Monday, November 10, 2008

From The Archives..."We Will Be Free" (1997)

Back a few years ago my good buddy, Chicago folk music legend Stuart Rosenberg, and I, spent a lovely afternoon writing a song to sing on MLK Day. We called it, "We Will Be Free." Today - having just witnessed the election of (soon to be) President Barack Obama - seems like the right time to bring it back.

Since we're old enough to remember when "Blowin' in the Wind" was still "in the wind", our little song was inspired by the great freedom songs out there we wish we had written. But it's all right, ma...we like it just fine, and hope you do too.

Here are the lyrics. You can hear Stuart and me play it together here.

The video clip is from the 1997 UAHC (URJ) Biennial in Dallas, TX. The concert was a benefit for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. You can order the live concert CD right here.

From The Archives...Kol B'seder (1979)

Here's a blast from the past.  Kol B'seder from 1979.  Somehow Dan and I were recruited to add our happy-slappy campy kid songs to a couple of episodes of one of the original New York City Jewish cable TV shows, Shalom Corner.  I recently found the almost 30 year old Betamax video in a box of old tapes, then I scoured Ebay for a used (cheap) Betamax.  Bought a nice old one for 65 bucks plus shipping (they're heavy, let me tell you), which was not a bad price... 

While terribly dated, the shows are kinda cute, and here's a sample: Kol B'seder singing Richard Silverman's classic, 'It is a Tree of Life,' complete with the requisite puppets, kids, and Shalom Corner host, Carol Sterling. By the way, anybody want to buy an old Betamax?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Times They Are A Changin' (!)

"Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call..." Ok, I admit, the title is a cheesy way to steer a little Dylan traffic here.  But now that we know Barack Obama will be our 44th President - and I can finally get back to blogging again - I want to begin with one of the more interesting cultural sidebars of the campaign: yes, the Dylan-Obama connection.

In June of 2008 Dylan told the Times of London:

“Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval. Poverty is demoralizing. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up...Barack Obama. He's redefining what a politician is, so we'll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.”

On November 4, 2008, Dylan's second song at his election eve concert at the University of Minnesota (where he studied - briefly - nearly a half century earlier) was 'The Times They Are a Changin'.  He introduced his last encore, 'Blowin' in the Wind', with these words:

"I was born in 1941. That was the year they bombed Pearl Harbor. I've been living in darkness ever since. It looks like things are going to change now."

Oh, yeah...Dylan's son Jesse directed the incredible "Yes We Can" video by And several months ago he won an Emmy Award for it.

Mazal tov, Jesse.