The Kitchen Musician ~ January 2017

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Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. I sing an old Civil Rights era song with new verses for Saturday’s 200+ Women’s Marches around the country. In this issue of “The Kitchen Musician” we are also joined by Billy Walsh and his sixth graders.

The struggle continues. We meet in the kitchen!

  This Month’s Music: Eyes on the Prize
  Upcoming Shows
  Featured Non-Profit: Urban Improv

Tom at Parish Center for the Arts.
Photo: © 2016 Dan Tappan


Save the date! Friday, February 17, 2017. I will be opening for one of my songwriting heroes, David Mallett at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, MA. David is a true American Songwriting Master. It is an honor to share the stage with him. Joining me will be my uber-talented brother in music, Seth Connelly. Join us? Details at this link.

This Month’s Music
Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize
Traditional, new lyrics © 2017 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Click the image above to play the video.
Lyrics in the comments section below.

Looking back to the Civil Rights music of the fifties and sixties, I share the grand old song, Eyes on the Prize. In the tradition of those old songs, I have (hastily) written new verses inspired by the upcoming Women’s March on Washington.

If you have been following “The Kitchen Musician”, it is no secret that my political views are liberal. I worked and sang hard to help elect candidates to bring positive social progress to our country. Unfortunately the attitude in many states has shifted, and we now have conservatives in power in the White House and both houses of the US Congress.

Now we find ourselves on the eve of the inauguration of a man who threatens to set back decades of social progress – progress for which many people like Dr. Martin Luther King gave their lives.

I am inspired and encouraged by the many women who have organized over 200 Women’s Marches across the United States on the day following the inauguration. The largest of these marches will take place in Washington, DC – a strong, clear voice that will be heard in the White House and Congress. I will join in solidarity to march with my sisters in Boston.

I have no illusions. Songs alone will not change anything, but in the words of Pete Seeger, “A good song reminds us what we’re fighting for.” I am a school teacher, so for me some of the most powerful reminders come from children. I leave you with a song by my fellow teacher and good friend Billy Walsh. Here is a video made by his sixth graders singing “Loving Kindness”, Billy’s song to honor Dr. Martin Luther King. “Don’t mourn the way he died. Embrace the way he lived.”

Loving Kindness
© 2011 Billy Walsh
Click the image above to play the video.

Sing on!


(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)

Upcoming Shows

January 17, 2017 @ 7:00 pm: Storyspace, Cambridge, MA
Songs and stories of hope, inspiration and encouragement with my storytelling friend, Tony Toledo.

February 17, 2017 @ 8:00 pm: Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham, MA
Opening for David Mallett. David is a living songwriting legend. I am really looking forward to this one.

February 27, 2017 @ 8:00 pm: Roslindale Open Mike, Roslindale, MA
My 30 minute feature set starts about 8:30ish. Arrive by 6:30 to sign up to perform at this long standing and friendly open mike.

March 7, 2017 @ 8:00 pm: The Burren, Somerville, MA
Featuring at this great open mike, hosted by Hugh McGowan for over ten years!

April 22, 2017 @ 12:00 pm: New England Folk Festival, Mansfield, MA
Returning to the New England Folk Festival, performing a set entitled “New Songs from Old Traditions” with my good friends Peter Fischman and Deb O’Hanlon. Following this show, I join the Children’s Music Network for a program of songs for people of the younger persuasion.

May 3, 2017 @ 7:30 pm: Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
Opening for Texas songwriter, Billy Crocket.

May 12, 2017 @ 8:00 pm: Dedham Square Coffeehouse, Dedham, MA
565 High St, Dedham, MA
Splitting the evening with my good friend, Craig Sonnenfeld.

Click to view details for all upcoming shows.

Featured Non-profit: Urban Improv

Urban Improv is an interactive program for young people that uses improvisational theater workshops to teach violence prevention, conflict resolution, and decision-making. The program’s innovative curriculum helps students deal creatively with major issues in their lives.

Please join me in supporting Urban Improv.

  • Tom
    January 15, 2017

    Eyes on the Prize
    Traditional, new lyrics © 2017 Tom Smith

    We’re gonna board that old grayhound
    Destination Washington
    Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!

    Stand together. We won’t be moved
    We’ll show the world what women can do
    Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!

    Hold on! Hold on!
    Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!

    We’re gonna march for what is right
    We’re gonna march black, brown & white

    We’ll join hands straight and gay
    Nothin’ gonna make us go away

    Ain’t no tyrant gonna’ make us fall
    This election was a wake up call

    We don’t care what the new man say
    We ain’t gonna walk with the KKK

    They may fan the flames of hate
    But it’s love that makes America great

    We shall overcome
    We won’t stop till the prize is won

  • Wayne Martin
    January 16, 2017

    When it comes to folk singers, Tom Smith is the real thing,He writies and performs memorable songs and continues the musical traditions of Peter Seger and so many others. He sings of people, life, social commentary,and politics with an engaging presence that makes you want to hear more.

  • Elaine
    January 16, 2017

    Holdin’ on….
    Remembering the poem by Emily Dickinson…
    “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul”….

    Thanks for singing for us all,

  • Amy Conley
    January 16, 2017

    Proud to call you my friend, Tom, thank you for the beautiful songs and post!

  • mnichols
    February 13, 2017

    This lights up the True, the Good & the Beautiful from children to adults!
    Thank you for gifting us with your hard work & talent!

    • Tom
      February 14, 2017

      Thank you for your kind words. Music plays an important role in our world today, and always.
      Sing on!

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