I was pleased today to hear that Canadian singer/songwriter Buffy Saint Marie is being presented with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award this year at our music awards ceremony- The Junos. How amazing to receive an award for what you have done for others.
Such a beautiful woman ageing well at 76 years young.
She spoke today about how her music was silenced in the US and continues to be because of it’s condemnation of war- songs like The Universal Soldier. She took refuge on Sesame Street for 6 years to stay alive as an artist and in an effort to move her message forward with young people. She then said there is more money in love songs than protest songs. See how there are so many similarities between music and pots. Although da Blues seem to be the best selling pots but not necessarily the best selling music. The protest song is probably what a Voulkos stack is all about for me.
I bought this Johnny Reid album and Scratch ruined it by telling me it was so full of corn ball love songs. My heart beats like a drum and all kinds of goofey lines. Scratch was right and now I can hardly listen to the corny lines. If I ever muttered those words to my would be partner she would know I was sleeping with someone else. Well not really sleeping.
So Dennis Allen you can keep the Bebe and Celine in the US but we want Buffy Saint Marie to come home from Hawaii and ya Neil Young can come back too.
Stephen Stills, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan -- dozens of others -- did pretty good selling protest music. Heck, folks even made careers of it. In fact, some musicians would never have been famous if not for protest music. Barry McGuire, anyone?
And they were never shut down by US radio stations. In fact, we listened to them all the more because they were "serious" artists. It was their "in".
Best protest singer of all said it best:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
He might have borrowed some of the lyrics from a big government guy from the BCE, though.
Reid doesn't suck because he writes love songs. He sucks because he writes utterly unremarkable love songs. Conversely, good protest music did sell. Hugely. And we Americans ate it up. Listened to it on Top40 radio -- all across the country.
Maybe a pot isn't bad because it sells and it isn't good because it doesn't. Maybe, anyway. Maybe there's room for both blue pots and stacks in the same world and blue pots don't make stacks good and stacks don't make blue pots bad.
1977 years ago Saint Paul asked: "Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?"
Apparently he didn't get an answer. :)
Sam Stone probably got John Prine recognized and Joe Hill got Pete Seeger in deep shit but well loved.