It having always been my ambition to be known as a “mad Dylanologist,” it would seem I can rest happily now after being labeled as such by the editor of First Things, Jody Bottum.
He picks up on the RWB post which was a response to Ian Buruma’s dirge in the Guardian on the scarcity of good protest music today. Bottum asks a better question than any Buruma came up with, not being stuck in a romantic longing for 1960′s anti-Vietnam War protests:
Where are the anti-abortion songs by which people can march? The hint of a movement winking from a set of top-40 lyrics? I noted recently that there ought, by rights, to be more anti-abortion poets. Forget for a moment the truth of the pro-life cause, and consider baby slaughter just for its poetic purposes. What else do you want? Moral urgency, death, blood, the fruits of sex, outrage, political consequence, and on and on.
Later in the same post he also puts his money where his mouth is and comes up with a lyric for the folk tune, “The Golden Vanity.” He calls it The Rain and Wind, and here’s one verse of it:
Have you seen the stars that fall?
Have you touched the dead that rise?
For I woke in the night to a rage that filled the skies,
and I heard the captains call
through the rain and wind,
and I saw the world begin to end.
Bottum also went at the same subject from a different angle in an earlier post, and he is inviting additional ideas from his readers.
One of the fundamental and most problematic elements of the tragedy that is abortion is clearly the voicelessness and facelessness of the victims. The power of song to make some headway in giving voice and face to the world’s lost innocents shouldn’t be underrated.
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