Sept 11, 2010: Having spent so much time in lower Manhattan as a child, it hit home especially hard as I watched 9/11/01 unfold on TV that morning. A week or so later, I started to write a song about it, and after a day or two, I had parts of a verse and chorus set to music, some assorted images, and pieces of other lines. To this day, it remains unfinished, as I came to find it had more meaning being left in fragments.
A short time later, Kay wrote her 9/11 reflection, "Because the Sky Fell Down", a wonderfully crafted song that captured much of what many of us wanted to say,woven in her own unique and artful way. I find it moving every time she performs it. It was recorded in Nashville and released in 2005
As the next several post-9/11 years unfolded, I wrote "I Am Erica" (using deliberate white space and oronym techniques to morph it into "I America"), released July 4 2008 on the "American Sampler" compilation and soon to be re-released on a 30 year retrospective album.
The songs we write, as well as those written by many of my colleagues, speak of the importance of tolerance by all people, for all people, of all beliefs, for all beliefs. Any type of extremism can only fan the flames of intolerance, and we've seen enough fire to last more than 3,000 lifetimes.
Music and songs can reach people in a powerful way, but still nine years later, it seems the lesson has not yet been learned, the message not yet heard. The music of the 1960's hadtremendous influence on the social and political issues of those turbulent times. In this 21st century world of internet sound-bytes, the voices singing out on the important issues of our day are drowned out by pop, glitter, spandex, and pyrotechnics. Perhaps it is time to turn up the volume.