Listen to the song
Recorded by: Steve Deasy
Written by: Steve Deasy
Based on John Woolman’s life (1720-1769) and his essay “A Plea For the Poor”


John Woolman (May We Look Upon Our Treasures)
Copyright © 2010 Steve Deasy

John Woolman was a Quaker writer
A humble clerk and tailor
People asked him to draw up documents
They came from miles around
‘Til he was asked to write a will
That treated people like they were things
He knew inside that keeping slaves was wrong
He could not write that part down.... he wrote

(May we) look upon our treasures
The furniture of our houses
And try whether these things
Sow the seeds of war
The clothes that we wear
Our big homes and great estates
All the things we have can cause oppression
Slavery and war

Woolman would not eat with fine silverware,
He wore clothes, plain and white
Slave labor mined the silver,
And made the colored dyes
He gave up his thriving business,
To write essays and spread the word,
He traveled far and wide,
so all could hear his cries,

Repeat Chorus

Wealth is attended with power
It proceeds for its own sake,
Against the common good,
At the expense of humankind,
And carries on oppression,
Cloaked in wordly law and order,
And with these words I think I know what
Woolman had in mind….that we

Repeat Chorus

May we look upon our treasures,
And try not to sew the seeds of war