Well, this is embarrassing.
You know I periodically include a post connected to either a holiday or a famous incident in history whose anniversary falls on or near my posting Wednesday. Somewhere, as I was putting together my blogging calendar for this year, I added Alice’s Restaurant, 50-years ago post on my July 25 slot. Where I got that wrong information shall forever remain a mystery.
Still, I have the post already written; the g’kids are visiting and I want to spend time with them, not writing at the computer; and I have no other 50th-anniversary posts for the month. So, I’m posting it anyway. I hope you enjoy. Come on; it’s probably the most FUN anti-war song you’ll ever hear.
How’s your summer going? For me, it’s time for a little summer break. And for another look back at 50 years ago today.
Yes, 50 years ago Alice’s Restaurant hit the air. Let’s listen.
Oops. Before we get to the song I thought I’d share a few tidbits I’ve gleaned as I did the research.
Did you know this song is now included for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”?
This somewhat comical anti-war song is surely Arlo Guthrie’s most prominent work. But did you know it is based on a true incident from his life?
Yup, as the song relates, the story begins on Thanksgiving Day (1965) with a citation for littering and ends with the refusal of the U.S. Army to draft him because of his conviction for that crime. Some call it more of an “anti-stupidity” song rather than anti-war.
Let’s go back.
Actually, before we listen, you need to get comfortable.
The more significant feature of this song is its length — 18 minutes and 34 seconds, officially.
I’m offering two versions:
- if you want the music on in the background while you do other things (sorting laundry is one option), listen to this first one:
2. if you are planning to sit and really absorb the song’s message, the lyrics are displayed in this one:
OK, we’re back to present day me. Just a few additional tidbits.
Arlo sang this song in 1967 at the Newport Music Festival. But before that, he’d sung it live on New York’s WBAI in 1966. I listened to that station all through high school. I must have missed it.
How about you? Which one did you choose? What stood out for you?