Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

Take It Away

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1963 by Schroder Music Company, renewed 1991. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company planned to build a nuclear plant on Bodega Head north of San Francisco, quite near to an earthquake fault. A large group of concerned people, headed up by Malvina’s friend J. B. Neilands and other professors at the University of California at Berkeley, were able to stop it.

We've got to take over P. G. E.,
It's become a dreadful pest.
It's spreading atomic poison stuff
Over all the Golden West.
They're starting a plant at Bodega,
A place that was wild and pure,
They call it an atomic park,
But it's an atomic sewer.

There's a killer gang at the very top
Of P. G. and E. today.
We need that electric power
To make our country run,
But what's the use of electric juice
When the people all are gone.

All around Eureka town
Dosimeters are set,
To see, when the plant gets running,
What kind of a dose we'll get.
The primary school is across the road
From where the smoke will roll,
And there's two little dosimeters
On the schoolhouse electric pole.

They have public relations men
Could fascinate the birds,
They even hypnotize themselves
With their own delightful words.
There'll never be an accident
To set the state in flames,
They never speak of an accident,
"Excursion" is the name.

P. G. and E. buys lots of stuff
And local business booms;
They also buy officials
In those jolly smoke-filled rooms.
The A. E. C., the P. U. C.,
The county board and all,
They shake a leg and sit up and beg
At Gas and Electric's call.

There's a rock fault at Bodega
Where many a quake has been,
And that's the very site they choose,
To put their reactors in.
There used to be an iron rule
For a plant of stone and steel,
But now they've got a quickie job
You could stave in with your heel.

It's time we kicked these bandits out
And took their toys away.
Lord knows it's we that foot the bills
With the taxes that we pay.
The subsidies pay half the cost,
Our gas bills pay the rest,
And we need our own great power plant
To save the Golden West.

Take it away, take it away,
From the killer gang at the very top
Of P. G. and E. today.
We need electric power
To make our country run,
And we'll produce that electric juice
In a company of our own.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- [none]

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- Broadside No. 19 (January 1963)

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- [none]

*                 *                 *                 *                *

This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

Return to Song Menu
Return to Home