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Tag: War

November 15, 2016: Hair – Let the Sunshine In

From Wikipedia:

Hair is a 1979 musical war comedy-drama film adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical of the same name about a Vietnam War draftee who meets and befriends a tribe of long-haired hippies on his way to the army induction center. The hippies introduce him to their environment of cannabis, LSD, unorthodox relationships and draft dodging.

I was a sophomore in high school, and working on my school, newspaper when the movie came out. I wrote a review for the paper, which I have around here somewhere and may add later, if I feel like it.

My father, who had seen the musical onstage with the original cast, had the music on reel to reel tape, and it was a regular request in our house.

When the movie came out, I was excited to see it for the first time. (Nudity wasn’t a thing for kids then or now, really.)

Until this scene came onscreen, I was all about listening to the music and seeing how it played out in real life.

Now, here’s the thing. Dad used to take us to airshows when we were kids. We would see the old WWII planes as well as more modern military craft. After the movie, I wouldn’t go near the C-130s. I couldn’t shake this scene, no matter what I tried.

It is virtually impossible for me to see these airplanes and not see Arlington National Cemetery on the other side.

This song has popped onto my Pandora feed a couple of times since I added HAIR to the playlist for my Modern Musicals channel.

Today, I’m sharing this with you.

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November 11, 2016: Leonard Cohen and Armistice Day

It seems fitting, somehow, to include this video on this of all days.

At the same time some of us are mourning the losses on this year’s Election Day, we can also remember that this was the end of the “War to End All Wars” that wasn’t. I

Today news broke that we lost another in a growing cadre of musicians and poets, Leonard Cohen, on November 7th. Best known for his song, “Hallelujah” (thanks largely to its inclusion in the movie Shrek), Wikipedia says of Cohen:

Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (21 September 1934 – 7 November 2016)[1] was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships.[3] Cohen was inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.

Armistice Day (co-opted in 1954) remembered the event at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 as the moment when the Allies defeated Germany during World War I.

Wikipedia says of the first Armistice:

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was an armistice during the First World War between the Allies and Germany – also known as the Armistice of Compiègne after the location in which it was signed – and the agreement that ended the fighting on the Western Front. It went into effect at 11 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918 (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”), and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender. The Germans were responding to the policies proposed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points of January 1918. The actual terms, largely written by French Marshal and Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies Ferdinand Foch, included the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of German troops to behind their own borders, the preservation of infrastructure, the exchange of prisoners, a promise of reparations, the disposition of German warships and submarines, and conditions for prolonging or terminating the armistice. Although the armistice ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles.

In this year, 2016, the year the music died, we are on the brink of many changes. We have forgotten so much of our history, but Cohen, born the same year as my mother,  was old enough to bear witness to the ugliness of the second War to End All Wars.

I will listen to his words and remember.

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June 7: The Fallen of World War II

Now that my current degree is complete, it’s time to go back to this blog. I’ll be moving it shortly to a new home, but for now I’ll keep posting here.

This video crossed my feed yesterday, on the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. I think it’s right and proper to recall all the costs that we paid for “the “War to End All Wars” that wasn’t.

I’ll let the video speak for itself. It has plenty to say, and as they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words.

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November 10: Buffy Sainte-Marie ~ Universal Soldier

In June this year, I took a trip up to New York’s Hudson Valley for the Clearwater Hudson River Revival. I have been meaning to go for years, but when I found out that Buffy Sainte-Marie was one of the headliners, I couldn’t resist any longer.

My father had her music on reel-to-reel tape, and I’ve got it on both vinyl and CD. This song is probably her most famous. And I’ve seen her several times in the past, as a child and an adult.

She is proud of her Cree heritage, as well as her Canadian First Nations roots and pacifism. Her music was part of the early soundtrack of my life.

I should have remembered before becoming involved with a military man, but I forgot my roots. This is as much a reminder to stay true to your beliefs as it is a cautionary tale of the trouble with the military, especially today. 

It seems fitting to recall the struggle  for pacifism on the eve of Veteran’s Day, as it is also important to remember that there are still soldiers in combat across the world. In the end she says simply, “This is not the way we put an end to war.”

I agree.

If you’re not familiar with Buffy’s version, it might be because you know the 1965 version Donovan made famous.

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