Friday, July 06, 2012
On the Fourth of July, I was driving to meet my daughter downtown, when I heard the rebroadcast, from On Point, of a program about "This Land is Your Land." When I heard this version--sung at the big party on the Mall in Washington, D.C., the day before Obama's inauguration in 2009--I got tears in my eyes. Those two big American voices, Pete Seeger's and Bruce Springsteen's, with that gorgeous choir behind them:
It's not an ancient song, but it's an old one. It reminded me of the folk music of my youth, and the pathways my love for that music sent me down. It makes me think of music that's the fabric of life, a life woven of song, ideas woven into songs, a life where singing is a kind of action.
I just recently charged up my little iPod shuffle, to see if I liked using it while I walked. Turns out, yes, I still do. In fact, the first song that kicked in when I took a walk yesterday was Beck, "Gamma Ray":
I think this song has the kickingest beginning. It makes me want to move. And when I heard it the other morning, what it most put me in mind of, when it came pouring through, get-up-and-dance style--it reminded me of the last time I heard "Gamma Ray" on my headphones, when it made me feel exactly the same way.
My son and I used to have an argument about who is better, Nirvana or the Foo Fighters. I don't see any reason that I should have to choose, but I admit that I used to be a Nirvana partisan. But that was before I heard this:
I remember feeling like I was being awakened by the ferocity of that first line, by the ferocity of that scream. This song, too, came on when I turned the corner while I was walking Bruiser. I felt like singing it to the sky.