Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We shall over come, and he did...

I originally wrote this post on Sunday January 18th just after watching the We Are One concert. I tucked it away in the draft file hoping to be able to do it justice at some point. As much as I'd like to think that I've accurately portrayed how I felt at the time, the truth is that I know I haven't. It was one of those once in a lifetime moments. One of those times that you want to savor, one that you want to hold close to you for a while but ultimately have to share with someone because it meant so much to you. So here it is......

I know there are lots of momentous things going on in our country today. We have a new President, a new administration, a new chance. Millions of people have descended on our nation's capital to celebrate. What a great time to be a political junkie!

But, every one's writing about that stuff. I've been watching it on the news and reading it in the papers for the past two years! I was beginning to think I had become a little bit desensitized. I might have even been a little sick of it all (gasp). So it was with a weary eye that I began to watch the We are One concert on Sunday afternoon. Oh they had some great acts. I love Beyonce and Stevie Wonder, and I'd love to be stuck in an elevator with Bono, but the act that I was the most excited by wasn't even on the list.

Towards the end of the show Pete Seeger came out with Bruce Springsteen. Many of you may not know Pete, and honestly I owe all of my knowledge to Mark and PBS, but he is America's last remaining true folk singer. At 89 he has fought his entire life for causes such as civil rights and equality. He wrote songs like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn, Turn, Turn". He has stood up for immigrants, poor people, minorities, women and the environment.

When Pete took the stage with his grandson and Bruce Springsteen to lead the enormous crowd in "This Land is Your Land" I cried like a baby. Perhaps this was what I had been looking for as proof that there will be some change in our future. To see Mr. Seeger welcomed onto this national stage after so many years of being black listed and shut out was amazing. He sang the original words to this wonderful song, not the sanitized version we've all been taught and those are the words I'll end this post with.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I've roamed and rambled
and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of
her diamond deserts
And all around me
a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining
as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving
and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting
a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin'
I saw a sign there
And that sign said
no tress passin'
But on the other side
.... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city
In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office
I see my people
And some are grumblin'
and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

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About Me

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I am wife to Mark and mother to three teenage children. That puts me right in the middle of a teenage wasteland. Someone help me now!