#DefundDAPL & Keeping on the Sunny Side

I wrote a #NODAPL version of “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life” last week, to support the actions taking place at banks across the country that continue to financially support the Dakota Access pipeline.

It was fun to take a song that everyone already knows, and change the lyrics to fit a contemporary issue (Indigenous Land Sovereignty & Climate Change). It’s very folk, to change the lyrics of a song to fit a new social issue.

Even more “folk” was that just days after writing it, we put the song into action at Seattle’s Mass Action to Defund DAPL – a targeted action at Wells Fargo, one of the biggest funders of the Dakota Access pipeline. We had 20 folks singing as the opening act to folks closing down their accounts at the big downtown Seattle Branch location, while several hundred people marched outside the building. Indigenous leaders, including climate justice activist & musician Paul Cheoketen Wagner led song and prayer, and dance for the water protectors of Standing Rock, and for water protectors everywhere inside the lobby of the bank.

Here are the lyrics, and a recording of me singing the song, in case any of you want to use it at actions you are taking across the country to support the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in their #NoDapl fight. I hope you use them to help for up for Indigenous land sovereignty & climate justice!

In solidarity & love,



Keep on the Sunny Side (#NODAPL)CHORDS: DGD-/--A-/D-G--/DAD-
There’s a dark and troubled side of life
Where big banks still invest in oil pipelines
Indigenous folk are right, Water is Life
So let’s keep on the sunny side of life

Keep on the Sunny Side, Always on the Sunny Side
Keep on the Sunny Side of Life
It will help us every day, it will Brighten all the Way
If we Keep on the Sunny Side of Life

The Storm and its fury broke today
Climate Change is here and here to stay
Money Can’t fix this mess, But we have fire in our chests
Solidarity and Love will lead the Way

Let us Greet with the Song of Hope Each Day
Shout Dakota Access Pipeline Go Away!(chorus shouts: GO AWAY)
Coal, Oil, Gas - None of these shall pass
So let's keep on the sunny side of Life


2 thoughts on “#DefundDAPL & Keeping on the Sunny Side

    1. admin says:

      Thanks Ulysses! Have fun singing the song at your local #Nodapl bank action! — Erika


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *