“My Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison is Peace Song of the Day for May Day, May 1st. The song was first recorded by The Beatles. Today, a phalanx of guitars, marching in the Occupy Guitarmy, of part of May Day celebrations. (Information at the Occupy Guitarmy website: here.) Also the track is in honor of the Duchess’ Tearwater Tea Party for May Day. Harrison credits the inspiration for the song to the I Ching.
“One Guitar” by singer/songwriter Willie Nile is the Peace Song of the Day for April 30th. Tomorrow, a thousand guitars, marching in the Occupy Guitarmy, will perform song as part of their set list. (There is still time to join. Info, schedule, and set lists at the Occupy Guitarmy website: here.)
As royalty (in the most whimsical of senses), the Duke and Duchess of Peace envision themselves as proclaiming the Peace Song of the Day. If you look around the news today, you see that the people of Norway have made the choice: The Peace Song of the Day is “Children of the Rainbow” by Pete Seeger.
In a compassionate, defiant, community response to the actions and words of the right wing, mass murderer, who killed 77 people last year, 40,000 people gathered in Oslo to sing Pete Seeger’s song about love and tolerance, “Children of the Rainbow” (“My Rainbow Race”, English title.)
You can see video from the scene in Norway below. And underneath, is a story from Common Dreams, and the song lyrics. The song, in English, appears in Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook, the songbook which was part of the inspiration for our Peace Song of the Day project. We knew that the answer to world peace was somewhere between the covers of that amazing, inspiring, abundant collection of sing-a-long tunes.
Thanks to David Mitchell, for sending along the Common Dreams story, with the link to the authentic video, this morning.
Today’s post carries many messages and many layers.
“Scarborough Fair” is the Peace Song of the Day for April 26th. It is a beautiful song of hope and longing. You can find lyrics for the old, traditional version at www.gardenerspath.com: here.
The version many of us hum to ourselves is the Simon and Garfunkel version. “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” takes the old song, and mixes it with an antiwar counterpoint (“Canticle”, based on Simon’s song, “The Side of a Hill”).
“This Old Hammer“, an African-American work song, is the Peace Song of the Day for April 25th. (See video and lyrics below.)
The song says, “This old hammer, killed John Henry…but it won’t kill me.” Which resonates with the big event coming up…
May Day, May 1, 2012, is a General Strike, called for by many groups, including Occupy Wall Street. To find a detailed post, and links to actions in over 115 cities, go to this post at occupywallst.org.
If you can be in New York City on May 1st, check out the schedule for NYC actions and performances at www.maydaynyc.org
Why strike? The answer given at the occupywallst website, is similar to the words of this hammer song. On the article “Why And How To Strike On May Day“, it says, “You are not a slave, and have the right not to work.” The song “This Old Hammer” is about African American workers, after slavery was outlawed, who were still treated like slaves in many ways.
I love the tension near the end of this song. The worker asks his coworker to take the hammer to the boss or Captain. Though, we discover he is not asking for retaliation, he only asks to tell the boss that he has gone. If only the 99% could tell the 1%: “No, I won’t work for your unjust system.”