December 22, 2012

My favorite song via Joe Strummer, 10 years gone.

“I’d like to say that people can change anything they want to; and that means everything in the world.

Show me any country and there’ll be people in it. And it’s the people that make the country. People have got to stop pretending they’re not on the world. People are running about following their little tracks. I am one of them. But we’ve all gotta stop just stop following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything; this is something that I’m beginning to learn.

People are out there doing bad things to each other; it’s because they’ve been dehumanized. It’s time to take that humanity back into the centre of the ring and follow that for a time.

Greed… it ain’t going anywhere! They should have that on a big billboard across Times Square. Think on that.

Without people you’re nothing….that’s my spiel.”

~ Joe Strummer

And he sounded like Kerouac or Ginsberg when he said, of his art:


“You can only follow what’s on your mind. In fact, a song is something you write because you can’t sleep unless you write it.”




For more great links to songs and conversation re Strummer, click here.

The Minstrel Boy. I’d be honored if you’d play it at my funeral.

It’s one of my favorite songs, period. We have a Shambhala version for this. It’s about warriorship and bravery and a lack of fear of death and the cruel, deceptive nature of this life…and yet…it’s about that noble broken heart and art and music, slung on our back, that gives us bravery to strut through it all.

Some history:

An emotionally stirring and inspirational song, The Minstrel Boy was written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of “The Moreen,” an old Irish aire.

It is believed by many that Moore composed the song as a memorial to several of his friends he had met while a student at Trinity College and who had participated in the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. One died in prison, another was wounded, and a third captured and hung. The song originally consisted of two verses.

Due to its popularity, the song was a favorite of the many Irishmen who fought during the U.S. Civil War, primarily on the Union side. It was at this time that a third verse was added by unknown authors:

“The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it,
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as Heaven intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And ev’ry battle must be ended.”


The Black Hawk Down version:

The Minstrel Boy to the war has gone:

The Fullll version: 21 minutes long.

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