Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good poem/song about Obama by Ed Sanders

Hope he won't mind me using it. I was thinking about this poem in the days before the election. Scroll down to see how this jibes or doesn't with my general cynicism.

"Song for Obama
—Edward Sanders

Like the oak tree of Lincoln
In the forever of America
Someone has come
Like a giant of promise
His name is Barack Obama

You can see him standing tall for all
With his head tilting back
Smiling at the chance to help
a great nation find its path

Like the oak tree of Lincoln
In the forever of America
Someone has come
Like a giant of promise
His name is Barack Obama

It’s hard to be cynical
When your face is full of joy
When the time is really here
to see such a happy day!

Like the oak tree of Lincoln
In the forever of America
Someone has come
Like a giant of promise
His name is Barack Obama

Sometimes you can’t perceive
that the door has opened wide
You think that it’s shut for always and always
But now his time is here

Like the oak tree of Lincoln
In the forever of America
Someone has come
Like a giant of promise
His name is Barack Obama"

For me, the key stanza is:

"Sometimes you can’t perceive
that the door has opened wide
You think that it’s shut for always and always
But now his time is here "

I know from reading his writing and listening to the songs he performed as part of the Fugs that Sanders, a Beat and then a Hippy, isn't your typical all sweetness and light guy. You don't write songs like "Kill for Peace" or "Mutant Stomp", about a guy in New Mexico who has five cocks because of the atom bomb tests, without having a good sense of the macabre. Appropriately, all of the previous stanzas, with their repetition, can be seen as being cynical, especially the one that mentions cynicism, and when you put it into song format, with the "Like the Oak Tree" being the chorus it sounds even more so....
But the thing that redeems it is the part about sometimes not realizing that a door that you've always thought was closed has swung open. That, you know, has most definitely happened, and like William Greider mentions in a recent article we probably won't realize all the ramifications of Obama's win until a couple weeks have passed.

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