Not In My Name

Ladies and gentlemen, your protest song is ready.

Note: If you don’t want to read the following long explanation,
you can download the song (“Not In My Name”)
by clicking or tapping on this clenched fist, or just press “play” right here:
I’ve been having a lot of fun for the past four or five months writing a protest song for the 21st Century. I’ve been able to spend about eight minutes a week working on it, so it’s not like I’m only producing like a minute of music per month or anything. If I were working on it full-time, adding up all these eight-minute segments I figure I would have finished it in a day or so.

For those who weren’t here or don’t remember, let me fill you in on this project.

On June 6th of this year, my good friend MPH at the blog Heightened Thoughts wrote the words “Where’s the music?” You can read the entire post here, but the gist is that we live in a world of violence, injustice and corruption, and our musical artists are strangely silent about it. Silent, that is, compared to the power and the energy exhibited by the musicians and songwriters of the 1960’s and 70’s. In MPH’s words, “What you had was a collection of artists really responding to the world around them…And it was powerful.” Today’s music scene, according to MPH, is just not providing us with the inspirational rallying songs of days gone by.

Fair enough, and maybe even true.

So, to help rectify this state of affairs (and have a little fun at the same time) I issued this challenge: If you are really angry, if you really want to protest, if you really feel like marching and singing, send me your angry lyric ideas and I will set them to music, record them and post the results on my blog. Who better to do this, than someone like me, the Oldest Blogger, who was actually there in the sixties and seventies, even though I don’t remember a lot of it? You can find my original challenge in the comments on Heightened Thoughts.

Then I began to hype the “uncontest.” Those of you who weren’t here for it can catch up by reading…

Those are the main three posts in which I exhorted you, dear readers, to send me your song ideas. If you take the time to read them now or later, you will also have the pleasure of re-reading the entire lyrics to “Eve of Destruction,” which I posted to show how easy it is to write a protest song.

Most of you were not eager to try this. Maybe you are not as angry as I thought you were. Maybe it was a stupid idea in the first place. But I did hear from some of you, and I also visited a lot of your blogs and captured your ideas for use in the song. Because, as I told you, the penalty for not writing this song with me would be that I would write it myself.

So here it is at last: “Not In My Name.” Those of you who helped, wittingly or unwittingly, I thank you. This list includes (but is not limited to)

and all the others from whom I may have stolen an idea. My plan here is to spread the blame around, so everyone gets a thin coat of it and no one – especially me – has to bear the entire responsibility. Don’t bother emailing me to have your name taken off the credits, because I won’t do it.

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29 Replies to “Not In My Name”

  1. T1 – The challenge word is one of those things that just…is. I keep hoping one of them will reveal something to me, as I have become convinced that there is an important piece of knowledge that lies just out of reach.

    (Yours might be the initial letters of “She sneezes not to cause consternation.”)

    Also (off-topic because I don’t have your email address), may I suggest that you put an end to the insanity on your blog? You must wrap up that story before it consumes the internet.

    My challenge word for this: qvsbbwq

  2. G.D. – As you can tell, I’m a Serious Songwriter. If you have some ideas for a Serious Song, then, sure, we can do an anti-Bush song.

    But I don’t really think he’s our problem. He merely represents our problem, which is the right-wing takeover and the diminishment of our freedom. our individuality and our human dignity. I don’t care about him, and I don’t think he’s ever been in charge. So I would aim my barbs at a more generic and amorphous enemy – our disunity, our weakness, and our apathy.

    My challenge word for this: hegzoaa

  3. Larry, I LOVE this! It’s about time we got some fresh protest songs…not that I don’t love the 60s, in a, you know, forty-years-ago kind of way. Great chanting possibilities as well. Kudos.

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