When did I become the problem?

A song by Tom Juravich for public sector workers under attack

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Tom Juravich Re-Releases Song in Support of Public Workers under Attack: “When Did I Become the Problem?”

February, 22, 2011. Massachusetts-based singer song writer Tom Juravich is re-releasing his song “When Did I Become the Problem,” (“The Problem”) in support of the workers and unions fighting back against the attacks on public sector workers across the U. S. It is available as a download.

“I have been shocked by the blatant attacks on public sector workers and their unions in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and so many others states across the country,” says Juravich. “Without a doubt states are facing some difficult financials times, but our kids’ teachers, the people who pick up trash in our towns and the folks working at the social security office that take care of our parents didn’t cause this problem, and slashing their wages, cutting their benefits and destroying their unions isn’t the solution.”

In his song Juravich writes about a teacher, a state mental health worker and a national park ranger who all find themselves blamed for everything that is going wrong. They lament:

When did I become the problem?
How did the fault become all mine?
They all say they’re tightening their belt
But the only one they’re tightening is mine.

“The Problem” first appeared on Juravich’s CD Altar of the Bottom Line released by Finnegan Music in 2009. Juravich is joined by drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, Paul McCartney, and Rosanne Cash), electric guitarist Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpeneter, numerous John Sayles films) and Richard Gates on bass (Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega, and Patty Larkin).

Pete Seeger says, “I was impressed by Tom’s wide variety of material and frankly jealous of his wonderful voice,’” Dirty Linen writes that “Tom Juravich is foremost a storyteller. He has been traveling the country, hearing and retelling his stories of American sweat and struggle for a long time.”

For more information contact Tom Juravich or phone 413.348.4553

When Did I Become the Problem?

(The Problem)

Tom Juravich
©2007

I teach at the middle school, I find it hard to catch my breath
The kid’s are scattered, the parents frantic, they’re all worried about the tests
But is it my fault that the scores aren’t higher, the kids are so misbehaved?
They took my aid, my class keeps growing, and board wants to cut back my pay

When did I become the problem?
How did the fault become all mine?
The school board says that they’re tightening their belt
But the only one they’re tightening is mine.

I work for the state helping kids with disabilities
I love the kids, hate the rules -- more bosses than you would believe
We had layoffs again this morning, I’ve got more children now than I can see
The parents are angry, how can I blame them, but they end up blaming me

When did I become the problem?
How did the fault become all mine?
The governor says that they’re tightening their belt
But the only one they’re tightening is mine.

I took this national park job, I love working outside
Away from the city, the noise and crowds, the freeway ride
But they slashed our funding, cut all our hours, by Washington decree
So here I stand with a long line of cars, with everybody yelling at me

When did I become the problem?
How did the fault become all mine?
The president says that they’re tightening their belt
But the only one they’re tightening is mine