The ups and downs of life in a small community...

My blogger buddy, Nick, over at Songs for the Journey (http://songsforthejourney.blogspot.com/) a totally cool site about music and faith that I check every week (or more) recently posted a blog about his favorite songs about where he lives. I loved this posting - and songs - and wondered what would happen if I did something similar about my new hometown. He lives in London and has LOTS of great options... so I started browsing YouTube and Google and discovered another of those up and down truths about living in a smaller place: there are precious few songs that mention Pittsfield! Boston, of course, has the Standell's "Dirty Water" - and Springsteen and others write about NYC and Jersey and the Eagles wrote about Tucson, but precious little has been written about this wonderful part of the world - and most of it is way sad!

The first, of course, is "Pittsfield," by Sufjan Stevens. It is lovely and very, very sad. Then there are the three obvious ones that speak of this area: "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor and his "Berkshires looked dreamlike" reference - and two by our boy Arlo: "Alice's Restaurant" (which happened just down the road) and the tune "Massachusetts."

James Taylor reappears with a Bay State reference in "Mill Worker" (a pretty cool song inspired by Studs Turkel's writing) and a totally drop-dead rave by a Celtic Punk band, Dropkick Murphys, called "The State of Massachusetts." There is a horrible old Bee Gees song that I can't even bear to mention and two more sad songs - Julianna Hatfield's "Feelin' Massachusetts" and the Willard Grant Conspiracy's aptly titled, "Massachusetts." And then there is the alt. band - Vampire Weekend - who all hail from our fair state and sing about it in a way that sounds like Paul Simon's "Graceland" met The Talking Heads in 2007 at college.


So... maybe this is another part of the gig? We shall see...

Comments

Cosmo said…
So are you going to write your own song?
RJ said…
I think I have to, Cosmo. Not entirely sure where it will go or what the heart will be but it will have something to do with gentle beauty, resurrection/renewal and the incredible seasons and resilence of these people. I think a challenge has been given here...
Black Pete said…
Do it! It's a challenge to celebrate the local (Pittsfield) yet include the universal.

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