Patti Smith & Fred “Sonic” Smith Perform a Stripped-Down, Beautiful Version of “People Have the Power”

It’s fit­ting for the day, even though it was record­ed long ago (1990). The footage above fea­tures Pat­ti Smith and her depart­ed hus­band Fred “Son­ic” Smith per­form­ing a stripped-down, acoustic ver­sion of her clas­sic “Peo­ple Have the Pow­er.” A rare record­ing of Smith and Son­ic per­form­ing togeth­er, this is a lit­tle trea­sure. Savor the moment.

Peo­ple have the pow­er
The pow­er to dream, to rule
To wres­tle the world from fools
It’s decreed: the peo­ple rule
It’s decreed: the peo­ple rule
Lis­ten. I believe every­thing we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth­’s rev­o­lu­tion
We have the pow­er!

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pat­ti Smith’s List of Favorite Books: From Rim­baud to Susan Son­tag

Pat­ti Smith Sings “Peo­ple Have the Pow­er” with a Choir of 250 Fel­low Singers

Hear Pat­ti Smith’s First Poet­ry Read­ing, Accom­pa­nied by Her Long­time Gui­tarist Lenny Kaye (St. Mark’s Church, 1971)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.