Posted in Music, Songs of the Resistance

A Soundtrack For the Resistance – (1) Get on Board

For the loser now
Will be later to win
(Bob Dylan, The Times They Are’A Changing)

April is National Poetry Month and it coincides perfectly with a little project I’ve been planning in my  head for some time now. Resistance to the Trump/right-wing agenda is at an all-time high and I’ve been searching like crazy for some good protest songs. Call me a snob, but my idea of a good protest song are those that came out during the 1960s: The Times They Are A Changing, Eve of Destruction, Gimme Shelter, etc. You get the drift. The stuff I was seeing on Facebook was pretty pathetic. Come on guys, I thought, can’t you do better than that?

Short answer: yes, we certainly can and we have. We’re a lot more inclusive than we were those many years ago and even the old chestnuts have been given a good polishing by a new set of actors.

Oh, sing it woman.

Here’s one of my all-time favorite poems. One that still tickles the back of my mind every time I start to forget it, getting in and under my skin should my mind wander away. I first studied it in high school and it taught me well.

I Am Waiting – Poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting
for someone to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep through the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped’ onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to ‘be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty’s clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am waiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

I am a nasty woman. I didn’t have a hat, so I brought my heart instead. I stood in the the cold, feeling warm by the heat and light of so many others standing beside me. I felt the power of us and then I saw it – in town meetings, on the telephone, in a Congresswoman’s office, on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. I felt the parts of me that had sheared off over the years come back to make me whole.

I am in this for the long haul. We are in this for the long haul. We took 30 years to break. Picking up the pieces and putting them back together will take time. We’re going to the end of the line.

I love the line: well, it’s alright, even if you’re old and gray. Well, it’s alright, you’ve still got something to say.”

Thank you, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. Miss ‘ya, George. And you, too, Roy.

More coming soon. Lots of great songs, in a month of great poems. Write!

#nationalpoetrymonth, #resistancesoundtrack

Author:

Writer, Walker, Entrepreneur, baby-boomer

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