12 (plus 1) Songs for Christmas: “When You Go Down” and “Starting Over”

"When you go down, all the children will sing. When you go down, the bells of freedom will ring. One two three four five six seven. John Lewis is gonna shout from heaven....When you go down." I've featured this before, but this is definitely the song we need for today. Thanks, grassroots Georgia organizers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCKoNBDpPRkContinue reading 12 (plus 1) Songs for Christmas: “When You Go Down” and “Starting Over”

12 Songs for Christmas: I Got So High That I Saw Jesus

 Little by little, I have come to a realization that (as a commentator on a youtube thread articulated it) “Holy shit, I think I’m a Miley Cyrus fan.”  It’s been a long time coming, and by no means implies interest in everything she’s ever done. If you think this sounds absurd, click on this link, … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: I Got So High That I Saw Jesus

12 Songs for Christmas: Dejlig Er Jorden (Beautiful is the Earth)

The concert by Harald Haugaard and Helene Blum discussed here inspired me to create not just one, but two lyrics that are rough “translations”—singable free paraphrases—from Danish. Today's song triangulates with what I wrote about both “Staffanvisan”/“Christmas Party,” as well as my update of “Every Star Shall Sing a Carol." Let’s finish up this train … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Dejlig Er Jorden (Beautiful is the Earth)

12 Songs for Christmas: Christmas in Washington

“It’s Christmas time in Washington, and the Democrats rehearse. Getting into gear for [an upcoming] year of things not getting worse. Republicans drink whiskey neat and thank their lucky stars. [Thanks to Senate minority rule, with Wyoming voters weighing 68 times more than Californians] There’ll be no more FDRs.” So said Steve Earle, more or less, … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Christmas in Washington

12 Songs for Christmas: Kanye’s Christmas Opera

A year ago, Kanye West was in the news because he had premiered a high-concept and well-publicized Christmas “opera” at Lincoln Center. I wrote about it then, and today I am bringing this earlier reflection back so that people have another chance to find it. I do this, in part, because of how interestingly this … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Kanye’s Christmas Opera

Hegemonic Half-Truths: Why 9/11 Did Not Necessarily Strengthen the Religious Right in the Long Run

(This post is cross-published here on Narrative Paths Journal) Last week I fielded a query from the University of Tennessee campus newspaper about legacies of 9/11/2001. Its reporter asked: “How did 9/11 strengthen or weaken the religious faith of Americans? How did it change the way people think about mortality, evil, and hope? In what … Continue reading Hegemonic Half-Truths: Why 9/11 Did Not Necessarily Strengthen the Religious Right in the Long Run