Everybody knew that it could happen
The likelihood was clear
The future was coming And now it's here
They had to fix the levees Because otherwise they'd break
On one side was the city
Above it was the lake
It was in the daily papers In bold letters was the writ
What would happen When the Big One hit
But every year they cut the funding Just a little more
So they could give it to the Army To fight their oil war
In National Geographic And the Times-Picayune They forecast the apocalypse
Said it was coming soon
Preparations must be made, they said Now is the time
It was years ago they shouted
Inaction was a crime
They said the dikes must be improved
And the wetlands must be saved
But Washington decided Instead they should be paved
Because malls were more important Than peoples' lives
So put some gold dust in your eyes
And hope no storm arrives

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

Years and years of warning
No evacuation plan
It was just if the waters rose
Just get out if you can
There were no buses No one chartered any trains
There was no plan to rescue All of those who would remain
All the people with no money
All the people with no wheels
All of those who didn't hotwire One that they could steal
Thousands and thousands of people Abandoned by the state
Abandoned by their country
Just left to meet their fate

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

And the people died
And then they died some more
They drowned inside their attics
An army of the poor
An army of the destitute
Who couldn't get away
And the world will remember These sad and awful days
When people shouted from their houses Dying on their roofs
When people came to find them They were turned back by the troops
They died there with no water
They died there in the heat
They were shot down by the soldiers
For trying to find some food to eat

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

And now the city is in ruins
A massive toxic sea Scattered through the nation Half a million refugees
Here we are In the richest country on the earth Where the color of your skin Determines what your life is worth
Where oil is the king
Where global warming is ignored
Where the very end of life Is the place we're heading toward
Where it's more than just a metaphor
The flooding of the dike And if we don't stop this madness The whole planet will be like

New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans

Lyrics submitted by Tri_T

New Orleans song meanings
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