FROM THE VAULT (ORIGINALLY POSTED IN 2015) It seems like a long time ago when I was sitting in my living room, listening to Burnin’, and Bob Marley’s image on the cover of the album spoke to me. Burnin’ Album Cover Picture. TheWailers Burnin’ I wrote down what he said—in Patois—which I do not speak. […]
Category: Political Songs
Activist A few years ago, one of my students–I think the class was Environmental Literature.–had been reading a labor newspaper before class and gave it to me. It had an article about how often women organized and supported labor movements but that the men took the credit and also took the labor of women for […]
It’s interesting to think about the relationship of a song to its dub. I discovered this relationship through listening to Burning Spear’s Marcus Garvey and Garvey’s Ghost and Lee “Scratch” Perry’s dubs of many classic reggae songs. Because I was a member of reggae’s white, middle-class audience, I was immediately drawn to the spiritual and political songs and sought them out.
Notes on the writing of “Streets (One Way)” Dreams and Visions, song 1 One of the aims of this site is to produce songs that are linked to theory that can provide insights into the glut of junk the contemporary consumer world has made for us, and of us. In that sense, the work of […]
My Grandmother and the “Bandit”: Two Songs About Marietta Marcolini My grandmother, Marietta Marcolini, was born in rural northern Italy and came to New York as a very young, naïve woman. She came for an arranged marriage to a much older man, who soon died and left her a single mother. Thus began her descent […]
In the ruins of the city Cardboard for a bed Sleep the great musicians With visions in their heads. At the end of Empire Living in the debris Arise the great dancers Struggling to be free. The city falls around them “The fruits of Babylon”* Soldiers in the streets at night Terror in the dawn. […]