Notes for Teachers: Washington

I’ve been working on some reading/listening/research questions for classroom use (see the “for teachers” link on the right).  Here’s some for Washington.  Any interested teachers who are reading this blog and might be interested in helping me develop some of these questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at xian@christiankiefer.com

Track 1
George Washington
“Washington Dream of the Hippopotamus”
Music and lyrics by Christian Kiefer

Literary/Historical: 

1.   Consider the role George Washington plays in American popular culture.  From his image gracing the one dollar bill to the name of our nation’s capital city, Washington has gone from being a man to being a mythological image.  Discuss how Washington’s is used today and what it means as a facet of American culture.  Then discuss how that image is used in “Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus.”

2.     With its use of flutes, violins, marching drums, and brass, the music of “Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus” attempts to be evocative of the revolutionary war.  Discuss how this is or is not successful and what it might mean in the context of the song itself.  Is the song upholding one part of the mythology (the marching patriots) while tearing down another (Washington’s truthfulness)?  Explain and analyze.

3.     In many ways, the theme of “Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus” refers to one of the most famous cultural stories we have of America’s first President: the “I cut down the cherry tree” story of young George’s truthfulness.  Discuss how the song itself uses irony to recast and/or question an important piece of American mythology.

Historical: 

4.    Discuss how “Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus” defines the role of spoken rhetoric in the context of the historical presidency.  Actions are championed—as in the description of Washington’s military leadership in the second verse—but ultimately is it how he told the story that is of ultimate importance?

Research-Based: 

5.     By way of extension of question #4 above, how important were political speeches and oral rhetoric during Washington’s presidency?  Further extending this topic, how important was young America’s press in selecting Washington as the first president?  In the song, Washington feels that his own words were of utmost importance to his political survival.  Was this really true? 

Art/Visual Rhetoric:

6.     C.W. Roelle’s wire drawing of Washington views the hippopotamus of the song’s lyrics as a kind of hunting trophy.  Discuss and analyze this image as visual rhetoric.  What does this image say?  How might it be viewed separate from and/or in the context of the song’s lyrics?  How does the use of wire (bold black lines without color) effect the viewer’s overall perception of Washington?  Is it ultimately a commentary on just how recognizable his image actually is in American culture?

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Published in: on May 20, 2008 at 10:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cowboys and Ron

I’ve been reading much about and by Ronald Reagan in an effort to craft another chapter for my dissertation-turned-book project.  The rhetoric is interesting and sometimes amazing.  Here’s Reagan speaking in Oklahoma City at a fund-raising luncheon:

 

But I always get a thrill out of coming back to the home of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. I seem to remember a famous country and western song warning mothers not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys. The song forgot to say that cowboys can sometimes grow up and be President.

Reagan’s use of “cowboy” rhetoric is essentially what I’m focusing on in my work here.  Reagan used it as a kind of magic trick.  Of course, he wasn’t a cowboy by any stretch of the imagination, although, like our current President, he owned a “ranch.”  Calling Reagan a cowboy is like calling me a mechanic because I once changed my own oil.  

Nonetheless, Reagan used the cowboy angle very specifically to collect some working class credibility.  The truth is that, despite the careful crafting of his image, Reagan was very far from “working class” for virtually all of his adult life.  Some would see through this rhetorical ploy, of course, but many many more took hold of it as a kind of image.  Reagan’s embodiment of a more simple America fell in exactly the right moment in history: a 1980s desperately searching for some kind of foundation.  

In the midst of this, of course, come a slew of counternarratives, which form the basis of my actual book: McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove (which is both in line with Reagan’s vision of the cowboy and far, far from it), Welch’s Fools Crow, Harrison’s Dalva, etc.

 

Published in: on May 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

42) Clinton

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

42 Clinton (The Mighty Lion Will Not Roar Again)

by jeff pitcher — 2006-02-26 @ 11:18pm (EST) — Alt/Indie

Clinton. The end. What was i to do with clinton? he being the first president that i voted for. he being so terribly intelligent and articulate. my first idea (impulse) was to write a song about him concluding that perhaps it was indeed his destiny to assasinate george. he did after all have the connections and what not. but somehow (perhaps obviously) that felt trite and predictable. but then i imagine my final piece here is likely rather predictable as well. i simply couldn’t get out of my head all of the work he has been doing in africa. so…..

i wrote the song imagining that all of the animals were dying of sorrow, because we greedy folks here in the west do so little to help the africans. and so, as the children die in africa and we drive around in our nice cars and record our music on these machines, the animals all begin to perish. sad, i know. as i tried to approach this song from a differnt perspective, i just kept returning to the fact that clinton is indeed doing some really wonderful and important work right now. sure, he did some bad things too (didn’t they all?) and maybe this is simply him fighting his guilt for not doing anything in rwanda back when they REALLY needed the help of a wealthy and powerful nation like the U.S., but either way, i admire what he’s doing now. i imagine him, imagining himself a modern day noah (of noah’s rumored ark) out there saving the kids from the flood of famine and aids.

anyway, without carrying on…the song itself i like quite a bit, the mix no. unfortunately, i’m too poor a pianist to really play the damn thing in time, so we get a rather sloppy take. always. i think there is a good tension in this song, which leads inherently into the end segment which i think should be really loud, but difficult with limited equipment, and only one person. (who also happens to be a fairly bad drummer with no cymbals). yes, there are drums on the song. try headphones. anyway, it should get big and loud and rock. so there. 

for some reason, i’m fairly dissatisfied with the mix, but unwilling to try and fix it at this late hour (metaphorically speaking). it is time for dinner, WINE, and a highly recommended film (songs from the second floor by ray anderson). i would also change the bridge and arrangement some (which happens to be this most difficult part of this fast writing process for me…the songs and melodies come out faily easily…the arranging another story. it generally takes me quite some time to mold a song into shape just right. how long should this part o? that part? should it get loud here? or quiet? etc.)

anyway, i guess that’s it. William Jefferson Clinton. Now i’ll finally have time to listen to more of other folk’s stuff here. 

thanks for listening and offering such compliments. it is always much appreciated.

cheers~
jdp

6 comments

  1. Burr Settles | 2006-02-26 @ 11:59pm (EST)

    congrats on reaching mr. clinton. another piano-focused tune…. i haven’t heard anything since quincy adams… i agree that toward the end of this song needs to be a larger than life cacophony.

    this is an interesting take on clinton… the fact that you chose to focus on his ongoing stuff… rather than all the stuff that went on during his term that you COULD have. kinda unexpected. in fact, i think this would be an interesting song to just end the whole project with. skip dubbya… because this tune is kind of an appeal to us (and him) and our behaviors, etc. i dunno if that makes sense… i hope so… tired… congrats…

  2. Christian Kiefer | 2006-02-27 @ 01:09am (EST)

    Fucking excellent. I hope our G.W. song is anthemic or Burr might just be right. Hard to top this for an album closer.

  3. friendof | 2006-02-27 @ 01:49am (EST)

    Wow. This is so delicate. Though you may be too humble to say this, I really think that this is a beautiful tribute to a continent that has been torn apart by capitalism, wars they have nothing to do with, civil wars, ethnic strife, and a million other things put upon so many countries. This may be my favorite of yours. I’m not sure Clinton deserves such credit, but certianly it can apply to the many leaders fighting for Africa right now. I love the piano, but when that electric guitar comes in… oh, man, what build.

  4. Ben J. | 2006-02-27 @ 02:05am (EST)

    Wow. Goose-bumps. Tingling spine. Misty eyes.

    Wow.

  5. BigDaddyMatty & Special K | 2006-03-02 @ 12:01am (EST)

    This is such a sad song, I don’t perceive Clinton as being so sad. Heck he has such a great sense of humor! Jimmy Carter was the first I voted for 
    and he’s been doing more since he hasn’t been president But hey, the piano work is great in a depressing sort of way. Your voice sounds frustrated and tired which I think was on purpose, but it sounds good especially with the piano!

  6. orange mouth man | 2006-03-20 @ 12:29pm (EST)

    My initial reaction to the content was: oh, no, westerners writing about the problems in Africa (like Sylvia Plath writing about the holocaust) but in a poetic/fictional sense I think the lyrics and idea are spot-on. Someone like Clinton doesn’t really exist in our real lives but in our imaginations (for most of us). Music was good. Don’t like the line ” I will spare them?” as much, too melodramatic.

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

41) G.H.W. Bush

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

41 Bush (The Beginning of the End)

by j matthew gerken — 2006-02-26 @ 02:31am (EST) — Alt/IndieFolkRock

This song describes the historical context of war under the GOP and the origin of the dark warmongering oppressive regime under which we currently have the misfortune to live.

2 comments

  1. friendof | 2006-02-27 @ 02:23am (EST)I love your liner notes so much I wouldn’t even care if the song was shit. But of course it’s not. It’s fantastic. I love how low this is for your voice. The melody is perfect… it has that sadness to it, but an accepted sadness as if there’s helplessness in it… like PTSD. lol. 

    Beautiful.

  2. j matthew gerken | 2006-02-28 @ 11:49pm (EST)Whoa – beautiful voice and fingerpicked guitfiddle. Damn fine song. Great harmony. You seem like an incredible performer and songwriter. Don’t make your profile and comments so humble. That is no longer necessary as you rock.
Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

40) Reagan

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

40 Reagan (Such a Marvelous Dream)

by Christian Kiefer — 2006-02-27 @ 01:03am (EST) — Alt/IndieRock

A few days ago I decided that I no longer cared if I finished this project during the month of February or not. As long as I finished my batch of 14 presidents that seemed enough. Plus I felt just too much pressure to get it all done in time. 

Then I wrote Eisenhower and everything seemed better again. It’s interesting how getting one good song together can pump up the deflated sails again. But alas I digress.

I was not a fan of the Reagan presidency, but that hardly matters. One of the interesting processes I’ve encountered during this is trying to get beyond my value judgments into something more human. I absolutely abhor soapboxy political ranting of all kinds, but even more so when it tries to pass itself off as art (it’s a banal and stupidly ineffective from liberals and conservatives alike).

The question of the song is simple: What happens to a man with alzheimers, when that man spent his life as an actor and politician? Can he tell at all what was acting and what wasn’t. 

And so in the song, Ronald rides the range, becoming not a politician or an actor but one of his roles: that of the cowboy. He dreams he’s the president and it’s a marvelous dream, but it’s just a dream in the end. We think that people with alzheimers have it bad, but perhaps it’s only bad for us who remain to watch them. On the inside, perhaps everything for them is a beautiful fantasy of the best from their past.

Incidentally, all the banging around is my 2 year old beating on some plastic toy with a hammer in the other room. Adverse recording conditions, but one gets used to it when children are about.

3 comments

  1. friendof | 2006-02-27 @ 01:26am (EST)

    I LOVE the Star Wars missle defense line. Subtley placed for those of us who are quite happy to abhor this man. The harmonies are beautiful here. And the melody is so sad. Beautiful job. I actually think the 2-year-old banging is somewhat appropriate–kind of gives it a sense that there is some disorientation, which is what your song is essentially about. 🙂 I feel in love with yet another one of your songs.

  2. elizadonelittle | 2006-03-01 @ 02:23am (EST)

    Such a gentle song! The images are great… the desert, the field of cattle, the soapy and mild business (great line). I’m delighted that the Reagan song isn’t angsty, and isn’t what one would expect. And I’m so delighted that you guys did it! We think you three should take this record and tour the Presidential Libraries. Or at least the towns in which said libraries exist. xox
    p.s. whatever it is you are always doing with that voice of yours in an octave higher than the melody… nice.

  3. Erin O’Brien | 2006-03-15 @ 07:19pm (EST)

    This is a very classy treatment of lots of difficult subject matter. My favorite line is “when he shot indians and bad men and mexicans.” The quiet tone and pace give it a nice dreamlike feel too. I liked it alot.

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

39) Carter

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

39 Carter (A Great Beam of Light)

by jeff pitcher — 2006-02-24 @ 10:47pm (EST) — Alt/Indie

the first thing i read about Jimmy Carter, was that many years ago, before he was president he called the police while in Georgia to report having seen a UFO. this got me thinking. what if instead of calling them as one of us, he was calling the police as a cover. in other words, what if he was an alien and was trying to pose as one of us, the phone call only serving as a means to cover his tracks.

and it went from there. i thought what if all of the presidents were aliens and they were sent down from the sky. in some way, it seems the only explanation for the seeming lack of intelligence, maturity, foresight, compassion and grace with our current leader. if they are aliens, it guess it would just make more sense.

so this song is about the aliens coming back to retrieve jimmy carter. i love the line about the humans standing there and “sadly waving goodbye,” as the image just kills me. i wanted to get in the song something about the fact that i don’t understand why we tend to have this image that all aliens would look like us (if they exist). ie: very human-like. why couldn’t they look like toasters? or curbs? or fog? or chair legs? (no i didn’t watch star trek. seriously) anyway, that didn’t make it into the song, nor did some ideas from a great old episode of the twilight zone, where these aliens come down and tell the people that they have one month to get their shit together or they will all be killed. of course the humans interprest this as world peace and do all that they can to SOMEHOW achieve this. which they do. a month later, the aliens come back and kill everyone, explaining to the foolish humans that they were being bred to be warriors. alas, we just can’t ever seem to get it right.

anyway, perhaps jimmy carter is an alien. perhaps they all are.

i would love to add theremin (is that too obvious), lots of vocal harmonies, strings and REAL drumming. such it is with fawm. cheers. wave to jimmy no?

3 comments

  1. Christian Kiefer | 2006-02-25 @ 08:06pm (EST)

    Sounds like an old, old folk song. Pretty. 

    Oh–and you’re a fucking weirdo, by the way. 🙂

  2. Matt Hopper | 2006-03-02 @ 01:08pm (EST)

    This song gives me the same feeling as lots of stuff on “Hail to the Thief”…and I love the idea for this song…

  3. BigDaddyMatty & Special K | 2006-03-03 @ 10:37pm (EST)

    I like how you made the background guitar?? sound like a flying saucer!
    I hope you were trying to do that, otherwise I forgot to take my shoe off before I put my foot in my mouth!

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

38) Ford

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

38 Ford (Now You See It, Now You Don’t See It)

by j matthew gerken — 2006-02-28 @ 12:18pm (EST) — Alt/IndieFolkRock

This song describes Ford in his context. He was invited after his college years to try out for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys (I believe); these were not rinky dink organizations at this time. He and his wife were both models. This is the only president not to be elected in any way to be president. This song also laments on the lowered standard for presidents that we obviously experience today. No longer are presidents expected to be bright people capable of understanding the subtle and expansive consequences of their decisions.

1 comments

  1. dougdog nye | 2006-03-05 @ 02:30pm (EST)I like the bass and guitar groove and I believe I would like this almost better as an instrumental. did you do any instrumental ones about presidents. the music does’t exactly evoke images of how Ford was generaly percieved but as a song it is pretty neat. What great words did gerald emit anyway? I remember WIN (whip inflation now) and that is about it other than his pardon of milhouse and falling in the bathtub and hurting himself. What a different song that could be . Congrats on sticking to you challenge . I am sure there were times you wanted to write about something other than presidents. however I find the best way to figure out what i want to do is to get a job and start working and while I am working all the things I want to do keep popping into my head.Now that takes care of one more zong (zero comment song)
Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:41 pm  Comments (1)  

37) Nixon

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

37 Nixon (2 Under Par Off the Coast of Africa)

by Christian Kiefer — 2006-02-25 @ 08:00pm (EST) — Alt/IndieRock

I’ve been thinking that Nixon is America’s Napoleon: a figure who had enormous power (in the context of the U.S.) and who was essentially exiled. Napoleon’s exile (his second exile, that is) was on St. Helena island off the coast of Africa. I picture Napoleon and Dick sitting together on the beach in their big bermuda shorts, wondering what went wrong.

Again, this song needs a band. It also needs a different melody line on during the too-long bridge. I like that it changes keys there but it the current melody line doesn’t add much to the song over all and it doesn’t resolve back into the main harmony chords to my satisfaction. So there’s something to work out on this one still.

But, Reagan awaits. Cowboys, Star Wars, alzheimer’s–the possibilities are ripe.

1 comments

  1. j matthew gerken | 2006-02-26 @ 02:42am (EST)

    Wow very 60s garage band sounding or something. This is totally to be played by three or four part harmony Pele meets the Beach Boys type band with cross rhythms galore on the chorus. Oh my god I can hear it now just like I am there in Whittier with his spirit. Nixon, believe or not, was 100 times better on humans than the Republican presidents that followed him. Wow that is saying something. Actually, you know, with the opened relationship with China under Nixon, the Headstart program, etc., it seemed like he actually cared about things, unlike Reagan, Bush, or Bush. Those people surely enjoy seeing people poor and killed. Otherwise, they wouldn’t do what they DO!! No point sugar coating it anymore.

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

36) L.B. Johnson

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

36 Johnson (Lady Bird take Me Home)

by jeff pitcher — 2006-02-23 @ 10:44pm (EST) — Alt/IndieFolk

i am usually one who sees the finish line (metaphorically speaking) and runs like hell to the end, full of energy i did not know that i had. suffice it to say, i am walking at best. limping perhaps. needless to say, just when i think it cannot grow any more difficult to pull a song out, it does. 

johnson. what does one write? he is often seen as something of a failure but in some way i have much sympathy for this man. during college, he took a year off to teach mexican immigrants and said he felt a great depression that our government had failed these people who were too poor to get a college education. this experience he said, stayed with him. anyway, i could write tomes about him, as he tried to both stay in and pull out of vietnam at the same time with horrifying results, but i am tired.

i wrote, imagining him lying in bed at night with his wife (who was nicknamed lady bird) wanting so badly to just leave it all behind. much like truman, i cannot really imagine the pain these men must have had to silence. from all the reading i did about johnson, it seemed he really did feel ruined inside. i guess in some way, whether he was an idiot or not, i feel bad for johnson. what a horrible thing to find yourself mixed up in. 

my mother was a flight attendent during vietnam and used to talk about how awful it was to load the dead bodies onto the planes to come home for burial, hence the line about “bodies on planes.”

i do not care for this song very much, but the finish line looms. hell, i don’t even like my writing about this song. i intended to change this quite a bit, but the computer problems are killing me. i limp onward.

2 comments

  1. Christian Kiefer | 2006-02-24 @ 02:44am (EST)

    My friend, even your mediocre songs are better than most other songwriters’ material, and this some is hardly even one your mediocre songs. I like it. Perhaps some lyrical work could be done, but there’s a song here–basic and direct but the lamentation is present and it’s effective in its simplicity.

  2. Steven Wilson/Plasticsoul | 2006-02-24 @ 09:45am (EST)

    I love the Plato line. The guitar interplay break is really sweet. the tuning you are using (is it an alternate tuning?) has a very melancholy sound which fits the lyrics well. hearing you sing “ladybird” over and over made me think: next year you guys have to use First Ladies as your song subjects! now THAT will be a challenge.

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

35) Kennedy

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

35 Kennedy (There is No Plan)

by j matthew gerken — 2006-02-13 @ 01:08pm (EST) — Alt/IndieFolkRock

A fantasy describing the scenario were John and Bobby Kennedy not murdered. Playing that scenario out implicates John Kennedy’s killers.

6 comments

  1. lindy | 2006-02-13 @ 02:57pm (EST)the meter and the shifting accents of the beats help make this song work. i really like the melodic line, too. this is a good, strong song. thanks for sharing it with us.
  2. Christian Kiefer | 2006-02-13 @ 03:06pm (EST)Uh…you’re not a democratic, are you?

    🙂

    Beautiful work, my friend.

  3. Christian Kiefer | 2006-02-13 @ 03:07pm (EST)I mean a democrat. Jeez. A mental giant I am not. Perhaps I should run for President. As a Republican. Ba dump bump!
  4. mike skliar | 2006-02-13 @ 09:32pm (EST)very interesting musically,,, “there seems to be no plan” but there is- the words, for me, are a bit hard to scan, especially in the first half (not sure what you are trying to say) but i like the overall musical feel, and you’re on to something interesting here. 
    mike
  5. Steven Bacon | 2006-02-14 @ 01:38pm (EST)I like the vibe…the melody is great. i like the sound of your guitar (the recording). i also am a little lost by the begining, although i get the sentiment. kennedy was a great man. i’m glad you took him on for your project. but..back to direct feedback…. i love your harmonies. nice tight playing. rock on!
  6. BigDaddyMatty & Special K | 2006-03-20 @ 07:02pm (EST)What a politically charged song! The vocals are right on and the music
    embraces them. Great work!
Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment