Thinking about Odetta: Peace Song for 1/21/2012

You Don’t Know My Mind, as sung by Odetta  (b. 1930 – d. 2008), is the Peace Song of the Day for January 21, 2012. This song expresses a strong sense of self and purpose. And, it brilliantly conveys the human condition of complexity of feelings, which is so important to conflict resolution, patience with ourselves and others, and Nonviolent Communication/NVC.

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I have recently become intrigued with Odetta’s music and the story of her life, based on an excellent children’s book that I ran across. Odetta The Queen of Folk, was conceived and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, with a poem by Samantha Thornhill. The book has words and illustrations that lead you to understand the mind of a child, and the mind of a cultural creative. The book includes: the biography of Odetta Holmes; the history of the Civil Rights era; thoughts on how to nurture musical appreciation in children; and ideas on African American women and beauty.

One of the excerpts about civil rights:

When Odetta grew/ good and tall/ she understood Jim Crow/ wasn’t a man at all/ but a bunch/ of silly laws that/ made black folks/ pause and feel/ bad/ about themselves…

One of the excerpts about black women and beauty:

Watch women/ kink up their hair,/ look in their mirrors,/ and feel better./ Watch women/ rocking the ‘fro known/ as “the Odetta”!

Here is an excerpt from the lyrics of the song, You Don’t Know My Mind. This verse refers to women and beauty:

Well I’m not good looking, I don’t dress fine
But I’m the kind of woman who will take her time
You don’t know, you don’t know my mind
When you see me laughing, laughing just to keep from crying…


The Peace Song of the Day is a project of Duke Augustus and Duchess Susanna, The Duke and Duchess of Peace (Also known as Ian and Kimberly). The Duke and Duchess recognize that one of the paths to peace is to find soulful and nonviolent entertainment, and to express oneself with art and song.

When you make a purchase through our link at CD Baby or Powells Books, we get a credit that helps to support our work and the running of this website. Peace Couple is a project of Wilderside, Ltd.

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