Bleed the Same

“We need to say something:” Mandisa, featuring TobyMac and Krik Franklin
This video should be played often. The intro sets up the song well.

Only love can drive out all the darkness
What are we fighting for?
We were made to carry one another
We were made for more,

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding

Nick Lowe takes a little off the tempo of a very recognizable tune, and it gains the feel of a message. Lowe performed this live in December of 2014 with the masked backing band Los Strtaitjackets, courtesy of Minneosta’s public radio outlet The Current. The tune struck a chord then, and the song, composed in hopes of a hit, still draws covers (try Elvis Costello).


And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.


Song, dance, quiet harmonies combine for a compelling piece by Rising Appalachia.

So what are we doing here? What has been done?
What are you gonna do about it when the world comes undone?
My voice feels tiny and I’m sure so does yours
But put us all together we make a mighty roar

Nowhere But Barstow and Prison / Monster

Zoë Boekbinder and Di Franco’s Prison Music Project was featured in Rollingstone in May 2020. Here’s an excerpt:
“The first time I met Greg, I was playing a concert for men in solitary confinement,” Boekbinder tells Rolling Stone. “I was in a small, windowless room and the walls were lined with 10 cages — each the size of a telephone booth, big enough for one person to sit or stand in. The audience (incarcerated men) was brought into the room one-by-one and put into these cages, a truly captive audience in the worst way. Greg was one of these caged men, but his smile and demeanor broke the tension of the space. … I knew, immediately, that I wanted to share his story.”
“Greg Gatlin has served five years of a 967-year sentence, and Spoon Jackson has served 40 years of a life without parole sentence,” DiFranco adds. “Neither of them will ever stop paying for their crimes. What we are trying to focus on with the prison music project is not the crime that anyone committed (because their whole lives are defined by or are an answer to that moment) but on the person beyond the crime and what else they might be or have to offer. Instead of focusing on shame and punishment, we are centering the humanity in all of us, and our capacities to grow, learn and heal. We are sharing the stories we have been asked to share.”

Di Franco sings.

Boekbinder sings

Put Your Arms Around Me

Brenton Dickieson’s blog A Pilgrim In Narnia dated November 17 2014 introduced me to Dan Haseltine’s The Hawk In Paris. The themes in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce are compelling, and Dickieson focuses on Lewis’ book. This song reflects Lewis’ work and reflects modern malaise. And, it’s still apropos.

We’re afraid of our conclusions.
What we love will kill us first.
And the way to tell the difference
From what we hate only makes things worse.

Teach Your Children Well

Probably one of the stellar popular trios of modern times, Crosby, Stills and Nash perform their familiar chestnut while it was transforming into a protest standard.

The Playing for Change Ensemble also performed the familiar tune in this live (2015, I think) performance in Australia. The crew gives the tune their own international stamp.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.