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2/23/20: Week 17: "Trump" Wrestles Iran".

This week we take a break from music and work on dirty tricks.

"Trump" Wrestles Iran" is a video I messed with. I call it a "Shallow Fake", because it's so cheesy.

I've been thinking a lot about dirty tricks. I've been thinking about it as a Boston Driver tries to take advantage of any situation on the road. A Boston Driver will take a parking ticket off someone else's car and put it on his car so he doesn't have to pay for parking or get a ticket. Actually, I wrote a song recently at a song retreat that tries to catch the essence of Boston Drivers. Here's the demo recording You might recognize the melody as "My Girl"--that was the songwriting assignment.

Back to dirty tricks...

If you have contacts in swing states who are likely to vote democratic, remind them in October that they need to get out and vote and to encourage their like-minded friends to vote, too.

If you have contacts in swing states who are likely to vote republican, send them this important public service information in October:

"Due to the new national voter ID law, to avoid voter fraud you need to have a new REAL ID drivers license to vote in this election on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH. If you don't have a REAL ID, you need to get one at the DMV. To do that you need to go in person with an original copy of your birth certificate and an original copy of your Social Security card. You can get the birth certificate at Town Hall and you can get the Social Security card at the Social Security Office. Make sure you make an appointment in advance for the Social Security office because people without an appointment need to wait until everyone else with an appointment has been served. This can take three or four hours. Take your birth certificate and Social Security card, along with two proofs of residency, such as a utility bill, and wait your turn at the DMV office. You will need a money order for $75—remember, they don't take credit cards or checks. They will mail you the REAL ID in 2-4 weeks.

2/16/20: Week 16: "Flush Ten Times".

I heard some great Persist-Resist songs at Roslindale Open Mike this week by Terry Kitchen, Tom Smith, and Karen Sauer. This isn't one of them.

I played this one because I had to get it out of my system.

At recent rallies, including on the day he was impeached, at a rally in Michigan you know who was complaining about low-flow toilets and energy-efficient light bulbs. You would think he could find a better use for his time.

I had to respond with this song, "Flush Ten Times". (Here is Neal's phoned in introduction of our song.) It's, of course, a parody of the classic rock hit, "Knock Three Times". If you are of a certain age, you will remember it.

Here are the lyrics and a demo recording.

2/9/20: Week 15: "Salute to America".

"Salute to America" video.

Last July 4th, our Independence Day, you know who had his fake salute to America. Maybe you were there—if you had a VIP ticket.

I had to write this song to push back with what America means to me.

Here's my favorite line:

Judge us by our kindness;

And our willingness to share

At heart we're still great;

Compassionate and fair.

This was performed on 1/20/20 at Roslindale Open Mike (ROM) with fellow "Tritones", Karen Sauer and Chris Lee.

Here are the lyrics and a demo recording.

2/2/20: Week 14: "Trash This Planet".

I wrote "Trash This Planet" in 2003, but now 17 years later our planet is in even more jeopardy. At that time, George W. Bush was president. He didn't seem to care that much for the planet, but it was nothing like the current president. tRump is doing everything he can to eliminate environmental regulations and pretend that global climate change is a hoax.

Perhaps it's fitting that I'm posting this song on Ground Hog Day.

Hopefully everything that tRump does by executive order can be undone by the next president. We might even be able to get back into the Paris Climate Agreement. And isn't it impressive that some states and cities are continuing to work on carbon reductions.

We owe it to our children, grandchildren, and generations to come to make addressing global climate change our top priority.

Here are the lyrics and the CD recording.

1/26/20: Week 13: "Run Hide Fight" for Riley Howell.

Another important topic that is now getting totally ignored is gun violence. I'm sure it will rise to our notice then next time school kids, or others get show up senselessly. I wrote "Run Hide Fight" after Riley Howell was shot tacking the gunman at the UNC Charlotte shooting.

This was performed at Roslindale Open Mike--thank you Tritones Karen Sauer and Chris Lee.

Here's the video. Also, here are the lyrics and a demo recording.

1/19/20: Week 12: "Coal is Our Future". tRump ended the war on coal in 2018. Here's a quote from aboard Air Force One, on Sept. 7, 2018: "No administration has done what I've done. I just left Montana, and I looked at those trains and they're loaded up with clean coal — beautiful clean coal. And those trains were empty two years ago. They were empty; they were dying. Nobody's done what I've done." (from Factcheck.org)

So, I thought I should write a song celebrating beautiful, clean coal. You don't hear anything about the resurgence of the coal industry lately. Maybe that's because mines are closing and people are being off. Thanks, stable genius!

This song uses a traditional song that I heard decades ago as "Down in the Coal Mine", performed by the Ian Campbell Folk Group.

This was performed at Roslindale Open Mike; here's the video. Also, here are the lyrics and a demo recording.

1/12/20: My Week 11 contribution is "Change Can't Wait".

Hopefully 2020 will be a year of change. I wrote "Change Can't Wait" the day Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley won her primary election in 2018, defeating a long-time democratic congressman. She riffed on the phrase "Change Can't Wait" in her speech, though she didn't call it a victory speech. So, this song is a co-write with Congresswoman Pressley, since the refrain and the verses are largely her words. I gave her a copy of the Roslindale Open Mike performance and the lyrics at a speech she gave at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute soon after her election. We need her, the rest of the Squad, and the democratic congress people to make the changes we need in 2020.

This was performed at Roslindale Open Mike. Thank you Junko, Ken, Bo, and John for your support.

Here are the lyrics and a demo recording.

1/5/20: Welcome to 2020!

My Week 10 contribution is "Trump-Gazi". This is a rap I wrote just after the 2018 election when the Democratic Party took back the House of Representatives. I knew the table was going to be turned and there would be non-stop investigation of the Orange Menace. Right away I wrote "Trump-Gazi" inspired by how the Republicans hounded Hillary Clinton, including the endless Benghazi hearings.

Turns out, I was right. So, I'm putting "Trump-Gazi" as Week 10 because as soon as Congress gets back in session in 2020, the investigations will continue with the Removal Hearings in the Senate that follows last month's impeachment. Unless Nancy Pelosi decides to hold onto the impeachment articles and to keep investigating.

I performed the song at Roslindale Open Mike with my friends. Thanks to Junko, Karen, Ken, Chris, John and Bo.

There's also a demo recording and lyrics.

12/29/19: This week's contribution is "Planet Ocean". The video includes a few of my favorite pictures and video clips around Boston Harbor.

Though my eyes have been glued to the impeachment hearings, I need to give my brain a rest and pace the rage, so this week I offer a prayer to the ocean. I recently wrote "Planet Ocean" as a sound- picture. Our planet should be called planet ocean instead of planet earth, because it is mostly ocean and I think life on this planet started in the ocean and the ocean is key to our salvation.

We performed this on 12/9/19 at Roslindale Open Mike. Thank you, Karen, Chris, Ken, Bo, and John. And thank you to the audience for singing along.

Here is a demo recording and the lyrics.

12/22/19: Just in time for Christmas, it's a political holiday song! Here's"Must Be Donald".

So now it's time to celebrate Christmas and take a break from our day to day strife. Turns out I wrote an appropriate, light-hearted, though a little mean-spirited, Christmas Song that was performed as part of"Open Mike – The Musical", which had its debut and final performance in December 2017 at Roslindale Open Mike (ROM).

"Must Be Donald"is a parody of "Must Be Santa". Here's the video from"Open Mike – The Musical"with the lead sung by Karen Sauer. She also provided all the props. Thank you Sue, Ken, Bo, David, Karen, and Neal.

There was also a previous performance, led by me—here's the video. Thank you, Bo, Karen, Ken, and Neal. Finally, here's a demo recording and the lyrics.

12/15/19: "Space Force Anthem" is my contribution for Week 7. In addition to the video, here is a demo recording and the lyrics. I had to go with Space Force Anthem this week because funding for the Space Force is included in the Defense spending bill that is being approved this week. And these brave spacemen will need an appropriate anthem to blast them off into space. It might get lonely up there, but at least they will have this inspiring song to keep them company.

12/7/19: "Twenty-Fifth Amendment" is a new Schoolhouse Rock song). In addition to the video, here is a demo recording and the lyrics.

We will have a national election in November 2020. We will probably have an impeachment in a few weeks. But we could have a new President TODAY if the Vice President chooses to take that approach. I wrote this new Schoolhouse Rock song, "Twenty-Fifth Amendment", to explain how the process works. But I doubt if the lapdog Pence would dare to try it.

Since the impeachment is unlikely to result in a removal from office and a twenty-fifth amendment removal is also unlikely, we need to focus on doing everything we can to have a victory in the 2020 election. What are you doing to help take back our democracy?

"Twenty Fifth Amendment", a new Schoolhouse Rock song, was performed with Ken Porter at Roslindale Open Mike on 9/24/18. Thank you, Ken.

12/1/19: "FAKE!" Week 5 of Persist-Resist-2020 features "FAKE!". It hopefully speaks for itself. Here is FAKE! the video, a demo recording, and the lyrics.

I wrote this song right after the inauguration of you know who—remember the "American Carnage" phrase. One of the first things he did after being sworn in was to apply for reelection and to start having campaign rallies. That's what led to this song. I never suspected it could get so much worse than what I feared three years ago. I heard someone on MSNBC this week explain the tRump strategy: "Deny, Delay, Deflect". Maybe there's a song there. I also liked Eric Swalwell's characterization of Ukraine-gate: "Defense Dollars for Dirt". Lot's of "D"s, but I give tRump lots of "F"s.

What are you doing to help take back our democracy?

Thank you to Karen Sauer and Chris Lee for helping me pull off this performance of FAKE! at the Roslindale Open Mike at 11/25/19. Together we three are The Tritones!

My next performance is with the Tritones, featured at the Cantab Lounge open mike hosted by Geoff Bartley on 12/30/19. Details are on my Gigs page.

11/24/19: "Pocahontas"is a parody of the Neil Young song. I cringe every time I hear you know who refer to Senator Elizabeth Warren by this name.

Pocahontas is a parody of Neil Young's Pocahontas. I don't really understand his song, but my parody is from the perspective of the orange menace disparaging Senator Elizabeth Warren. While Senator Warren is my favorite for our next President, I'm afraid she is too liberal to sin the party's nomination. But she is exceedingly well-prepared and has learned how to appear in public.

I think my performance of this song at Roslindale Open Mike captures the Neil Young voice. I didn't realize how easily this would come to me. I guess I'm able to channel my inner Neil.

Here is a demo recording and the lyrics.


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?

Here is a demo recording and the lyrics.


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. and the lyrics. 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:

She persisted

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.













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