Memorial Day was first enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans to honor Union soldiers who had lost their lives in the Civil War. After WWI, the holiday was extended to honor soldiers in all wars.
“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” was written by Bob Dylan in 1973 for the movie “Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.” It reached #12 on the charts at the time and “Rolling Stone Magazine” put it at #190 on the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list. The song is about a sherriff but I think it’s a fitting tribute for Memorial Day too.
Thank you to the women and men who have paid the ultimate price in service to this country.
Bob Dylan has been called one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. In 2008 he was awarded a special certificate by the Pulitzer Prize jury for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” “Blowin’ In The Wind” was released in 1963 on Bob’s “Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” album. He says it took him about 10 minutes to write this song. “Billboard” magazine puts it at #14 on its “Top 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time” list.
I chose this video today because the nuclear events in Japan have been much on my mind lately so a really good protest song seemed in order. This song has nothing to do with nuclear power of course, it’s just a really good protest song.
NOTE: I have no internal compass so I choose cardinal directions at random to describe the geographical features around me. The mental map I’m creating for you is wildly, hilariously inaccurate. Consult a competent GPS if you are planning to visit.
If I stand on my front porch and look to the… oh let’s say north for the sake of argument, I can see the giant twin plumes of steam coming from our local nuclear plant. As it happens, even though we are in the Midwest, we actually are on an active fault line. We have had a few quakes around here over the years. The experts tell us that there’s no way our tiny fault could produce a quake the size of the one that hit Japan. Of course, these are the same experts who say the fact that our water supply slightly exceeds safe levels of radiation is merely a coincidence and that we have nothing to worry about. To be fair, it is the Midwest so tornadoes are really our natural disaster of choice. They tell us, though, that there’s no way a tornado could take out our power plant! It could knock out the cooling system but we’re not supposed to worry about that because we have a diesel powered backup cooling system. As long as the roads are still passable and gas pumps still work, which of course they definitely would after a major tornado, we should be able to get fuel to that generator and keep things nice and frosty! I am feeling totally secure over here! Why do I suddenly regret having all the lead paint removed from the place? Anyone out there got a plutonium resistant pull out sofa they can spare for us?
Okay so this technically isn’t a music video but it’s too funny to pass up! I love Martin Short and SCTV! This particular clip is from episode 7 of the 6th and final season of SCTV which ran on Cinemax.
I believe we only escaped a real Lewis/Dylan cover album by the luckiest of coin tosses. Clearly the fates allow this sort of thing to happen all the time. Debbie Reynolds “…Had A Hammer,” Lawrence Welk “…Toked Over The Line,” Pat Boone did heavy metal and, ladies and gentlemen, this actually happened:
I don’t know why I’m drawn to things like this. It’s like a mosquito bite that I can’t help scratching. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go queue up Nimoy’s “Legend Of Bilbo Baggins.” Somebody call me when Manilow starts eying Jay Z’s catalog!