Thursday, October 2, 2008

7 O'Clock News/Silent Night

I've been tagged by one of my writer friends to find a song that speaks to me as a writer. I do write mostly fantasy, but at times, okay a lot of the time lately, I'm feeling more political. I've been trying to learn to play Scarborough Fair lately on the piano and yesterday let the CD I was playing along to continue while I segued into spinning. The songs took me back to another part of my life when another war was going on and the government was struggling against a part of the population, mostly young people who violently opposed it. The song also spoke to me of attitudes then and now. When I write, I write from my heart, whether it's a fantasy or a picture book. And when I write about wildlife or human rights, this is even more so. I look at when I grew up and think about so many people being arrested for speaking out for what they felt. People do that to a point today, but could anyone actually risk going to jail or being hauled off from an anti-war rally? Could we bother? My students had "free day" today as a reward for bringing in their PEP's and progress notes signed. My 7th grade class, mostly girls asked to watch the movie about Rosa Parks. Such an inspiring person even today speaks to a new generation. But, I wonder if they would have her determination if they had to face more than complying to a dress code? The lyrics of 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night are spoken over the song Silent Night, a peaceful song full of new life and love. The song brought tears to my eyes, not for the war, but for what we've lost in other ways. I'm glad for technology (like this blog), but not having to actually work towards something I think in some ways does more harm than good.
I wonder sometimes if I have the conviction to speak out for and write about what I believe. These days we have to be politically correct, especially here in the South. I worry about how strong to press in my other blog, Crafting for Animals. It took me a couple of weeks to decide to post the wolf video. Do I say what I feel or toe the safety line and not step on others' toes?
The song does have its parallels to our situation now. If you own the CD or still have an old record player, get this album out and listen to it again. I plan to take it to school when I teach poetry this year. I'm sure none of my students have heard of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

"This is the early evening edition of the news.
The recent fight in the House of Representatives
was over the open housing
section of the
Civil Rights Bill.
Brought traditional enemies together but it left
the defenders of the measure without the
votes of their strongest supporters.
President Johnson originally proposed an outright
ban covering discrimination by everyone for every
type of housing but it had no chance from the start
and everyone in congress knew it.
A compromise was painfully worked out in the House Judiciary Committee.
In Los Angeles today comedian Lenny Bruce
died of what was believed to be an
overdose of narcotics.
Bruce was 42 years old.
Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend
to cancel plans for an open housing march
Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero.
Cook County Sheriff Richard Ogleby asked King
to call off the march and the police in
Cicero said they would ask the National
Guard to be called out if it is held.
King, now in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to return
to Chicago Tuesday.
In Chicago Richard Speck, accused murderer of
nine student nurses, was brought before a
grand jury today for indictment.
The nurses were found stabbed an strangled
in their Chicago apartment.
In Washington the atmosphere was tense today
as a special subcommittee of the House
Committee on Un-American activities continued
its probe into anti-Viet Nam war protests.
Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the
hearings when they began chanting
anti-war slogans.
Former Vice-President Richard Nixon says that
unless there is a substantial increase in the
present war effort in Viet Nam, the U.S.
should look forward to five more
years of war.
In a speech before the Convention of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York,
Nixon also said opposition to the war
in this country is the greatest single
weapon working against the U.S.
That's the 7 o'clock edition of the news,

Silent night
Holy night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace."

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