Days 1447 And 1446 (Beautiful Thing)

-481Days -3Hours -39Minuts -27Seconds

With the D20 forum last night, I got home too late to do a Day 1447 protest song. But as it’s my idea, I just changed the rules to allow for an occasional double up. Sue me.

This one is off the beaten path, but man is it relevant. In fact, I think I’ve found a new anthem.

A digression: I grew up with music, but it was what today is called classic rock. Real middle of the road stuff: Billy Joel (70s only, thanks), Queen, The Who, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, ELO (yes, I’m that old). I stayed with the tried and true until I met my Texan wife, who was appalled at the narrow band of my musical tastes. A graduate of the University of Texas and the Austin music scene, she introduced me to Steve Earle (we’ll get to him more than once as we go), Robert Cray, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, and a whole lot of country, blues, folk, bluegrass, Tejano, and every other kind of music that I hardly knew existed. The biggest revelation for me, a few years later, was a guy named James McMurtry, who is probably the best songwriter you’ve never heard of. Nobody tells as complex and interesting of a story as he does.

All in all, I took to what Rebecca was selling with enthusiasm (I drew the line at opera). So much so that when she died, I subsumed myself in the country/folk/bluegrass category for months, walking six miles every day, rain or shine, no matter what. It was therapy and although I’ve cut back some (my death metal kids are ever so pleased about that), it’s still where I go when I need comfort.

Boy, do we need comfort this week or what? So while cooking dinner tonight, I put on Pandora and here came a song by an amazing folk singer named Slaid Cleaves. Maybe you’ve heard of him, but I’d guess not. The song, written in 2004 after the reelection of George W. Bush, is called “Beautiful Thing,” and but for a few 2004-specific references, it could have been written this morning. For me, it encapsulates perfectly the combination of fear, bitter cynicism, and anger on the one hand, but also the indomitable desire to see good as the ultimate outcome.

The two lines that encapsulate the song for me are these: “A dark age looms, there’s evil at hand/Somehow I still believe in the goodness of man.” That’s how I feel every minute of every day right now.

Here’s the lyrics, and then the video. I hope it inspires and motivates you as much as it has done for me in the past hour.

Surrogates and shadowy henchmen galore
Party hacks and swift-boatin’ talk-show whores
Look at all the lies it takes, the job of making kings
You can own the truth, you just gotta conceive it
Put it on the television screen, they’ll believe it
It’s a beautiful thing
It’s a beautiful thing

We wonder how our leaders could ever deceive us
While the profiteers count their cash and praise Jesus
The press sings another chorus of “Let Freedom Ring”
We send our boys away to come home in parts
Believe the lies with all our hearts
It’s a beautiful thing
It’s a beautiful thing

Dissension is a song only fools and traitors sing
Just look at all the benefits your global economy brings
Today we sing the gilded age’s song
The 20th century’s dead and gone
It’s a beautiful thing
It’s a beautiful thing

I live in a land of hope and betrayal
I get up each morning, try to tell the tale
And so until my dying day whatever fate may bring
A dark age looms, there’s evil at hand
Somehow I still believe in the goodness of man
It’s a beautiful thing
It’s a beautiful thing

#1446DaysUntilWeVoteHimOut #NotMyPresident #AsLongAsItTakes

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