June was an emotional roller-coaster of a month in which the Supreme Court upheld same sex marriage and nine black people were brutally shot and killed in a Charleston, SC church during a prayer meeting. Music helps me to process events like this. Please join me in my kitchen.
Tom at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse.
Photo: © Steve Ide Photography
I was honored to participate in the venerable Rose Garden Performing Songwriter Competition in May. Although I didn’t win, it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed connecting with fellow contestants Christine DeLeon (New York) and contest winner Dan Weber (Portland, OR), and spending a little time with Catie Curtis was a real treat. You can see video of all three contestants at Rose Garden Contest 2015 (Video by Steve Ide).
Looking down the road, I am very pleased to return to Club Passim on Sunday of Labor Day weekend to join all the fun at the Campfire Festival. My daughter Mally will also perform on Monday evening. Details below.
This Month’s Music
You Have Got To Be Carefully Taught
You Have Got To Be Carefully Taught
© 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein,
from the musical “South Pacific”,
New and additional lyrics by Tom Smith
Lyrics in comments below<.
I have been trying to make sense of conflicting emotions as I read the headlines. I see some exciting progress toward fairness and equality when the Supreme Court’s decision affirms the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry. And yet we still debate whether to fly the divisive Rebel Battle Flag at government buildings in the shadow of the ruthless killing of nine black people at historic Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Among those killed was state senator Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, pastor of Mother Emanuel Church.
I am both encouraged and discouraged. Sometimes music helps me rise above my discouragement and helps me to make sense of a confusing world. To this end, I offer an old song that first appeared in 1949 in the musical South Pacific. I don’t think Rodgers and Hammerstein would mind that I took a few liberties with their melody and lyrics – adding a line for same-sex marriage and a final verse thinking about where we go next. Here is the original.
Artists around the country are also expressing themselves in ways that help us process and make sense of it all. Close to home, my very talented songwriting friend Chris Lavancher helps us to keep our eyes on the prize with his new song, I Still Believe in the Dream.
You can purchase a download of Chris’ song, with all proceeds donated to the Lowcountry Ministries – Reverend Pinckney Fund an Initiative of the Palmetto Project and the City of Charleston. Or see the Featured Non-Profit below to make a contribution.
I am thankful for the work of artists.
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Friday, July 10, 2015, Dedham, MA
Join my good friend Seth Connelly and me at 8:00 pm as we appear at the Good Art Series of Saint Susanna’s Church.
Friday, August 14, 2015, Rindge, NH
I am featuring at the historic Rindge Meeting House open mic. 7:00 pm. Arrive early to sign up for the open mike.
Sunday, Sept 6, 2015, Cambridge, MA
I return to Club Passim for the Campfire Festival, 3:00 pm in the round with Sean Smith, Joel Ninesling and Bertrand Laurence.
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-profit: The Palmetto Project – Reverend Pinckney Fund
“Throughout his ministry, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney worked with many non-profit organizations, including the Palmetto Project, to address social and economic challenges facing youth and marginalized communities in South Carolina. In coordination with the City of Charleston, the Palmetto Project has created this special fund to continue this work in those communities in which Reverend Pinckney served as a pastor.”
Please join me in supporting the work of The Palmetto Project – Reverend Pinckney Fund.