Politics has long been a cornerstone of punk rock, from the Sex Pistols to Anti-Flag, the Clash to Minor Threat, Propagandhi to NOFX. Since practically the dawn of the genre, punk bands driven by idealism and power chords have raged against the machine. Rare, however, is to see a punk rocker rage within the machine. Enter Vermont State Rep. Dylan Giambatista (D-Essex).
Prior to becoming a politician, Giambatista was best known as an original member of the Vermont punk band Rough Francis. He was the group's lead guitarist from its 2008 formation until 2013. He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 2016.
On Saturday, just a few days after the legislature convened for the 2019 session, Giambatista sent out a tweet that was unusual for a lawmaker — even in these tumultuous twittering times — merging his political and musical personas. It featured a surfed-up version of the official state song, "These Green Mountains," that he had recently arranged and recorded.
"I may wear a tie to the Statehouse, but I almost always pick up my guitar or drumsticks on evenings to reconnect with music," Giambatista wrote in an email to Seven Days. The second-term legislator and assistant majority leader added that this is not the first time he's crossed political and musical streams.
"I’ve recorded a number of tracks since venturing into public service," he continued. "Who knows, someday I may drop a record as a campaign memento. Bernie did it when he was mayor, and folks are still talking about it 30 years later!"
These green hills and silver waters
Are my home — they belong to me
And to all her sons and daughters
May they be strong and forever free
Let us live to protect her beauty
And look with pride on the golden dome
They say home is where the heart is
These green mountains are my home
These green mountains are my home.
Giambatista's lounge-y surf arrangement is instrumental, so it probably won't replace the Martin-Gluck version on the floor of the Statehouse any time soon. It is, however, is available for free download here. You can listen to it below.