“Obamas in the White House” ~ & puppy
This is especially thinking of their two girls chasing that puppy and cleaning up after it… Bless them.
I stayed up, despite having lost lots of sleep last month with being unwell, till after 4 a.m. yesterday morning, falling asleep during McCain’s capitulation speech, which while welcome, went on, and on, and zzzzzz!!! I expected to cry, but I was too tired. Instead, later that same day, the teary eyed bit hit me a couple of times, including thinking of those two lovely children chasing their new puppy around the White House.
Hey, change, I have hope, more now with these results, but I’m not fooled, 52% vs 48%, the Un-United States of America remains, sadly, very divided. At least McCain signaled in his speech a longing to heal those wounds and bring people together for a common good ~ but I hope that is through compassion, education and understanding.
This is an emotional issue for me. I’ve been beat up and threatened for my friendships, in one important case where my best friends was under the categories of others as ‘black’. I didn’t care, I loved the man and he returned the affection, despite even our families being uncomfortable with it, and other members of our two ‘races’… We shared a lot of laughs, and passions. One of these was music. While my family, who have been staunchly right wing, were uncomfortable with some of my involvements, not supportive, especially along the rock and roll trail, my dear friend at one point offered me his gear, guitar and amp. I couldn’t, besides, my folks wouldn’t have let me practice in the house anyway. I have lived in places where anyone dark skinned was a rarity, sometimes to just cause marvel, because, innocently, the locals had little knowledge of anyone with such a dark tan. Sometimes not innocent, even violent. The friendship I started this paragraph with was when I was a teen. We both recieved threats, from both sides of the issue of race… This was when my family was living in Georgia, and me clueless to start with, but quickly aware that there was a Governor Brown at the time, a racist WASP, and that there were three toilets in the petrol (filling) stations ~ men, women ~ & colored…
In the High School there, Glynn Academy, Brunswick, Georgia, there was a primary school across the street. I remember seeing black and white children mixing, playing together, and I remember the white teachers and aides making clear moves to seperate them, repeatedly. In the ‘white’ high schools, like Glynn Academy, the only ‘blacks’ were NAACP elect, chosen to attend white high schools, chosen because they had good grade point averages and had other gifts, like talents in sport. My friend, it turned out, something I discovered later, was just such a person. I actually befriended him before I went to high school, in junior high school. Why should I step back a little? Well, in the hall of that junior high I remember one lad, twice my height, he’d been held back for two years, approaching me with his ‘gang’, and opening up the biggest switch blade I’ve ever seen, a 6 inch blade, 16 centimeters, and pressing it up against my belly ~ "If I ever see you hanging around with that ‘n’ again, I’ll gut you!" And he laughed. Those were the days. We left Georgia after my first year in high school, and sadly, I lost track of my friend there, one of the best friends I have ever had.
I forgot to mention another incident, just a couple of houses down from ours, a cross burned in someone’s lawn. No, not an upright one. They had a way of showing their disapproval of anyone who fraternized with the dark-of-skin, but marking them. In this case it was with petrol, pouring it in a cross formation on the lawn and setting it alight. It leaves damage that lasts a long time. My parents, understanding their fear, for me too, wouldn’t let me bring my friend home to visit… That didn’t keep me or him from being threatened or me being beat up. The didn’t tend to mess with him though. He also had talent in sports, aside from the huge heart and kindness of the man. Yes, I have tried to chase him up again, but without any luck.
I should also mention the local branch of the KKK… I even saw one of their rallies late at night, and the white sheets and pointed hats and the burning of a cross ~ the bastards. I was cowering, with others, hiding waist deep hiding in a swamp… Those kind of things made and make me cry. Yes, I’m a whoos, and I’ve shed a tear over a sad read or play or film, and good and happy things like this step forward for the world, putting this man in the White House, because he’s a good man ~ that too brings a tear and a "YEE HA!" Maybe nothing else will work out, but now we have added hope, and much can happen with the strength that can bring. As much as I wanted to see Barack Obama win, because he shows more sense, empathy and understanding than John McCain and the Republicans, in my estimation ~ I also longed to see ignorance, selfishness, greed, fear and bigotry lose. I know that there are those that would have voted for Obama merely because of his colour, and those that voted for McCain for the same reason, against Obama’s colour. I’m glad empathy and reason won over ignorance and fear, though I would have been pleased to see more of a landslide in both ways of measuring it, for example the ‘great divide’, 52% against 48%, . though the electoral college votes show something akin to 2-to-1.. This world is in desperate need of a little hope and now we have something to base that on and to help nurture that toward the good of all and the environment we share…
Oh yes, the whole thing about him being presented by the other side as a ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’. There’s a tale there too. I used to get knocked around by my da who would simultaneously attack me verbally as a ‘commie’… I foolishly used to respond "I’m not a communist, I’m a socialist." It only made him hit harder and lengthened the experience. No, the physical pain never did my damage, not really, it was the idea that he hated me that much and that he hadn’t an ounce of understanding of who I was, or what the difference was, or the variations within a term like ‘socialism’. It still surprises me that so many who would benefit from a fairer world will rail on and on and even get violent over such an issue. On the tele this week they were interviewing Americans about this election. They asked one WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant ~ (though he might have been a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Agnostic ~?) ~ about the possibilitiy of a health system like our NHS, or Canada’s, or France’s ~ anyway, he responded, with all his money, being wealthy, that he didn’t want to wait in line… What a laugh. So many people there don’t even have that option, to wait in any line, or live in fear of going to the doctor because something might be wrong with them they can’t afford to treat, or which through treatment would mean the risk of losing thier home… Fair? The world needs more empathy for others, more understanding and less selfishiness and greed.
Sorry, all this, is just to say why this means so much to me that on reflection my eyes well up and the goosebumps rise… Whatever happens, even if Obama doesn’t manage to meet all our expectations, this one, a mixed race dark skinned man as president, that is deserving of celebration, including with music, and this little ditty came to me as I thought about those two girls chasing their puppy in the White House. That alone is worthy of celebration and giving thanks to all those that made the effort to vote and who through that effort have raised hope around the world, and respect and pride that such a thing can and has happened…
go raibh mile ma’agat / diolch yn fawr iawn / thanks so very, very much… ‘c’
Note: I do realize my da didn’t hate me, he just didn’t understand, and he hated my differences, while still loving me. It is that conflict that probably made him so angry. I was his eldest, his first, but with very different ideals and interests from his… In that longer history, his da was a religious zealot who left scars on him, and who, when I was only around 8 or 9, told me I was condemned to hell… That damned judgemental religious right, folks that always are convinced their ‘right’ and everyone else is wrong, condemned to hell…
Discussion: The Phrost is All Over - - - 4 bar second endings…
# Posted on February 3rd 2005 by ceolachan
Obama’s in the White House
So he is… but what in hell has all this to do with traditional music, pray?
I don’t know about you, but music is threaded throughout my life. It isn’t just a hobby, or a pastime for a select few to enjoy… But take as you will. History, and all that means, is also woven throughout this music, good and bad, unjust and fair. But, hey, if it’s just notes and diddly to you, I won’t take that away from you, not do I expect you to understand that it is a hell of a lot more than just dots and diddly for some of us. For some of us it is a part of everything else, not something seperate, distant, removed…
Music, like all things, has been used and abused, for good and bad, and especially for celebration. I’m celebrating with it right now, and here. But you can have it your own way, I won’t take that from you. If you like it refined and removed, c’est la vie! Leave this and go somewhere else. There are plenty of tunes and lots of people that like to play them without any history in the way. Mind you, it often shows out in their interpretations… :-D
It has always been part of the tradition, like "Jenny Lind" celbrating a famous hsstoric and once international star, the Swedish crooner Johanna Maria Lind, celebrated through music and dance, and there’s "President Garfield’s Hornpipe" ~ the personal and the international are all over ‘tradition’, it is ‘tradition’, but I don’t expect everyone to understand or know, that isn’t a requirement I put on participation… However, I am suggesting something here by making further comment…
C- good tune.
I hope you/we will have the chance to write "The retreat from Babylon" soon also!
Thank you for the tune and the comments. It is always a lovely thing when life is breathed into a collection of notes!
Like the tune C, but you had to put in that difficult high ‘c’ at the end!
Imagine if everyone who wrote and submitted a tune gave such a detailed personal background - amazing stuff. I have had such a boring life by comparison.
~ | dg/a/b afd | g3 |] ;-)
Hoping that works for you…
A little incidental harmony…
A jig of Celebration
Looks like a great jig "c" (from just a sight read) but will get a chance to try it on the fiddle tonight. Many thanks for the mod at the end in response to Donough - I always maintain that if fiddlers were meant to play high C, God would have given us 6 fingers! The context is great as Tuesday’s result is definitely a cause for celebration for us all. The background makes for interesting reading as it doesn’t seem that long ago when black people were considered to be sub-human and their place in the scheme of things very much "below stairs". It’s also amazing how prophetic Martin Luther King’s "I have a dream" words were to be and how quickly the dream became a reality.
I wouldn’t be too despirited by the slim 52/48 voter divide and the totally un-self conscious mix of all races as shown on TV at the Chicago rally, to me anyway, says it all. It took a long time but I think we’re at last approaching a state of affairs where people are accepted as people irrespective of their colour, creed or sexual orientation.
The question of Socialism is another days work and applies everywhere - there are people here in Ireland getting sick and dying because they cannot afford the €60 to see a GP and the follow up prescription charge - and how striving for more equity and a fairer distribution of resources is seen as some kind of evil is totally beyond me.
Barack Hussein Obama II & Michelle LaVaughn Obama, née Robinson
Thanks gang, best medicine going!!! ~ along with music and dance…
It’s a good tune and its good to see that ITM is a living, evolving tradition, but come on. You said yourself that its sad to see division in this country, I agree, so why bring division here as well? I’m glad to see that my fellow citizens take politics seriously but for many Americans on here, like myself, especially the ones who live in major cities, things like ITM are the only things that let us take a break from things like current politics, and let us see how we are united…not divided. The tune and title are fine, but was the extensive explanation really necessary?
Yes… It is part of the history of the tune. The choice to ignore it is yours… It isn’t about ‘division’ as much as change, history, an important step forward. Ask any well rooted musician if ‘history’ is unimportant to the music…
Failte! Johnny Chicago
Welcome to The Session…
"~ a longing to heal those wounds and bring people together for a common good ~"
Division is what we had in Alabama in the sixties as opposed to the unity on display in Chicago last Tuesday night. Thank God that society has moved so far in 50 or so years. John McCain, also a very decent man, was very gracious in congratulating Obama on his victory and, if we separate out the political differences, would no doubt approve of the new dispensation where race is becoming much less of an issue. Traditional music is indeed a unifying force and I’d confidently say I’m not the only one who often plays good tunes with and enjoys the company of musicians of totally different political persuasions.
Music & Dance as Forces for Good
& ethnic & religious backgrounds too ~ dear Hiro/slainte comes to mind…
It is one of the things I love about this music and the dance. I have found myself amongst people I in no way would seek out, polar opposites, and after sharing music or a dance ~ we don’t end up suddenly in agreement ~ but we seem better able to talk and give the other person’s contrasting opinions some consideration. No, not compromise, not agreement, but a willingness to at least listen and attempt to reach some understanding. Music is a powerful force, a wonderful magic…
Am I missing something here?
Why does it matter what colour the president of the USA is?
Why does it matter what colour anybody is?
Angels of the North
Re: What in hell has all this to do with traditional music
If my memory is correct, Mike Katz wrote and recorded "The Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura’s Jig," after he got elected Governor of Minnesota, so I have no problems with someone writing a jig for Obama getting elected.
Mind you, I’m no fan of Obama — for all McCain may have been a 3rd term for Bush, Obama is all too likely a second term for Jimmy Carter. So, while, most of the music I write is to set my lyrics to, maybe I’ll take a stab at "Sarah Palin’s Reel" or "Condi Rice’s Jig" when one of them play Reagan to Obama’s Carter in 2012. I hope.
More on Politics and trad music
Actually, the connection has always been there. Granted, what what we call traditional was often the popular music of centuries past, but any number of campaign songs were set to traditional tunes. "Lincoln and Liberty" to "Rosin the Beau."
Going in the other direction, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" was written for William Henry Harrison’s presidential campaign and then entered the folk tradition.
As for material more appropriate to this site, there is (and excuse me if I screw up the link — first time I’ve tried linking here), there is President Garfield’s Hornpipe: <a href=https://thesession.org/tunes/419>https://thesession.org/tunes/419</a>
Yup… Screwed up the link
Try again https://thesession.org/tunes/419
Discussion: Badhraic Ó Bámaigh
Re: What Does this have to do with traditional music
Would it help if the tune were named "O’Bama’s Trip to the White House"?
Not bad Bill…
Thanks for the welcome, Ceolachan! I’m glad to be here. And thank you, as the choice is mine, I will choose to ignore the explanation, not because I don’t think it’s important, but just because I’d rather not worry about it while I’m playing.
It’s great to see music with true depth (I don’t believe music is more than just a series of notes), but I also think that sometimes, music speaks for itself and doesn’t need any further explanation. Don’t get me wrong, I bring politics to familiar sessions too, but when someone starts a tune, that’s when I stop talking and stard playing! But to each his own, ceolachan :-)
In the case of this one, it’s all celebration, and that’s the way I felt when it came on me, and that’s the way it feels when I play it. The only gram of introspection is that little drop down to the F… But this is all optomistic in tone, no getting away from that… It’s a little bit of musical fireworks, a melody YEE HA! & HALLELUJAH! ~ all smiles…
all optomistic in tone
We play this with Paddy O’Brien’s ‘Ardaigh Do Mheanna’
https://thesession.org/tunes/6377 Posted by Kenny on November 17th 2006.
I’m chuffed, it couldn’t have better company. Thanks for the smile and the good cheer this brought me this evening. I still have the wonder of ‘where’. ;-) And a bit of the ‘who’ too. And I’m still optimistic for a world that can make such a forward step as voting a black man into the presidency. The hope remains, despite all the rough bits and negatives…