11/17/19: "Our Statue in the Harbor is Crying". Thank you to Karen Sauer and Chris Lee for helping with the performance at Roslindale Open Mike—together we are "The Tritones".
This week's contributions is one of the first songs I wrote after the 2016 election. It was originally called "Your Statue in the Harbor is Crying" and told the story of an Iraqi translator who served our military but wasn't allowed to immigrate here because of the Muslim Ban. I revisited it a few weeks ago and re-wrote it to be "Our Statue in the Harbor is Crying" to talk about the deplorable way we are treating refugee children at our Southern border and kicking out medical immigrants.
My father's family came here from Ireland, probably during the potato famine. My mother's family came here from France in the 1600s, via Quebec. Both Catholics with large families. We are all from somewhere else…yearning to breathe free.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Doesn't that poem on the Statue of Liberty take your breath away?
11/10/19: "Pacing the Rage" I'm a regular listener to Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH's Boston Public Radio (BPR) show. Most weeks they have on security consultant Juliette Kayyem as a guest. Perhaps you've seen her as an expert on CNN. In this era, Juliette started using the phrase "Pacing the Rage" as a way to keep from totally blowing up. So, I wrote a parody of Bruce Cockburn's song "Pacing the Cage". I performed it at Roslindale Open Mike (ROM), ably backed up by Charlie Ortolani and Ken Porter and pitched the recording to BPR, and they played a portion of it! Here's a recording of the BPR segment and the whole ROM performance. Pacing the Rage has helped me cope with my PTSD—Perpetual Trump Stress Disorder. I hope it helps you, too.
11/3/19: "She Persisted": Here we go…Today I am kicking off the first week of "Persisting and Resisting 2020" as we approach the all-important 2020 election. My first weekly contribution is the song "She Persisted". I wrote "She Persisted" in early 2017. It was one of the first songs on the Persist theme. It was part of the crop of songs for the 2017 version of February Album Writing Month (www.fawm.org), but I didn't write any music for it at that time. So, a few days ago I wrote the music and here is the demo recording. This song had to do with Senator Elizabeth Warren getting shut down by Speaker Mitch McConnell when she was ready a letter by Mrs. Coretta Scott King and the Speaker invoked little used "Rule 19". Here's the chorus:
Though men told her to stop
Against the odds she didn't quit
'Til she came out on top
So, I'm going to tell my daughter
To work hard and resist
If you want to get things done
You damn-well better persist
...and a link to the back story... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/08/the-history-of-the-senates-rule-19-suggests-it-is-very-loosely-enforced/
10/12/19: I’m kicking off a final, full year of persisting and resisting, one year before the election. Each week I plan to post a song and/or an essay. It will also include some dirty tricks.