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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

You can have this office for a song

It's nice to know Bill Clinton has a second career. His CD is selling well, which means we will probably be treated to others. Notice that Bill leans toward jazz -- people like Miles Davis and John Coltrane -- while President Bush likes a lot of country music. If we judge presidents by the music they like -- hey, it's certainly not the silliest way ever tried -- we might say that Clinton, like a jazz song, just made it up as he went along, going where the mood took him. Bush, like a country song, sees black and white and no shades in between. Of course, if you study their song preferences, you'll see more complexity than that, but what fun would that be?

It's an interesting thought, though. We could probably learn a lot about candidates for mayor or sheriff by asking them about their favorite songs. Think I'll put that on my list of questions for upcoming elections.

Wonder what Tracy Warner's favorites are, by the way?

My current top five (subject to constant change) are:

1. "Imagine" by John Lennon

2. "Secret Gardens" by Judy Collins

3. "The Dutchman" by Michael Smith

4. "Shelter From the Storm" by Bob Dylan

5. "From a Distance" by Julie Gold


Wed, 10/19/2005 - 6:02am

How do you choose your top five songs and do you think most political candidates really have five top songs or do they do the bit to humanize them. Did people really believe that George H. W. Bush was a big country and western fan, just sittin' back, munching on pork rinds?

I know what a couple of my favorite songs are but I would have a hard time making a Top Five list. Also, I'm deeply mired in what I grew up with, so there's not much that's really new on any list I'd make.

Leo Morris
Wed, 10/19/2005 - 7:31pm

I don't think most political candidates have five songs. That would be the interesting thing about asking the question. What they come up with, not having thought about it, might be revealing. On Bush and Clinton, if you look beyond their nods to country and jazz, you'll find both of their musical tastes rather middle-of-the-road.

On my songs: I'm the same as you in liking songs for a long time. I tend to stick with the ones that knocked me out the first time I ever heard them. "Secret Gardens" is a good example. It's about someone reflecting on a lifetime of transitions -- gaining people and losing people -- and trying to keep it all alive in the "secret gardens of the heart, where the old stay young forever." There's a line in the song: "That's me at the weddings, that's me at the graves." When I first heard the song, I went to more weddings; these days I go to more graves. That's the power of the song -- Judy Collins saw that arc of life and put it into words and music that help us appreciate it with perfect clarity.

Thu, 10/20/2005 - 8:48am

I'll have to hunt up the Judy Collins song.
I'm very fond of "In My Life" from Rubber Soul, the Beatles LP from late 1965, which song I've loved since I first heard it about that time. Also, love "Take It Easy", which I think of as the ultimate road song, I know that Jackson Browne wrote it but I'm not familiar with any but The Eagles song. Also very fond of a couple of more obscure Byrds songs. "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" is one. I love that jangly 12 string Rickenbacker of McGuinn's!
I'm really dating myself, I'm sure.