"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Music: natural bedfellow of politics

Robert F. Kennedy used "This Land is Your Land" as his theme song. Kennedy picked up the torch from Gene McCarthy, remember? I'm not sure Minnesotan McCarthy really wanted to give up the torch. He lit the fire of the anti-Viet Nam War crowd. His success signaled to LBJ that the status quo was about to be torpedoed.
"This Land is Your Land" is the populist anthem written by Woody Guthrie. It displaced the more pompous "God Bless America." I drove to Alexandria to see the movie "Bobby."
The U.S. makes such a big deal about how we cannot tolerate chemical weapons anymore. We drew a supposed "red line" in Syria and then kept raising the bar. We were supposed to intervene at a certain point. Barack Obama, averse by nature to war, couldn't pull the trigger. Maybe it's just as well he didn't. Sometimes intervention can turn into a sink hole.
What a vivid lesson in Viet Nam, where by the way, the U.S. used chemical weapons. That war happened during my formative years along with Watergate. I'm conditioned to expect really bad things happening with our nation's leaders. I suppose this explains the ironic title of the David Halberstam book "The Best and the Brightest."
Halberstam visited my alma mater of St. Cloud State while I was there. I read his book "October 1964" about the 1964 major league baseball season. He may have put a little too much symbolism in that season. I'm not sure the Yankees lost the World Series because they represented some sort of "old order." They were a good team as was St. Louis. The Series went seven games. St. Louis with a young Lou Brock won.
Brock played in St. Cloud MN on his way up. The St. Cloud team was the "Rox." St. Cloud has a team today that started out as the "River Bats" before adopting the old "Rox" name. I wonder if there were legalities or something to deal with. Several major leaguers polished their skills with the old "Rox" such as Gaylord Perry, Matty Alou and Orlando Cepeda, in addition to Brock.
Why did the Rox fade away? It was probably because of the creation of the Minnesota Twins in 1961, which monopolized all serious baseball interest from around Minnesota.
BTW the comic strip Doonesbury suggested a sequel of sorts to Halberstam's book, concurrent with Watergate: "The Worst and the Stupidest."
"He Never Thought He Would win"
Music and politics would seem to be natural bedfellows. Both are infused with emotions and symbolism. They can galvanize our thoughts and our ideals. The other night, I wrote a song inspired by the early days of the Trump administration. It's called "He Never Thought He Would Win."
I think the people around Trump performed in the campaign through a combination of fun, novelty and endorphins, as if it were really a lark. Hey, a presidential campaign! What a rush. They didn't really think they would win, did they? Did Trump himself think he would win?
How many of those people, such as those now under scrutiny in the Russia collusion investigation, now wish he had not won? Think of that Manafort fellow. Or my goodness, Flynn!
How many front-line Republicans, now scared because they actually have to take responsibility for U.S. health care, wish Trump had not won? Had he not won, Republicans could still feel their oats by continuing to throw stones at various things the Democrats did, like "Obamacare." Now they must be feeling rather a siege mentality. And what if the economy starts to collapse? In the end that's what brought Nixon down.
It's hard to believe a sane nation would elect Trump, he of the "Access Hollywood" embarrassment. Why wasn't that the end for him?
Will Trump be forced from his office through some kind of misconduct that is found? Would Federal marshals show up to arrest him? What if he as commander in chief directs the military to protect him and his family? Guess I'm thinking like the late Tom Clancy now. Imagine the movie.
I invite you to read the lyrics for my song "He Never Thought He Would Win." I have a nice melody for this. Will I have it recorded? As always I don't know. I write music and poetry all the time. I loved the opportunity to rhyme with the word "weird" (with Vladimir). Maynard Ferguson once sang a song where he rhymed with "weird." Here we go:

"He Never Thought He Would Win"
by Brian Williams

Eight years came and went for Mr. "O"
He was suave and classy, don't you know
Never one to show misogyny
He took care of us so faithfully

Now we say hello to Mr. Trump
So much like a bear with boxing gloves
Did he really plan this in advance?
It was like a sudden avalanche

He never thought he would win
And now he's our president
Though he bragged a bunch
I just had a hunch
He never thought he would win

I thought Russia was our enemy
In the Cold War it was plain to see
You can't trust the Russians, we were told
Maybe it's a sign I'm growing old

So in touch with Mr. Vladimir
We might think that it was awful weird
Still we gave our nod to Mr. Trump
Now we wonder what we've went and done

(repeat chorus)

Jared Kushner is the son in law
He got power from Ivanka's pa
Donald Jr. has entitlement
They all understood what victory meant

On his way to being No. 1
Our new leader had a lightning tongue
He gave speeches that could knock 'em dead
If he only knew what lay ahead

(repeat chorus)

- Brian Willams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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