Songs for America

Woke up this morning…

6.45. Grab the iPhone. Guardian news app. The latest on Hillary’s victory margin.

 It’s all Trump. Why is it all about Trump? Oh……

‘Tis democracy. The American people have spoken. Just like the people of England did when a majority voted for Brexit. That was devastating. I felt it deep down. My country, my England, not my England. In the office that day we sat bewildered, disbelieving, depressed, sharing our feelings. This time I just felt kind of numb. It’s that bit removed. It’s not my country. But it’s a country I admire, respect, take inspiration from. Especially through music. And in the tube going into work, it had to be Bob Dylan. “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”. And those Talking World War III Blues. Surreal – for now.

And, of course, it’s a country whose fortunes and actions affect all of us around the world. So, yeah, I’m VERY, VERY WORRIED!

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t presume to pass judgement on the voters of America. Too easy to stereotype. You have to respect the vote. Each individual had good reason to vote the way he or she did. Be it anger, despair, defending the right to arms, despising the Washington insiders, not trusting Clinton, wanting a businessman in charge, fearing terrorism, or immigration, or whatever. You see, I’m a liberal. Trying to understand. I’d rather build bridges than walls. But the wall-builders are winning at the moment. (The UK is building one in Calais by the way). Hate and fear and cynicism is winning. The clock is going back to the 1930s…

So do we just retreat into our bubbles, put the music on and party like it’s 1999?

Right now it feels like the only option. Though I know it mustn’t be the only option.

Here’s a playlist to keep you going, if like me, you are feeling rather stunned by it all.

What’s Going On? – Marvin Gaye

Beyond Belief – Elvis Costello

Talking World War III Blues – Bob Dylan

Nervous Breakdown – Ducks Deluxe

Pure Worries – Dixie Peach

A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan

Bullet the Blue Sky – U2

The End – The Doors

The Wall – Pink Floyd

Masters of War – Bob Dylan

Get out of Denver – Bob Seger/ Eddie and the Hot Rods

Darkness on the Edge of Town – Bruce Springsteen

The End of the World as we Know It (and I feel fine) – R.E.M.

(With thanks to DC for his suggestions. Left Green Day out, given that respect for the vote.)


About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
This entry was posted in Music - concerts, lists, reflections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Songs for America

  1. Dc says:

    Not a lot of party music in that list John…
    Hopefully the sclerotic process of politics will make Trump as ineffectual as Obama (8 years with an agenda of change but hard to point to anything memorable after the euphoria of his first win)

    • John S says:

      Wasn’t meant to be party music in the playlist – it was bewilderment and angst music. Music for the day. The Republicans have control of Congress so Trump might get more through than Obama did. Equally they might restrain some of his madness. Maybe…

  2. Dood says:

    I’d just like to say that I wrote a scintillating, 2,800-word essay in response to this exchange. Feisty, political, polemical, passionate, wry, incisive, and fiercely-argued. And not entirely comfortable with the relativism of John’s stance. Why can’t we acknowledge that some people just make the wrong judgments?

    And then I realised that it was exactly the wrong time to send it: too much post-Trump grief, too post-Trump wine. Not enough post-Trump Nurofen.

    It is thus lost to the world of letters,



    • John S says:

      I need to see that missive! Relativist? I’m not even sure what it means. But when it comes to politics, I’m not inclined to think I’m right about everything. There is no right answer, just a best-in-the-circumstances, optimal answer. In my relativist view. On the other hand, I KNOW prog was the worst music ever.

  3. Resa says:

    I am devastated by Trump’s win. Now, in mourning, I grapple with what’s next for Canada’s closest neighbor & major trade partner. Have you seen all of the nude photo’s of Melania on line?
    Dignity….a thing of the past.

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