At Some Point You Gotta Dance

It’s fairly common knowledge that the typical, high school hierarchy affords jocks and cheerleaders Mt. Olympus magnitude godhood. To be sure, this is a nerd-free zone. And I should know. During my junior high days, I had actually worn a plastic pocket protector to house my pens and pencils. YIKES!

Later on, as a somewhat “cooler” high schooler, one Friday evening, I attended both a varsity football game and the postgame dance. No big surprise, I went to that latter event, STAG. Throughout the next two hours, as the Student Council designated disc jockey kept on spinning the vinyl records (only one turntable) I found myself wondering why I had even bothered showing up.

However, as the 11th hour drew near, I suddenly found myself teeming with this overwhelming, what-do-you-have-to-lose determination.

Between records, while the kids “argued” over which song would be next, I abandoned the shadowy sidelines and approached the still sporting her cheerleader uniform, Nancy. It’s not like we had never met, seeing how we were enrolled in some of the same classes. Our conversing came quite easily / naturally. And then… I asked her…

“Would you like to dance?”

Sans any hesitation, she smiled and said, “Sure.” For all I knew, her accompanying shrug might’ve even been equivalent to her unspoken, “What the hell took you so long?” I could only hope that my stunned feeling had not become a facial expression.

At that very moment, from the overhead speakers, we heard the opening notes of the Youngbloods’ cover version of Get Together. I hadn’t expected to be slow dancing up close but…

Well, it was about mid-tune, that I realized the DJ had cued up the longer album version, which afforded me one extra minute to not only enjoy our dance, but also realize how wrong it was… still is… to prejudge people… to buy into the dehumanizing stereotypes and hierarchies… the type which can only fracture society. Even Jesse Colin Young’s delivery of Get Together’s lyrics was amplifying the unifying sentiments.

Ever since my dance with Nancy, I’d certainly disagree with anyone who’d dare to suggest that proper education only involves teachers and formal classroom settings. I believe I learned far more during that four minute song than I learned during all four years of my high school experience.

Now, at the risk of spoiling the moment, let’s explore another, closely related aspect to my narrative… namely… the practical application of such truths.

There’s a certain… let’s leave him nameless… “world leader” who fancies himself my homeland’s Cheerleader-In-Chief. While I would never dance to any of the ugly ideologies spinning around within his noxious noggin… to a certain extent… I’d still have to agree with him that it’s important to calm citizens who might panic easily.

Of course, unbeknownst to him, being an effective leader involves far more than that.

What a shame he’ll never dance with the metaphorical Prudence. There’s so much her style of cheerleading could teach him. For starters, how it’s wrong to prejudge and buy into dehumanizing hierarchies and stereotypes. Beyond that, he could learn that a cheerleader can only motivate Team America, so much… especially when formidable opponents (such as the pandemic and economic / societal upheaval), are threatening to shellac us / shut out the U.S. on our own, home playing field.

To extend this sports metaphor, further, Prudence would point out that, ultimately, it’s the coach… not the cheerleader… who leads the team to victory.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April BlogCast ~ Timeless Heartfelt Sentiments

 

Welcome to our monthly musical get-together.

We, who came of age in the Sixties… an era seething with military madness, political unrest and societal upheaval… had no shortage of songs interwoven with antiwar, political and social commentary. These TIMELY and TIMELESS song lyrics pointed squarely at (in some cases with the middle digit) the aggression and injustices, which were sullying and degrading humanity all across America and throughout our world.

Throughout the decades that followed, when liberal minded presidents were at the helm, we did manage to take some baby steps towards extricating ourselves from such ills. But… to keep it real… there were also conservatives who would not stand for any part of what we stood for… who were (still are) hell bent on undoing any and all progress. Which means…

There still is so much of our work that remains undone.

More recently, Barack Obama, our nation’s very first biracial President, did offer average Jane and Joe Americans that sunny ray of hope. But his plan to effect change we could all believe in head-on collided with political gridlock… “courtesy” of his obdurate opponents. Net effect, these archconservatives had been the political equivalent of an endless, total eclipse of the sun.

And considering how the present-day, backward, reptilian brained, Tyrant-o-saurus Rex has been on a national and international rampage… making his primary ongoing mission to muddy and cover up each and every forward moving footprint his predecessor had left… well… now more than ever, there is an ever-growing need to “air” this month’s BlogCast songs.

On a more positive note, if such lyrical sentiments are ever, truly taken to heart by the powers-that-be, we could wind up with an energizing soundtrack that’ll, eventually, fight and win the war against aggression, oppression and discrimination in all of their grotesque, deplorable forms. Well, at least we can dream about it, right?

You likely noticed those two capitalized and italicized “T” words at the outset of this blog. The TIMELY and TIMELESS quality of this music has the capability of engaging critical thinkers wherever we may be… at the very least… inspiring a far greater liberal turnout at the polls this midterm election year.

On a more technical note: Admittedly, choosing between featuring original recordings vs. cover versions was a tough call. To resolve this, I’ve formatted the covers to appear onsite and link to the originals offsite over @YouTube. For any of you, who choose to click onto the smaller font’s artist/song names beneath each vid’s main title, you’ll be treated to a comparative study of the earlier artists’ interpretations / renditions.

So, sans any further delay, let’s all ear and eyewitness how all of these recording artists have so adeptly and passionately infused their heart and soul into the musical mix. Be these songs Sixties era or more recent, they’ve kept my hope alive… and hopefully yours too… hope for a better global society and better tomorrows.

 

Lena Markley & Brother Sanford ~ Get Together

Youngbloods ~ Get Together

“L” Debois ~ What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye ~ What’s Going On

VazquezSounds ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan ~ Blowin’ In The Wind
Stevie Wonder ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Justice Collective ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

Hollies ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

 

In parting… all I can add, here, is…

As consequential, expressive and inspirational this program’s timeless songs have been, what a shame that the political wasteland we are presently slogging through has made them so desperately needed and damned relevant. Maybe someday they’ll be played purely based on their musical merits. Someday…

Thank You for listening, viewing and reading. I’ll be posting my next monthly BlogCast during the first week of May ’18.

To access past programs, click onto my BlogCasts and Music categories.

If you’ve found our musical get-together enjoyable, don’t forget to like, comment and share. Those options can be accessed by clicking onto each blog title.

 

 

 

November Blogcast… Music With A Message

 

Wow… it’s so hard to believe how fast October flew on by. With the arrival of the first day of the new month, that means it’s time for another Blogcast.

I dedicate this music to all who’ve taken the time to stop by… especially to my American compatriots, who’ll soon be heading out to the polls to cast their ballots to culminate our way too long, presidential selection process. To be diplomatic, let’s just sum up what we’ve just endured as uNneRvInG and leave it at that.

And that having been said, it’s now time to ear and eyewitnesses these four jams… each one jam-packed with thought provoking messages and images.

Michael Franti & Spearhead ~ Good to Be Alive Today

Youngbloods ~ Get Together

Marvin Gaye ~ What’s Going On

Dion ~ Abraham, Martin & John

Thank you for tuning into my show. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, click that “like button”, perhaps leave a comment and be sure to meet me back here for my next Blogcast on December 1, 2016.