• state of the union

    by  • January 30, 2008 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    After what I saw of the State of the Union address last night, I couldn’t help but think of Steve Earle’s “Christmas in Washington,” which he wrote in the late nineties. Ten years later, the parties’ names are interchangeable. When Steve introduces the song, he often says, “This is a song about heroes.”

    It’s Christmastime in Washington
    The Democrats rehearsed
    Gettin’ into gear for four more years
    Things not gettin’ worse

    The Republicans drink whiskey neat
    And thanked their lucky stars
    They said, ‘He cannot seek another term
    There’ll be no more FDRs’

    I sat home in Tennessee
    Staring at the screen
    With an uneasy feeling in my chest
    And I’m wonderin’ what it means

    So come back Woody Guthrie
    Come back to us now
    Tear your eyes from paradise
    And rise again somehow
    If you run into Jesus
    Maybe he can help you out
    Come back Woody Guthrie to us now

    I followed in your footsteps once
    Back in my travelin’ days
    Somewhere I failed to find your trail
    Now I’m stumblin’ through the haze

    But there’s killers on the highway now
    And a man can’t get around
    So I sold my soul for wheels that roll
    Now I’m stuck here in this town

    So come back Woody Guthrie
    Come back to us now
    Tear your eyes from paradise
    And rise again somehow
    If you run into Jesus
    Maybe he can help you out
    Come back Woody Guthrie to us now

    There’s foxes in the hen house
    Cows out in the corn
    The unions have been busted
    Their proud red banners torn

    To listen to the radio
    You’d think that all was well
    But you and me and Cisco know
    It’s going straight to hell

    So come back, Emma Goldman
    Rise up, old Joe Hill
    The barricades are goin’ up
    They cannot break our will

    Come back to us, Malcolm X
    And Martin Luther King
    We’re marching into Selma
    As the bells of freedom ring

    So come back Woody Guthrie
    Come back to us now
    Tear your eyes from paradise
    And rise again somehow
    If you run into Jesus
    Maybe he can help you out
    Come back Woody Guthrie to us now


    The best video I could find was Steve singing the song with Joan Baez.

    If only our politicians knew what it meant to be leaders.

    Peace,
    Milton

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