Tag: youtube


February 19, 2011

Hang On, Sloopy was a hit when I was in 7th grade. I was just becoming aware of the Vietnam War, but it wasn’t much on my mind; I had problems closer to home. Other songs I remember most from that year are Satisfaction, which played in heavy rotation in the little cafeteria where we waited to be picked up after the school bus dropped us off, and I Think We’re Alone Now, which suited my teenage desire for privacy and rejection of my parents and authority in general.

It’s interesting that, in the comments on this video at YouTube, some see it as promoting war or honoring vet, or condemn ruining a good song with unrelated pictures from a war — everyone seeing it in a different light, depending on their own world view and experience.

Fortunately, ignorant comments get offset by those from people who might have a better grasp on what they are talking about (and the world beyond themselves in general).

Grunt6869 says “I had ”[H]ang on Sloopy” written on my steel pot=helmet During my tour in Vietnam 68-69…” and fffreddie remembers that “[t]his song came out just the start of the Vietnam conflict. Our service men would play music to help forget the horror they were in. It still helps. Now´╗┐ some of the negative comments are from morons.”

I concur with fffreddie. If music was unrelated to current events, we would not have film soundtrack albums, or “hear” songs in our heads when we see old images, mementos or people. The video in my head for Hang On, Sloopy doesn’t have these images of a foreign war — it has school lunchrooms and buses, a pink bedroom and an AM radio — but this video might be a better reflection of the historical record.

This land belongs to you and me, but the Inaugural concert belongs to HBO

January 19, 2009

A video of folk legend Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen singing Woody Guthrie’s socialist-tinged “The Land is Your Land,” was removed by the Google-owned service after HBO complained about its exclusive rights to the event had been violated.

Oh, the irony. The song contains these often-ignored stanzas, which were not ignored by Bruce and Pete (who, at 89, must have particularly relished singing at the Lincoln Memorial — a la Marion Anderson — after being blacklisted as a commie in the 50s).

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Now a version of the song shot by a German team has been posted on YouTube, and is available as of this writing. Here it is, watch it while you still can.

The whole idea of HBO getting rights to this part of the Inaugural events, a public event at a public location, in the people’s capital, is a concern, to say the least. Seems the excuse is that the Inaugural team needed the money to pay for all the logistics. I guess that legendary internet fundraising machine was offline.