In Motion (1994)

Full album

Produced by Eric Levine
Engineering: Laura Wernick
Editing: Marcia Bernstein & Sally Campbell
Liner Notes: Eric Levine
Album Cover Design: Barbara Aliprantis

© 1994 Disabled In Action of Greater New York

Sam Anderson
Marcia Bernstein
Sally Campbell
Sis Cunningham
Anne Emerman
Sidney Emerman
Michael Imperiale
Bobby Levine
Eric Levine
Mary Ann Marra
Marilyn Saviola
Mel Tanzman
Laura Wernick
Frieda Zames

Instrumentals by:
Eric Levine, Maura Gregory, Nancy de Luca and Sidney Emerman

Liner Notes and Song Lyrics

In Motion cover image


Disabled in Action (DIA) is the name of a civil rights group dedicated to improving the legal, social and economic condition of people with disabilities so that they may achieve complete integration into society.

A non-profit, tax-exempt organization, DIA began in the early 1970’s as one of many new and different liberation movements. Black and Native American people were fighting for more freedom; so were poor people, Third World People of all nationalities, Women, Gays, and Lesbians.

This was the beginning of a militant disability rights movement. Up to this time, it had been unheard of, and some thought it frankly ridiculous. But those who had been locked out by both physical and attitudinal barriers would take it no longer. For instance, one of their first acts was to picket the Jerry Lewis telethon where year after year his program sensationalized the situation of disabled people by perpetuating a freak show image of people with muscular dystrophy.

At DIA Christmas parties in the late 1970’s, Sam Anderson, Sid Emerman, Michael Imperiale, Karen Luxton and others were playing music together and thought it would be a great idea to share their music not only to encourage people within the disabled community but also to inform those outside it. And so The Disabled in Action Singers was formed. Soon this singing group became a prime tool to spread the message of disabled liberation as well as to raise needed funds.

They sang in schools and hospitals, at rallies and parties and then began doing concerts, including performing at the Great Hudson River Revival (Clearwater Festival) and later joining Pete Seeger’s Coalition of Choruses.

Over the years, The DIA Singers have continued to do what they do best: collecting, writing and singing songs. Like other singing groups with a message, they sing songs of peace, songs of love, songs of empowerment and liberation. What makes The DIA Singers special is that they sing from the point of view of people living with disabilities who have experienced the attitudes which label them as “other”.

Whether disabled or temporarily able-bodied, they fervently believe and joyfully sing:

The world's for all people; we all must belong
Harmony's great if we sing the same song
And no one's left out anymore

Cover Photograph

Back Row: Sis Cunningham, Maura Gregory, Mel Tanzman, Marcia Bernstein, Michael Imperiale, Sam Anderson, Sidney Emerman

Front Row: Eric Levine, Bobby Levine, Marilyn Saviola, Mary Ann Marra, Frieda Zames, Anne Emerman

Not in Picture: Sally Campbell, Nancy DeLuca, Laura Wernick

c p 1994 Disabled in Action of Greater New York
Produced by Eric Levine
Engineering by Laura Wernick
Cover Design by Barbara Aliprantis
Liner Notes by Eric Levine
Editing by Marcia Bernstein and Sally Campbell


The DIA Singers chorus of voices includes 14 people and is heard throughout the tape:




Sam Anderson – One of the original DIA Singers, Sam has an earthy and very communicative bass/baritone voice. His presence tends to “stop the show.” Sam has been a longtime advocate for disability rights, working with DIA and city and state government. He has a PhD in psychology and does medical research at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Marcia Bernstein – A new member of the group, Marcia brings a life of choral experience to The DIA Singers. Her expressive soprano voice is evident only some of the time. Her 3-octave range allows additional harmonies to enrich the vocal arrangements. Marcia teaches deaf kindergarten children in the Bronx.

Sally Campbell – A recent addition, Sally brings her energy, her voice and her love of life to The DIA Singers. She’s a Quaker who writes songs, helps run a folk music cafe, The Peoples’ Voice Cafe in Greenwich Village, and is working on creating housing for homeless people with AIDS. She’s also the children’s librarian at the newly accessible Library for the Blind in NYC.

Sis Cunningham – When Sis, now in her 80’s, was asked if she’d like to join The DIA Singers, it was a longshot. She’d sung with the Red Dust Players and The Almanac Singers (including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Leadbelly). She also founded Broadside Magazine which helped to launch the careers of Dylan, Tom Paxton, etc. Happily, Sis did not hesitate a moment; she joined right up. She’s an activist at heart, and with the passing years she has acquired some disabilities. What a great way to bring about social change!

Nancy DeLuca – A former DIA singer, Nancy is a science teacher in Boston and a gay activist as well as a warm humanist. When Nancy heard we were making a tape, she flew down from Boston to add that delicious harmonica and mandolin she’s famous for.

Anne Emerman – The director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities under Mayor David Dinkins, Anne has been an activist in the disability movement for years. She promotes using song as an organizing and coalition-building tool. She believes this is one of the best ways to communicate the disability community’s message of integration, equal access and opportunity for everyone.

Sidney Emerman – The other side of the Emerman Dynamic Duo, Sidney is an accomplished musician and folk music enthusiast. When he’s not singing in his mellow bass voice, his recorder playing punctuates many of the tracks on this tape. What the audience doesn’t see is the precision that he brings to rehearsals and to planning details of accessibility, his gentle sense of humor and his straightforward honesty. Sidney is a chemistry professor at Kingsborough Community College.

Maura Gregory – Maura plays her jumbo-sized steel-string guitar with a driving, steady rhythm. Her input is invaluable on questions of arranging songs, as is her general take on all group matters both musical and other. Maura is an attorney who is committed to practicing public interest law. She lives with her husband Mel Tanzman (also in The DIA singers) and their new son Andres, who at the inception of this tape is just beginning to walk.

Michael Imperiale – Michael used to sing semi-professionally. He knows folk songs, Italian Songs, Jewish Songs and old pop songs and sings them all with a romantically expressive booming basso voice. Michael is a disability activist, and he has participated in civil disobedience a number of times for the cause. Going with his spouse, Frieda Zames, from meeting to meeting, you can always count on Michael to carry chairs, bring loads of food, serve everybody coffee and tea, and provide hugs, kisses and/or handshakes to all who come in the door. Michael makes everybody feel at home.

Bobby Levine – Bobby is a longtime disability activist with a broad knowledge of music, folk music being an old favorite. Bobby was a city planner in California for many years and has come now to New York, where he works on disability issues and lives with his new wife Toby.

Eric Levine – Eric, with his 12-string, his banjo, his occasional vocal solo, is also the musical director of The DIA Singers. He is a working musician in New York City who does 10 to 20 large and small concert programs a year on his own, does music with children and plays backup guitar with Irish, Scottish and Jewish musicians. Eric works with the intercultural coffee house movement and often sings with Matt Jones. He also teaches music and is a longtime peace activist with the War Resisters League.

Mary Anne Marra – We are very lucky to have Mary Ann, a new soprano, who sang semi-professionally at one time. She has a deliciously clear and expressive voice which keeps us listening to what she’s singing or talking about. Her enthusiasm shines through and illuminates our music. Mary Ann is a social worker in Brooklyn.

Marilyn Saviola – Marilyn is a longtime DIA singer and is the director of the Center for Independence of The Disabled in New York (CIDNY). Marilyn is one of the top disabled activists in New York and is extremely knowledgeable about disability issues. Her input is always invaluable both in terms of song selection and in terms of how and where we present The DIA Singers.

Mel Tanzman – With his unique voice, Mel exudes a rare warmth and presence. Always adding a high spirit to things, Mel likes to wrap up a song, singing the culminating final verse. He sang with The Four Parts of the Movement Chorus for many years before he and his wife Maura Gregory joined the DIA Singers. Mel is a social worker at Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA) and is highly knowledgeable about disability and rehabilitation. And don’t forget his new son, Andres!

Laura Wemick – Laura doubles as both our technical expert for recording and amplification and as one of our singers. Laura is active in the peace movement in Israel and is often back and forth for months at a time. She has worked for Tikkun Magazine and has done professional audio work for theaters and elsewhere.

Frieda Zames – Formerly president of Disabled in Action, Frieda is a tireless activist who has spent years fighting for the rights of disabled people from legislation to civil disobedience. Frieda is a spirit in the chorus, a source of ideas, knowledge and moral support. She is a mathematician and just recently retired from teaching math at the N.J. Institute of Technology. She lives with Michael Imperiale in New York, where they both make the world better for people with disabilities.



  1. Two Good Legs 3.42
  2. Walking On My Wheels 3.21
  3. Jim Dickson 3.44
  4. MTA Song 2.34
  5. Streets of New York City 4.45
  6. Thanksgiving Eve 3.02
  7. Loves Gonna’ Carry Us 3.15

TOTAL 24.52


  1. Pass The Laws 4.48
  2. National Health Insurance Blues 3.49
  3. Housecalls 4.51
  4. He May Be Slow 4.08
  5. River 4.13
  6. The DIA Song 1.54

TOTAL 24.13


1. Two Good Legs – Words & Music By Patricia Shih, Fragile Glass Music Publishing (BMI) (Used with permission)

Vocals: Sam Anderson, Sid Emerman, Anne Emerman, Marcia Bernstein, Michael Imperiale, Mel Tanzman
Banjo: Eric Levine
Guitar: Maura Gregory

An important song for us because unlike earlier songs that often had a “please accept us” tone, this is a more militant, yet still absolutely humanistic, song, and it puts disability in a more positive light.

Oh I may not be able to walk like others do
But I get around, nothing keeps me down, I've a different point of view
Now there are those who trample others, In pursuit of that head start
What good is having two good legs if you're crippled in the heart?

Oh crippled in the heart
Yes, crippled in the heart
What good is having two good legs if you're crippled in the heart? 2x

I can not hear you talking, my hands replace my voice
But I don't feel sad 'cause it ain't so bad,
I'm not disturbed by noise.
Now there are those who never listen to what others have to say
What good is having two good ears
If they're gonna' be deaf that way?

I've never seen a sunset, so "red" is just a word
But I don't cry 'cause the visions I have dreamed are never blurred
Now there are those who look right through you
And refuse to see the light
What good is having two good eyes if the mind has no insight?

I am a little slower
In action, thought, and word
A world that can't wait spins at seventy-eight
I'm at thirty-three and a third
But there are those who swiftly run by
And those who swiftly judge
What good is being speedy if the spirit doesn't budge?

Oh yes, I am disabled, but I'm able to say this:
"When you see me come, see a whole human
Not the parts that I might miss
And I won't hide all my shortcomings
If yours you'll also wear
For humanity, not ability, is the handicap we share."

2. Walking On My Wheels – Words & Music by Mark Cohen, M.D.
(Used with permission)

Vocal: Mary Anne Marra
Guitars: Maura Gregory & Eric Levine

A truly delightful song from the point of view of a happy 9-year-old girl who loves herself, her life and her wheelchair. The songwriter is a pediatrician in California.

My name is Annie and I'm nine
Take a look at this amazing chair of mine
It's silver and shiny and the wheels go round
Just a little push and I really cover ground!

Walkin' on my wheels, I'm walkin' on my wheels
People let me tell you just how good it feels
I can go anywhere if I've got my chair
Watch me now I'm walkin' on my wheels

Why don't my legs work? You really want to know?
My muscles are weak because of polio
But I work out everyday and my arms are strong
They're just the thing for rolling me along

Every day when I go to school
I ride a bus that's really pretty cool
The lift takes my chair right down to the floor
Help me with the locks and I'll race you to the door

Wasn't that funny when the substitute teacher
Asked us to name that silly looking creature
I raised my hand, she nearly dropped her chalk.
She thought I couldn't think just because I couldn't walk

Can you come over? Ask your folks
We can use the computer or just tell jokes
And maybe later on I can come to visit you
If your building has a ramp so my chair can visit too

My friend Jack has a chair like me
But he's really old, he's almost twenty-three
He can shoot basketball just like Doctor J.
And just last week he started teaching me to play

3. The Ballad of Jim Dickson – Words & Music By Eric Levine

Vocal & 12-string Guitar: Eric Levine

A ballad about a blind man who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean solo, with sophisticated equipment that gave him the ability to navigate. William F. Buckley Jr., a sailor himself, was so upset that a blind man might try to snatch his machismo, that he made it the focus of an article and a television debate.

To sail across the sea in a boat at your command
To sail across the sea and say goodbye to land
Jim Dickson was his name,
And his eyes they could not see
But his message focused clearly
As he sailed across the sea

The boat was named Eye Opener, the voyage purpose clear
To sail a boat through prejudice, to spit to the winds of fear
The sea was very stormy, the sea was very rough
He could not make it to Plymouth, but Bermuda was enough
When he got into the harbor, the press was all around
The idea of a sightless sailor their minds it did confound
"Did you really think you could do it?" and Dickson did reply
"I got through one of the tougher storms, in fact I am alive."

Then out from the Ivy Leagues of Yale Bill Buckley lifted his pen
A conservative neo-fascist right-wing American
He said Jim Dickson never could appreciate the sea
"Without the eyes that I have, how can you do like me?"
Jim Dickson responded to Buckley, "Oh, who are you to say
What I can and can't appreciate, as I travel on my way?
You may have 20/20, your rods and cones all fine
But your vision of the future is not half as keen as mine."

Some people see the sea with eyes, some people hear the waves
We all perceive the world around in many different ways
In Buckley's world there are barriers that anchor you in sand
But he could not keep Jim Dickson malingering on the land
The whole thing went on Nightline, the Dickson-Buckley debate
Buckley said that the blind could not "appreciate ballet"
And as we watched we could not help but hear the words they say
As Buckley and Koppel pontificated in a patronizing way

4. Denise and the MTA – Words by Sidney Emerman and Sam Anderson. Tune Traditional.

Vocals: Sam Anderson and Sid Emerman
Banjo: Eric Levine
Guitar: Maura Gregory

The true story of a women in a wheelchair who performed a dramatic act of civil disobedience which led to the movement to make all New York City Buses truly accessible (they are almost now).

'Twas a pleasant warm day in the month of September
'81 on the 30th day
When a plucky little maid named Denise McQuade
Went to ride on the MTA
It was opening day for the rear lift buses
On the route M 104
Denise looked up Broadway, saw that GMC coming
And wheeled right to its front door

And will she ever get on?
No, she'll never get on. No, she'll never get on board
She may wait forever on the streets of Gotham
For the bus plan is a fraud

The bus driver said, "I'm sorry lady, they didn't give me a lift key."
Denise flew into action threw herself on the steps
Said "You won't leave here without me."
When the MTA brass heard of this impasse
They offered her a boost to get inside
But she stuck to her guns, said "You promised us the lift,
So get the key - and then we shall ride."

Well they hemmed and they hawed, they pondered and they jawed
And seven hours later brought the key
When Denise and her chair got a lift into the air
She flashed a sign of victory

And will she get her ride?
Yes, she'll get her ride, she's triumphantly inside
With her will, with her way she has won the day
Overcoming the bureaucrats' pride

Now her victory smile and her victory sign
Weren't seen by just you and me
It made page one of the New York Post
And Arnold Diaz put it all on TV
Now many years have come and gone since that day Denise got on
And a thousand wheelchair riders board each day
And soon all buses will have lifts on both day and night- time shifts
'Cause they put Denise in charge down at the MTA.

And will we all get on?
Yes, we'll all get on
We'll make the system work for us
Able-bodied and disabled we will ride together
On the subway and on the bus!

5. The Streets of New York City adapted from “The Streets of London”
by Ralph McTell (c 1970 Essex Music Intl TRO)
New Words By Mel Tanzman and Maura Gregory (Used with permission}

Vocals: Eric Levine, Sally Campbell, Michael Imperiale, Marcia Bernstein, Mel Tanzman
Guitar: Maura Gregory
12-string guitar: Eric Levine
Recorder: Sidney Emerman

Taken from the popular song, Mel Tanzman and Maura Gregory of the DIA singers paint a picture of loneliness and desperation in all 5 boroughs of our city.

Have you seen the young man outside the closed Queens factory
Kicking up the papers with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride, and held loosely at his side
Is yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news

So how can you tell me you're lonely
And say for you that the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead your through the streets of New York City
I'll show you somethin' to make you change your mind

Have you seen the woman who walks the streets of Brooklyn
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She's no time for talkin', she keeps right on awalkin'
Carryin' her home in two black plastic bags

In the all-night Burger King at a quarter past eleven
Sits an old man, there on his own
Looking at Manhattan over the rim of his coffee cup
Each cup lasts an hour. He wanders home alone

Have you seen the woman on the Staten Island ferry
Staring out the window at the water below?
Last time that her lover beat her
She left, swore no one'd mistreat her
But now she's out of money, and nowhere else to go

Have you seen the veteran outside the Bronx VA Hospital
Sitting in his fatigues in a beat up wheelchair?
Still suffering from the scars of war
But they won't help him anymore
One more broken promise from a government that doesn't care

6. Thanksgiving Eve – Words & Music By Bob Franke Telephone Pole Music (Used with permission)

Vocals: Marcia Bernstein
12 string Guitar: Eric Levine

A song of sober reflection and inspiration which Bob Franke brought to a potluck Thanksgiving Day party. He says of it “I was thinking about how to express my view of the truth in a manner that would be accessible to lots of people whatever their religious tradition.”

It's so easy to dream of the days gone by
It's a hard thing to think of the times to come
But the grace to accept every moment as a gift
Is a gift that is given to some

What can you do with your days but work and hope
That your dreams bind your work to your play?
What can you do with each moment of your life
But love till you've loved it away?
Love till you've loved it away

There are sorrows enough for the whole worlds end
There are no guarantees but the grave
But this life that I live and the times that I have spent
Are treasures too precious to save

7. Love’s Gonna’ Carry Us – Words and Music By Fred Small c 1981 Pine Barrens Music (BMI) (Used with permission)

Vocals: Michael Imperiale, Laura Wernick, Marcia Bernstein
12-string guitar: Eric Levine

And from the personal inspiration of the last song to the social inspiration of this song, Fred Small gives us wise advice on how to struggle together. Disabled in Action is made up of singer-activists, and we relate wholeheartedly to this advice.

It's been a long hard time, it's gonna' be a long steep climb
But no one's gonna change our minds about what we gotta' do
And when the road gets rough, everybody saying "Just give it up!"
All of our friends' sweet love's gonna' carry us through

We don't got the money but we got the will
We've got voices talking the truth that could never be stilled
They're gonna' threaten, you know they have killed to get their way
But this movement we are building will not go away

Beware of the heroes, beware of the stars
Because victory is hollow if it ain't really ours
We're talkin' about changes, not just changing those faces at the top
They say that freedom is a constant struggle and you can't ever stop
Don't stop!

Now we're gonna' argue, we won't always agree
But we can't let anger blind us to all we can be
'Cause we need the laughter, and we need the tears to wash us clean
We need sisters and brothers beside us to follow the dream


1. Pass The Laws – Words and Music by Joanna Cazden c 1977
(Used with permission)

Vocals: Sam Anderson, Sally Campbell, Michael Imperiale, Marcia Bernstein, Mary Ann Marra, Mel Tanzman
12-string Guitar: Eric Levine
Kazoo: Maura Gregory

Here is a song about a minority group that comes from the other side of a politicized polarity.

Come gather round good people, you must hear me well
There's a danger in our country as you will hear me tell
It begins with banging elbows as peacefully we dine
It will end with the destruction of all that's good and fine so

Pass the laws, pass the laws
Make it clear in every clause
Lefthanders are humanoid,
We've got to keep them unemployed
Southpaw liberation is the ruin of our nation
Make it formal, make 'em normal, pass the laws

We can't have them in the army or teaching in our schools
Their minds are backward, sinister, they'll undermine the rules
And they're stubborn as the devil though we lecture every night
That the Bible cautions us to follow all that's good and right so

We have tortured them and twisted them and taunted them with rocks
Tried Thorazine and Freud, behavior mod, electric shocks
We've erased from all our history books this mutant 10 percent
We've robbed them, robbed them of their children
And still they won't repent.

We can no longer hire to babysit the young girl living next to us
For I heard her tell the children that she is ambidextrous
Worst of all she had the nerve to say that anyone can learn
The fulfilling, conscious joys
Of using either hand by turn so

There's left and right, white and black,
Short ones below, tall ones above
Many ways we choose to live, ways we look and ways we love
And though differences are scary I declare the bigger fright
Is in bigotry legitimized, the danger's on the Right so

Pass the laws, pass the laws
Make it clear in every clause
People have a right to be
There's room for you, there's room for me
Human liberation is our only salvation
Make it formal, not abnormal. Pass the laws!

2. National Health Insurance Talking Blues – Words & Music by Eric Levine c 1994

Vocals, Banjo & Guitar: Eric Levine

An intimate, critical look into the innards of the current U.S. medical system. (Sing like a typical ‘Talking Blues’)

Well, I went down the street last night
I knew things were not exactly right
Some people came up to me under the light
Next thing I knew I'd been stabbed with a knife
I woke up in a hospital

Some neatly dressed person came up to me with a clipboard
And asked me this question:

Do you have Blue Cross? Do you have Blue Shield?
Major Medical? HMO? UFO? Rider J? Deductible? HIP?
I said, "No, but I've got B-L-O-O-D
Running down my primary A-S-S
To my secondary T-O-E."
He said. "Sorry we can't treat you."
I said, "I'm gonna' V-O-M-I-T on Y-O-U."
So they took me up to the O.R. S-T-A-T

You know I had a hell of a time, the surgeon cut all along the line
When he found out I was uninsured
Not a moment of his time could I procure
Sent me back from the hospital the same day
I think they call it "same-day surgery."
IV still in my arm
Foley catheter still in my folio
NG tube still in my nose
Surgeon said, "Here's a wire cutters and a pamphlet.
Take your sutures out yourself
And don't shower for month."

Now you know it deserves some recollection
I got one hell of an infection
Back to the hospital I did zoom, 2 a.m. to the emergency room
A triage nurse sent me right were I had to go: Admissions
Waited 4 hours
Then a well dressed person came up to me with a clipboard
and asked me this question:

Do you have Blue Cross? Do you have Blue Shield?
Major Medical? HMO? UFO? Rider J? Deductible?
I said, "No, but I've got P-U-S and a T-E-M-P of 106.
My heart is going out of NSR into PCPs and A-fibs.
They said "Sorry, we don't deal with any of those companies."

You know it's really a terrible shame
This stupid ridiculous medical game
Instead of taking out what's sick and bad
They'll suction all the money you ever had
Major medicosis
With swollen offices
Obliteration of the vein of decency
Hypo Common Sense
Hyper Wastefulness
But you know these symptoms are to be expected
When a patient suffers from the underlying condition of
Profiteers Disease
So fight for national health insurance SINGLE PAYER only
You'll be glad you did

3. Housecalls – Words & Music by Sis Cunningham (Used with permission)

Vocals: Sis Cunningham
12-string Guitar & Banjo: Eric Levine

The saga of the downfall of modern medicine from the point of view of older Americans who remember the old M.D. who cared and made housecalls.

Back in the old days we had a country doctor
A general practitioner he was called
He doctored folks for chilblains, for stomach aches, and labor pains
He doctored summer, winter, spring and fall
We'd call him on the party line, he'd crank up his jitney
And come rattling down the dusty country lane
When he opened up his little black bag out came the magic
To staunch the wounds and banish the pain

Housecalls, good old housecalls
That's the way things were meant to be
Housecalls, good old housecalls
Doctor, oh doctor, come to me

Nowadays when I'm ailing I call the doctor's office
They say he's on leave till next July
Or they say the doctor's busy
Would you please call back on Tuesday
And I think nobody cares if I die
So I'm staggering out the door, and I'm stumbling up the street
I don't know if I can make it at all
When I get to emergency, I start to count the hours
Waiting for my number to be called

I had a little accident and landed in the hospital
A resident team was touring my floor
I said, "Doctors, could I ask you something,
Just a little question?"
But they'd already vanished out the door
Today it seems they have a different doctor
For every little thing that goes wrong
If whatever's ailing me is not within their specialty
It's "Sorry, good luck and so long."

In modern times your chances for longevity are greater
No matter the condition of your health
But you'd better have the do re mi
To pay for new technology
Survival may depend upon your wealth
But who wants to live to be ninety or a hundred
To muddle through these bitter senior years
Without that good old doctor to come to your bedside
And staunch your wounds and banish your fears

The papers have reported a new and welcome practice
Of a number of good psychiatrists
They've agreed to make a housecall
If they can be convinced
That a reasonable emergency exists
This should ease our worries and give us some comfort
But permit me to tell you what I think:
If GP's would make housecalls whenever they are needed
I don't believe I'd ever need a shrink

4. He May Be Slow – Words & music by Tom Paxton (Used with permission)

Vocals: Mary Ann Marra, Michael Imperiale
12-string Guitar: Eric Levine
Harmonica: Nancy Deluca

A beautiful song about a child’s relationship with a brother who has a disability. “He may be slow, Lord, but he’s right on time.”

Oh I have a little brother named Jim
Sometimes I get a little worried about him
Jim's about the nicest kid I know, but Jim is slow
He always follows me wherever I go
He thinks there's nothing in this world that I don't know
He doesn't smile like the other kids do
But the love shines through, the love shines through

He may be slow, but he's still in motion
He's got his own road, his own hill to climb
All he needs is a little devotion
He may be slow Lord, but he's right on time

When I take him down to wait for the bus
Those who know us have a smile for us
I zip his jacket and I straighten his hat
He likes that
When they bring him back home around three
I can tell that he's been looking for me
And the wrestling and the tumbling begins
He usually wins, he usually wins.
   CHORUS 2x

5. River – Words and Music By Bill Staines c. Mineral River Music (BMI)
(Used with permission)

Vocals: Marcia Bernstein, Michael Imperiale, Sidney Emerman, Mary Ann Marra, Sam Anderson
Guitars: Eric Levine
Recorder: Sidney Emerman

The music of this song flows along with us, carrying us like a river which brings us together in friendship.

I was born in the path of the winter wind
And raised where the mountains are old
Their springtime waters came dancing down
And I remember the tales they told

The whistling ways of my younger days
Too quickly have faded on by
Yet all of my memories linger on
Like the light in a fading sky

River, take me along in your sunshine. Sing me your song
Ever moving and winding and free
You rolling old river, you changing old river
Let's you and me, river, run down to the sea

Well I've been to the city and back again
I've been moved by some things that I've learned
Met a lot of good people and I've called them my friends
Felt the change when the seasons turned

I've heard all the songs that the children sing
And listened to love's melodies
I've felt my own music within me rise
Like the wind in the autumn trees

Some day when the flowers are blooming still
Some day when the grass is still green
My rolling waters will round the bend
Flow into the open sea

So here's to the rainbow that's followed us here
And here's to the friends that we know
And here's to the song that's within us now
We will sing it where'er we go

6. The DIA Song – Words by Karen Luxton Gourgey & Fred Goldfarb
Tune ‘Weave Me The Sunshine’ by Peter Yarrow

Vocals: Anne and Sidney Emerman, Marcia Bernstein and Sam Anderson, Michael Imperiale
Harmonica: Nancy DeLuca
12-string guitar: Eric Levine

This song has been an anthem for the DIA singers from the inception of the group. It is a true disability freedom song!

Where, where, where have you left us?
Right outside your door
But we are your daughters and we are your sons
And we won't be locked out anymore

You call us "afflicted," you think we're so strange
It's just those convictions that forged our true chains
But we'll stand together, we see through your games
And we won't be kept down anymore.

Where, where, where have you left us?
Right outside your door
But we are your mothers and we are your fathers
And we won't be locked out anymore

You tell us how sorry you feel for our plight
Then lock us in dungeons well out of your sight
But we'll pull your walls down, break into the light
And you won't keep us down anymore

Where, where, where have you left us?
Right outside your door
But we are your sisters and we are your brothers
And we won't be locked out anymore

Barriers have kept us apart for too long
The world's for all people; we all must belong
Harmony's great if we sing the same song
And no ones's left out anymore

Harmony's great if we sing the same song
And no one's left out anymore!


We were limited in our funding, despite the funds we raised for this project. The disability movement is not rich, and what funds are available are usually “tied up with day-to-day survival.”

So…we recorded this on one member’s portable four-track cassette machine. We did it in living rooms and disability centers, sometimes with blankets taped to the walls. With fourteen singers and various instruments, that ain’t easy; in short, we worked a miracle!

Sure, we would like that magic patron to “discover us,” but, realistically, what we most need is your continued support. That way, we will know that you’re out there next time.

Thank you, one and all,

The DIA Singers