Saturday, August 06, 2016

Somewhere in America

Started thinking this morning about a number of things: reading about the the Trump mess in the US and the palpable increase in hate this has spawned.

The vileness of the campaign rallies have crossed a line. How can the people who have been chanting 'Lock Her Up' (and Trump labeling Hillary as a criminal), accept her as their President in November?

The long-standing tradition of respect for the opponent as a good citizen offering a different vision is out the door. This is a long way from Al Gore stepping aside and putting support behind 'W' after the Florida hanging chad fiasco.

And then my mind went to another topic: music. Reading Tim Falconer's 'Bad Singer', about a clinically bad singer (him) who is still emotionally affected by music and trying to understand why.

I've never been one to emphasis the emotional effect of music, I'm more of a shut-up-and-play guy, but with these two topics in my mind, I was somehow drawn back to a song by 'Was, Not Was' called 'Somewhere in a America'.

I dug out my LP and played it. It's such a great song. It does what a good pop song should do: captures the spirit and emotion of the times and reflects it back in an artistic rendering that has an emotional effect. I felt better after listening to it.

The musician in me can de-construct the song with respect to tonality, rhythm, timbre (harmon-muted trumpet solo), which still doesn't explain the emotional effect: both melancholy and hope.

The lyrics are in reference to the Reagan era('no show-biz beginners, making global decisions'), which seems like 'Leave it to Beaver' land now with Trump lurking, but apply even more so now.

 It also helps to know that Somewhere in America, there are still people thinking like this. Have a listen:

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