The personal site of Paul Arenson

Welcome. Lots of places you can visit:

NEWS AND ACTIVISM: For example, TokyoProgressive, which has been in operation since 1997.  It started out as a memorial for my cat Chibi.  But it quickly grew as a resource for my students. And then it became an activist-alternative news site. You can also hear visit some of the sites where my music lives.
HOSTED SITES: And you can also visit some of the sites I host: gender awareness in language education  women educators in language education  topical songs

OTHER SITES: And, if you wan't you can see some of my picturesOr pictures of some of my family from the 50s up till now. And some photos from recent years.Or even some funny faces of myself. There are also some poems I have written. And, most recently, a whole bunch of websites with my songs

If you are a student, you can visit the student research pages. And if you are doing something non-profit, neat, and progressive, I might be able to give you free some web space, so write me and tell me what you do and what you want the space for.

SUPPORT US:  In addition to providing news and commentary, TokyoProgressive gives free space to like-minded people. If you want to support the work of TokyoProgressive, you can do one of several things, buy books, DVDs, or CDs. Or donate whatever you think is a fair amount.



Go  back to the page introduction

A great deal of overlap on the sites, but there are differences.

(Paul Arenson on MacJams (go to the website)
 (with lyrics, recorded 1980s-2008)

Or all songs individually:

Rating Hits Genre Last Comment Status
06.13.08 Kyoko's song 8.75 (2) 523 (2) Ballad 06.13.08 Active
03.30.08 Colours 8.38 (2) 462 (2) Classical 04.17.08 Active
03.08.08 Winds of War 9.25 (3) 567 (2) Folk (contemporary) 03.22.08 Active
01.27.08 I would like to sit down by you 8.63 (2) 572 (3) Open Collaborations 02.05.08 Active
01.27.08 Amazing Grace 9.00 (3) 609 (3) Open Collaborations 01.29.08 Active
01.26.08 The tired old trawler 9.13 (2) 451 (2) Open Collaborations 01.29.08 Active
01.25.08 The Highway 8.83 (3) 444 (2) Folk (contemporary) 01.29.08 Active
01.25.08 Bar at midnight 9.33 (3) 457 (3) Folk (contemporary) 02.05.08 Active
01.25.08 Tofu Spaghetti 9.17 (3) 611 (3) Comedy-Satire-Parody 05.30.08 Active
01.25.08 There's a lesson to be learned in the trees 9.00 (2) 1192 (1) Folk (contemporary) 01.25.08 Active
01.25.08 Strikers Line 9.33 (3) 490 (6) Celtic 08.07.08 Active
01.25.08 The pressures of the world 9.00 (2) 427 (1) Folk (contemporary) 01.25.08 Active
01.25.08 Many times I have loved 9.13 (2) 509 (2) Country-Western 01.29.08 Active
01.25.08 The Good Ship England 9.42 (3) 583 (6) Political 01.28.08 Active
01.24.08 Go Down You Broken Old Man 9.38 (2) 702 (9) Folk (contemporary) 01.25.08 Active

Paul Arenson on Folk Alley (go to the website)
(with lyrics, recorded 1980s-2008)

Or all songs individually:

There's a lesson to be learned in the trees
The rippling sea
The Fantasy song
Strikers song
Many Times I have loved
Good Ship England
Go down you broken old man
For Kyoko
Bar at midnight

2008 | ZNet:

Or all songs/items individually:


Teaching for Critical Media Literacy


The Revision (Japan civil disobedience)

Ballad of Chong Gyan-Yong (another resistance song)

Amazing Grace (in praise of disobedience)

The Night is Young (long song)

Each Day is Different (a "pre-love" song)

Many Times I have Loved (love song)

Go Down You Broken Old Man (a song about vision)

Tofu Spaghetti (about being non conventional)

There's a lesson to be learned in the trees (about renewal and resistance)

Three Months Ago (when love ends abruptly)

Gracias a la Vida (from a Japanese concert circa 1980)

Izzy Young program from Sweden (recorded by Chuck Rosina cira 1973)

Strikers Line (a Celtic-inspired protest song)

Bar at Midnight (where politics and lonliness converge)

The Good Ship England (allegory about the cost of imperialism to the imperialist)

Tired Old Trawler (prisoners of the seas we sail)

Pressures of the World (nonsense song)

Highway Song (about highways poking through the wilderness)

Rippling Sea (poem of a japanese friend put to music)

I Would Like to Sit Down by You (hope that love will blossom)

Spider Song (when love does not blossom but friendship remains)

2007 | CD (on CD Baby):

 Most of the songs come form one or more of theabove sites. For purchase on CD Baby or free with a donation to TokyoProgressive. 

2006 | Soundclick:

 Rippling Sea, Each Day is Different, The Highway Song, I'd Like to Sit Downby You, Bar at Midnight, There's a Lesson to be Learned in the Trees, Go Down You Broken Old Man, Pressures of the World, The Revision, The Night is Young (all with lyrics)

Things lying around the house in boxes of cassettes, a number of which probaby are worth keeping.

1998 | I Would Like to Sit Down By You (collection mostly from the 80s and 90s)

(sound files broken)


Part 1:   I Would Like To Sit Down by you, Spider Song, It is Enough (opera), Tofu Spaghetti, Oyogi Taiyaki-kun,  Rippling Sea, Each Day is Different, The Night is Young, Three Months Ago.

Part 2: We Two Are in Love, Song for Ninoy.

BONUS- Animated cartoon idea: Stripey Meets Godzilla and The Barber's Cadillac Seville Parody from the late 1970s.

Mid '80s | In the Bar at Midnight (collection)

Part 1: In the Bar at Midnight, My Lady's a Wild Flying Dove, Nakeba ii, Dogs at Midnight, Suzanne, Une Calme Nuit, Two Swedish Songs, Guantanamera

Part 2:  Or here.
There's a Lesson to be learned in the Trees, Shinda Otoko Wa Nokoshita Mono Wa, Pressures of the World, Close Your Eyes, Castles in the Air, Chiisana Nikki, Oh My Friend, Drunken Sailor.

Oh My Friend only.

Early '80s | John, Paul and Daphne (historical interest)
Rippling Sea, Lai Lai Lai

Early '80s | School concert (historical interest/home  recording)

1966-1981 | Huge Anthology from 1966-1981: Lots of stuff here, mostly in rough, unpolished sersions. My favorites are listed in the sections, divided into periods. None of these were intended for broadcast, but they are the only records of my older songs, which date from late elementary school.  The war in Vietnam was in full bloom.  Many of these are various out takes, with starts and stops, also sound drop outs due to damage to the tape, or--in the case of one song (Portraits of Love, Py5)--deliberate playing around with the left-right balance for some silly reason.

 Pt1: 1966-1968

I'm a Reform Democrat (high school days, shades of Love Me, I'm a Liberal)

The World's Coming to an End

The Rains

Elvira Madigan

A Lost Dream

Snow-inspired by a similar Pete Seeger song, not so bad for a 15 year old

Who Killed the Tiny Babe-inspred by

Who Killed Norma Jean (Rosten/Seeger)

In the Shadows of a Shade Tree

Oh Little Bird

Pt2 :
A Fate Born With

America, (one of the better ones from this period)

Cool Mountain Waters

The Wind Floats on and on (an attempt at humor!)

The Farce (based on Och's The

Crucifixion,  see also The Revision)

Hell No, I Won"t Go to Vietnam

To Prison We Must Go

The Bullet of LBJ (On the Death of Martin Luther King)

Government Men

Brown Shirts

I Plucked a Dandelion

The Children

We Are Your Mentors

There's a Fire in the Sky

Pt4: 1968-1969
I'll love you in the morning (I didn't know the song I thought was an imitation of Suzanne--That's No Way to Say Goodbye--was written by the same person, Leonard Cohen, so this is my imitation of the imitation.

Lost Against Fear

We Sit in the Moonlight

Pt5: 1970-'71
Portrait of Love (a nice love song with an ocean theme)

Mr. and Mrs. America (an anti-war song)

The Greenest Trees (an allegory, based on a traditional song-Railroad Boy?)

Pressures of the World

A River Runaway (interesting still in some ways)

We Walk On and On (unfinished song)


Pauline's song

Loving you (another song that had possibilities)

For the Berrigan Brothers

Yonder on a Heathered Hillside

Love Comes Tumbling (I like this one)

Many Times I Have Loved

Come Young Pretty Woman (anti-war)

Smokle (anti-drug from a left-wing perspective?)

Ballad of Daniel and Lisa (a friend used this to try to get draft exemption status as a conscientious objector)

The Eulogy (semi-comic)

Keep All the People in Line (unfinished song)

Don't Let Them Put The Label on You (about agent provacateurs, after having unearthed one in our university peace group)


Early Morning Bleeker Street Song

One Day (tape ends unexpectedly)

From a 2002 radio show as well as some experimental stuff


Scott and Paul Sing the Blues
Paul Arenson and Scott
Seeley introduce folk and folk blues (1980s) There is a segment at the end of the video that was inadvertantly left in during editing, Paul on a local Japanese singing contest around 1982.

Music Videos
Paul Arenson opening for David Rovics 2008

David Rovics in Japan 2008
Or here.


RADIO ENGLISH: 2002-3 | Chofu FM "One Point Eikaiwa
This was a public service language program on which I appeared and for which I created the lessons. A few appearances by Stripey.

(Chibi's story with pictures)
ANIMATION: Early-Mid 80s | Stripey Skits (Stripey is a stuffed animal/fantasy character, known for his innocense and purity. Most are these were not intended for public consumption but they are here just for the hell of it.)

NOTE: The file   
  • File 1: Kletchmer Stripey Luciban Denwa Announcement,  Luciban Denwa Song (Silent Night), Stripey condom commercial, Stripey Unchi Cologne,  Tiger Language (SHK Ho-so-), Stripey Zappa Rock Performance
  • File 2: Little Lost Tiger, Stripey Symphony Orchestra
  • File 3:  I got the Burrrrrus Again, Mister Bojangles, Les Jeus Interdits

  • EDUCATION:Early 80s-- Stories I wrote for Listening Classes at Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin: At that time, we had a coordinator who only wanted "happy selections" and who therefore eliminated some of the  sadder  ones here from the curriculum. That includes the first selection, Morris. original was on a single tape. I have divided them up nto single files.
  • File 1:Morris, a story about an old man who refuses to believe that getting old means losing the dreams of childhood.
  • File 2: Uncle Aunt, about an insect who takes a trip to a human city beleiving that people liked bugs, only to find out things are not as they seem.
  • File 5: Bill,18-years old and suddenly blind, struggles to learn how to live all over again.

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Some poems  by Paul


twenty gum chewing heros stood grouped in a circle
and pointing the bulging eyes of their cameras
toward the mass of death before them
hurriedly cocked the shutters
as if to catch a lingering last breath
before death closed in to silence the struggle in the eyes
and spoil the shots for the folks back home

--written at the close of the Vietnam war

the living end

baby boy child just hit baby girl child
but mama will not intervene
mama is too busy making mellow dreams frim corncob
and papa will not heal the hurt
for papa does not know he's papa
where he's parked in one dark corner
taking in a drop of sunshine

perhaps george washinton
upside down on a dayglo wall
will speak the words to soothe the wounds
and lead the children from their pain
to some safer, softer game



with our throats made sore
by tears pushed back
our sadness shining in the wetness of our eyes
we stand
and sense the coming of the going
and the end of a rainbow

here where we hold a moment heavy in our breasts
we hope against all odds the train will not leave
it leaves
washed down the tracks by our tears
its groaning coaches downing our weeping

and in the mirror of our parting
we say goodbye to yesterday's stranger
and catch a glimpse of something
than the whiskies that we'll drink to forget
forget that in one aging moment we could cry
and that in that moment we could feel
and that in that moment
we were alive

--Norway, 1975

poem written on a train between geneve and lucerne

as frieght trains in the night go by
so our lives like chains
grow long
and not so simple as we'd like
them to
the last car rememering not the first
nor caboose brakeman, engineer

but as the names of passing makes of
dogfood, cars and napalm bombs
pass like camera shutter clicks
before our child eyes
so we live and then forget
the moments fleeing by

we stand at dawn
like children for the whistle listening
left then breathless by the mass of rolling boxcars
we soon loose count
and left there stunned
we watch the last one passing


Paul's peoms continued


in this hide yourself
be silent sea of blank stare faces
captives of the 9 to 5
and 6 days sold to 6 nights' numbing-
will be the one?

will it be you?
.....then who?

who has ever wearied of feelings leashed to inlaid smiles
that even wives and hsubands in love's heat half mustered
can't remove-
will be the first to laugh off cue
and let the game come second for a change?

in this sea unrippled
will dare be first-
i ask because
i know it cannot yet be me



let love linger while it may
then die so gently
like a great grey seagul
here today and later gone
to where its wingdreams are reborn

love seldom sings forever
but only now and then
and sometime ages pass
before its whirling winds return
to catch us in their dizzy grasp

like leaves that linger through the night
of autums come
and summers going father south
so our souls are winter bound
to sleep apart and then perhaps
unite again one day

like sunlight surely
is a certainty that mends our wounds
and drains the old blood from our dreams
to our our new ones better wings


o say can you see?

not even the swiftly sinking
stinking filing order
of uncle sam stuff
dreams are made of
corporate men
nor corpse machines
can transplant this exiled tree
into the red, white and blue arm
of sanity


two poems written on a mountain

night falls
and caterpillar rain
sings in the darkness
above me
beneath me the ground swells up in sweet fatique
and sighs
a song drifts off asleep and dies
the branches now must bear the weight of birddreams

the sun is shy
at first
faint in the sky
then louder it lights uo the meadows of flowers
where butterflies fly
and get drunk

--1974, Harriman State Park, New York

hidden wires

when i was born a girl
i looked into my father's eyes
and saw what i thought were tears of joy
but now i know
there was also a hint of disappointment in them too

still, i thought life was great
and at first i did not understand
why they gave me so much freedom
or why my brothers had to study hard,
their spirits tamed and moulded
into lonely bonsais of success

but it was soon i saw the hidden wires
that shaped my own destiny
dragging me along the road
from dolla house dreams to name brand schools
where girls becoming women learn
the princess poses that they'll need
to lure a seed to womb

in childhood i was free, unlike my brothers
but now, there i was in offices
pouring tea for men whose suits
were the leaves of the lonely bonsais
that my brothers too had become

like the dreams of our husbands
now chained to desks and whiskey nights
the dreams we had were not our own
and our real life dollhouses are now
so cold, so empty


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