This month I highlight the importance of community in a time when we are obligated to isolate from each other to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. My new song is light-hearted on the surface, but it reaches to the core of our Democracy – participation by all. Please share it with the kids!
NEWS: I am working on a new album!
THIS MONTH’S MUSIC: “Community”
FEATURED NON-PROFIT: Movement Voter Project
Photo: Dan Tappan (© 2018)
News: A New Album is in the Works!
After I released “Planting in a Drought, new songs of struggle, protest and encouragement”, I assumed my next project would draw from my large catalogue of unrecorded originals, but the recent birth of twin grandchildren inspired me to write some new songs for them, our other grandkids, and their parents. For this new project I will record those new songs and some older unrecorded favorites for young audiences. A few favorite old traditional folksongs will fill in the leftover spaces.
Coincidentally, I am also working with several friends on a separate project inspired as a reaction to the way music has played an important role in sustaining systemic racism in our dominant white culture. We are working to educate ourselves, to raise awareness among others, and to make new music that is inclusive of all Americans – especially new music for children. We plan to go public with this project in a month or two.
So with my mind on new and traditional songs for children and their families, I have started recording; but there is still a long way to go. Sign up on my mailing list to keep informed.
Like all of my musician friends, most of my scheduled shows have been cancelled and new shows are rare. Occasionally I perform remotely via video feed. Check in on my Upcoming Shows page for the latest.
This Month’s Music: “Community”
“Community” © 2020 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Lyrics in the comments below.
Today marks my 200th day of isolation! Like everyone, I am feeling the loss of companionship, music sharing, travel to visit with our children and grandchildren who live far away, simple conversations over dinner at a restaurant, and more. As bad as that is, it is only one of several existential threats we are experiencing – climate, racial injustice, threats to our democracy. I struggle to maintain confidence that we can find solutions to these seemingly overwhelming problems.
I confess, there are days when I just want to stay in bed with pillows over my head. Gratefully, there are also days when I find reason for hope, and that hope frequently springs from energy reflected by young people and every-day folks doing the best they can to make their communities and the world better. I have come to the conclusion that hope is fundamentally necessary for the survival of our communities.
Although hope is necessary, it is insufficient. Without inclusion and participation by all, our communities flail unproductively; directionless and confused. That is the key message of my song this month. Let’s focus on what we can do, and not the seemingly impossible. I invite you to share my “Community” song with the children and parents in your life, teachers and youth workers, and other positive change agents who may need a pick-me-up.
- “It takes all kinds of voices, some can reach the high notes
Other voices sing the notes down low
We keep the rhythm with our feet
Walking forward to the beat
Participation is the key that makes it go!”
P.S. Where can we start the process? I implore you to participate by voting. I am hopeful for an overwhelming turnout at the polls this year. NOW is the time to make sure that you are registered, and then carry through at the polls. And if you would like to do more to encourage others to vote, here are some resources to get you started.
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Movement Voter Project “works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors – big and small – support the best and most promising local community-based organizations in key states, with a focus on youth and communities of color.”
Please join me in supporting The Movement Voter Project.