The Flowing Waters of Lake Jefferson

Saturday September 2,  2006:  Political writing and Responce ability: the ability to respond

The show began with the voice of Appleseed's Jim Musselman (San Diego 2004 National Folk Alliance conference) speaking about a songwriter's ability to respond. He spoke about this in his introduction to a workshop with political songwriters: John McCutcheon, Charlie King, Pat Humphries, Holly Near and Arlo Guthrie.  Welcome new web listeners, especially those battling illness or who are housebound. THANKS SO MUCH to the station management fo accommodating  my health issues which allow me to continue to volunteer Saturday mornings and bring you the music that 'moves and sustains me. '

Today's Folk Plus featured voices from that workshop and selections of artists with political songs.

Charlie King spoke about a spectrum of the political song falling between the Freedom Singers and The Captial Steps. The Freedom Singers were originally formed in 1962 to raise money for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee,

1. Natalie Merchant - Which Side are you On? 502
House Carpenter's Daughter -

"The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers, who, taken together have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded 26 albums, including their latest, I'm So Indicted .

2. Capital Steps - Help Rawanda -

3. Karen Brandow and Charlie King - If Baboons Can Work it Out 448
On the Journey -

Pat Humphries spoke about leaving her day job and starting the songwriter journey. She speaks about her first song, written in a workshop given by Si Kahn. He asked that they take two minutes and write a song.

4. Pat Humphries - Moving Forward
Same Rain -

John McCutcheon spoke about the power of repetition in song. He gave a workshop himself asking members to use repetition in a chorus and verses to back up different examples of the meaning of that repetition. Then he took his own assignment and wrote "Not in my name".

5. John McCutcheon - Not In My Name
Greatest Story Never Told -

John spoke about  the 1963 march on washington. Before that moment, he had not considered politics nor known his mother's aching to have been involved. It was a moment he cites as launching his political awareness and interst.

6. John McCutcheon - One in A Million
Greatest Story Never Told - Red House

Holly Near spoke about the average person making the first move, is not seen at the time with the weight it is given in retrospect. That change involves the first bold moves and that they build on each other as others join and add to change.

7. Holly Near - IT Could Have been Me
And Still We Sing - Calico Tracks

Arlo spoke about the need for today's political activists to understand history. many an old song can unite and bind people together.

8. Pete Seeger - This Land is Your Land
Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits - Columbia

Jim Mussleman summed up the workshop by giving three important points about political writing and its use. First, unite by singing songs at events, go where the action is, and make it fun by using various comedians, speakers and musicians. He cited the use of children in Northern Ireland outside the negotiations in Northern Ireland. Kids were singing "Where have all the flowers gone"  outside the negotiations, reminding people inside of why they were meeting.

9. Pete Seeger - Where have all the flowers gone
Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits - Columbia

Rod MacDonald 's songs have been covered by Dave Van Ronk, Christine Lavin, Four Bitchin' Babes and Garnet Rogers. He attended the University of Virginia (graduating in 1970 with a degree in history) and Columbia Law School, but during his final year in law school, decided to pursue justice through music. He is appearing at a benefit for WJFF Sept 23rd, 730 pm, at the Liberty Free Theatre.

10 Rod MacDonald - Who Built The Bomb

11 Rod MacDonald - Stop the War

12.  Rod MacDonald  - Rod and Ray
tale of Two Americas - Gadfly

13. Peggy Seeger- Leftwing Wife 110
An Odd collections - Rounder

14. Chuick Brodsky - He Came to Our Town 342
Lst of the Old Time - Red House

15 Adam Brodsky - Uncivil Riths 303
Hookers, Hicks and Heebs Sampler -Square Peg

16 Utah Phillips - Intro and I Will Not Obey
Starlight on the Rails - Damien Records

17 Magpie - Too Political

18 David Rovics - In One World 420
Behind the Barricades: Best of.. - Daemon Records

19 Rebel Voices - Sing Me A song of Social Significane 340
Little Look around - Reveille Music

20 Sonia - No Bomb is Smart
No Bomb is Smart - Desappear Records

21 Si Kahn - Cam Ranh Bay
We're still Here - Strictly country Records
On 3 April 1975 North Vietnamese forces captured Cam Ranh Bay and all of its military facilities.

22 Jack Hardy  - Coin of the Realm
Coin of the Realm - Great Divide

23 Joe Jencks - We Won 244
Rise as One - Turle Bear

Folk Plus is hosted and planned by Angela Page and airs Saturdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on WJFF,
at 90.5 fm in Jeffersonville, N.Y. and 94.5 in Monticello N.Y. We are Hydro-Powered Public Radio
and stream online at WWW.WJFFRADIO.ORG     Welcome new web listeners

Folk Plus is a SING OUT! magazine Radio Partner (

Thanks to all well wishers with my curret battle with neurotoxic poisoning and chemical sensitivities    (

Index to Folk Plus setlists. Check out Angela's interviews    /    Return to WJFF

We should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals, we should look around and see what other course is open to us."  Rachel Carson


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