Back in the summer of 1970, just weeks after National Guard troops killed four students at an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, the song "Ohio" became a hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Neil Young wrote the lyrics, according to some accounts, the day of the killing and soon afterward got the rest of the guys in the studio. Within mere days, "Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming" was blasting over radios all over this great nation.
This quick musical response to big news stories doesn't happen much anymore. (Can you imagine "Ohio" getting past today's Clear Channel taste setters?)
But in the past two weeks two songs paying tribute to the life of Pope John Paul II.
Just today Stan Ridgway sent folks on his e-mail list a link to a free MP3 of "Buried the Pope (Blues for John Paul)."
Despite the funny picture, this is an earnest and sincere song in which Stan calls the late pontiff, "a man of peace and hope."
The other Pope song came out even quicker. Last Friday I received an CD from Chicago singer/songwriter/picker/poet Acie Cargill. It's a 5-song EP and among those to whom he pays tribute is John Paul II in a song called "John Paul the Peacemaker."
I can't find the EP on Acie's Web site, but if you scroll down to "singles & Shorts" section, you can buy a single of the song.
Unlike Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970, Stan and Acie aren't going to get much airplay with their respective pope tunes. But I'll play Acie's tonight on The Santa Fe Opry and Ridgway's Sunday night on Terrell's Sound World. Both shows start at 10 p.m. Moutnain Daylight Time on KSFR, 90.7 FM.
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