Sunday, January 08, 2006
I Am So Using This Photo The Next Time I Teach Deportee
To begin, forget that I found this album a whole seven years after its actual release. I didn't even have rehearsal, I just missed it.
That said, Hooray for Karina for giving me a discovery this Christmas! You know me, my dear. In 1998, Billy Bragg and Wilco teamed up to put music to some "lost" poetry of Woody Guthrie's. The result was Mermaid Avenue.
But you already knew that, didn't you?
This leads me to some lyrics blogging. Christ For President takes a whole other Jesus and suggests that he run for office. It's not the Jesus we're running today, it's the one who feeds the poor and champions the weak. Sounds good, right? Nah, he'd piss people off too. Running the Kingdom of God isn't any way to run a nation, right? It facinates me, though, how Guthrie had this picture of a God-run government. I don't know exactly when he penned these lyrics, but remember he died in 1967 so it would be long before the era of the Christian right. I wonder what would have happened if this picture of Jesus was co-opted for the purpose of politics.
Just thinking, here's the song.
Christ for President
Let's have Christ our President
Let us have him for our king
Cast your vote for the Carpenter
That you call the Nazarene
The only way we can ever beat
These crooked politician men
Is to run the money changers out of the temple
Put the Carpenter in
O It's Jesus Christ our President
God above our king
With a job and a pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring
Every year we waste enough
To feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
And we shoot it down with wars
But with the Carpenter on the seat
Way up in the Capital town
The USA would be on the way
Words by Woody GuthrieMusic by Jeff Tweedy/Jay Bennett
Words © Copyright 1998 by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc