyrics

Phil Vernon © 2003

Come gather 'round you people, a story I will tell
Of farmer Percy Schmeiser whom tragedy befell
Now he's standing for all farmers against the corporate greed
He's fighting for the right to save our seed

Chorus:
   For the rights of all farmers to grow their own seed
   To plant for the future safe food that we all need
   Percy Schmeiser on him you can depend
   To stand up to Monsanto till the end!

Farming in Saskatchewan for over fifty years
Seed saver and developer respected by his peers
His non-GE canola was known throughout the west
Disease and pest resistant with the best

Then Monsanto's Round-Up Ready turned up in Percy's field
They claimed they were the owner of his yield
They threatened and harassed him with thugs of every sort
And they set out to destroy the man in court

Monsanto's lawyers made their case, the trial judge agreed
Under patent law he was no longer the owner of his seed
No matter where it came from he'd have to pay the cost:
A lifetime of saving seed was lost

Chorus
   Monsanto's corporate motto is Hope, Food and Health
   But all they really care about is Profit, Power and Wealth
   Intimidating farmers till a culture of fear
   Rips up the social fabric we hold dear

A corporate Goliath Monsanto swaggers 'round
But Percy Schmeiser is the one to bring the giant down
He's taking the fight back into court, the highest in the land
So that patents on living things are banned

Chorus
   Now Percy tells his story all around this earth
   How genetic engineering will steal a farmer's worth
   Small farmers in Africa in India and France
   Know if Percy loses, they don't stand a chance

For the rights of all farmers to grow their own seed
To plant for the future safe food that we all need
Percy Schmeiser, we all must defend
And stand up to Monsanto till we win!