Song of the Week: Witch Hunt

With tickets for their upcoming tour going on sale tomorrow, and with General Conference kicking off this weekend, it seems appropriate to feature another song by one of my favorite bands, Rush.  It's called Witch Hunt, and is from their most successful album, Moving Pictures.

The night is black
Without a moon
The air is thick and still
The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torch lit hill

Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best

The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill

They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves


Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand...

For those who watch General Conference, see if those bolded words don't flash through your mind as you listen to some of the talks.


Song of the Week: The Gift

I have been listening to Annie Lennox during my commute for the past couple of days, and I really like "The Gift", from her Diva album:

Darling don't you understand
I feel so ill at ease
The room is full of silence and it's getting hard to breathe
Take this guilted cage of pain and set me free
Take this overcoat of shame
It never did belong to me
It never did belong to me

I need to go outside
I need to leave the smoke
'cause I can't go on living in this same sick joke
It seems our lives have taken on a different kind of twist
Now that you have given me the perfect gift
You have given me the gift

For we have fallen from our shelves
To face the truth about ourselves
And we have tumbled from our trees
Tumbled from our trees

And I can almost...
I can almost feel the rain falling
Don't you know it feels so good
So let's go out into the rain again
Just like we said we always would


Song of the Week: I'm Alright

This week's song comes from Kim Richey and is called "I'm Alright."  I think of the "you" in this song as the LDS Church and the "fall" as my intellectual break from traditional Mormon orthodoxy.

After all was said and done
There was nothing left to do
The hardest mile I ever walked
Was the one I walked away from you

So maybe I’m a little ragged around the edges
I’ve been keeping a little more to myself these days

But I’m alright
Sacked down but I’m still standing
Yeah I’m alright
Little banged up from the fall
But I’m alright
Still shaky from the landing
Yeah I’m alright after all

You know it’s really not that bad
No matter how bad it might feel
‘Cause there ain’t nothin’ time won’t fix
And this ain’t nothin’ that some time won’t heal

So maybe I’ve been walking a little wounded
I move a little bit slower now but that’s okay cause

I’m alright
Sacked down but I’m standing
Yeah I’m alright
Little banged up from the fall
But I’m alright
Still shaky from the landing
Yeah I’m alright after all

And every now and then I think about you
Oh every now and then I cross the line

I’m alright
Sacked down but I’m still standing
Yeah I’m alright
Little banged up from the fall
But I’m alright
Still shaky from the landing
Yeah I’m alright after all


Song of the Week: MLK/Pride in the Name of Love

Since it's been a couple weeks, you get two songs this week, both from the greatest band that ever played and both honoring the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birth and life we celebrate today.  Long live his memory and may his dream one day be fully realized.

MLK

Sleep, sleep tonight.
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thunder cloud
Passes rain.
So let it rain, rain down him.
So let it be.

Sleep, Sleep tonight
And may your dreams be realized.
If the thundercloud passes rain,
so let it rain.
Let it rain, rain on him

Pride (in the Name of Love)

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you...)

Early morning*, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...

*King was actually shot in the evening, not in the morning.  But I forgive Bono this historical faux pas.



Song of the Week: The Promise

This week's song is a personal favorite with deep meaning for me.

I dedicate it to the light of my life, my beautiful, dear and loving wife.

It's called The Promise by When in Rome.

If you need a friend,
Don't look to a stranger,
You know in the end,
I'll always be there.
And when you're in doubt,
and when you're in danger,
Take a look all around,
and I'll be there.

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. (I promise)
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. (I promise)
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me,
I promise, I promise you I will.
When your day is through,
and so is your temper,
You know what to do,

I'm gonna always be there.
Sometimes if I shout,
it's not what's intended.
These words just come out,
with no gripe to bear.

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. (I promise)
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. (I promise)
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me,
I promise, I promise you...
I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. (I promise)
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. (I promise)
And if I had to walk the world, to make you fall for me,
I promise you, I promise you I will.

I gotta tell ya, I need to tell ya, I gotta tell ya, I gotta tell yaaaa ...
I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. (I promise)
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. (I promise)
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me,
I promise you, I promise you...

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. (I promise)
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. (I promise)
And if I have to walk the world to  make you fall for me,
I promise you, I promise you I will ...

I will...
I will...
I will...


Song of the Week: God

This week's song is another selection from the incomparable Tori Amos.  I believe Janice Allred was excommunicated for asking similar questions a few years ago. (By the way, if you have not already read Janice Allred's story, I highly encourage you to click on the link and read the whole thing.  I think her story encapsulates so much of what is wrong with the 21st-century LDS Church).

God, sometimes you just don't come through
God, sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you
God, sometimes you just don't come through

You make pretty daisies, pretty daisies love
I gotta find what you're doing about things here
A few witches burning gets a little toasty here
I gotta find
Why you always go
When the wind blows

God, sometimes you just don't come through
God, sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you
God, sometimes you just don't come through

Tell me you're crazy maybe then I'll understand
You got your 9 iron in the back seat just in case
You heard you've gone south
Well, baby, you love your new 4 wheel
I gotta find
Why you always go
When the wind blows

Will you even tell her
If you decide to make the sky fall
Will you even tell her
If you decide to make the sky fall

God, sometimes you just don't come through
God, sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you
God, sometimes you just don't come through


Song of the Week: Out Is Through

This week's featured song is from Canadian former child TV star and 90s feminist icon Alanis Morrisette and is called Out is Through:

Every time you raise your voice
I see the greener grass
Every time you run for cover
I see this pasture
Every time we're in a funk
I picture a different choice
Every time we're in a rut
This distant grandeur
My tendency to want to do away feels natural and
My urgency to dream of softer places feels understandable

The only way out is through
The faster we're in the better
The only way out is through ultimately
The only way out is through
The only way we'll feel better
The only way out is through ultimately

Every time I'm confused
I think there must be easier ways
Every time our horns are locked on towel throwing
Every time we're at a loss, we've bolted from difficulty
Anytime we're still made of final bowing

My tendency to want to hide away feels easier and
The immediacy is picturing another place comforting to go

The only way out is through
The faster we're in the better
The only way out is through ultimately
The only way out is through
The only way we'll feel better
The only way out is through ultimately
We could just walk away and hide our heads in the sand
We could just call it quits, only to start all over again
With somebody else

Every time we're stuck in struggle, I'm down for the count that day
Every time I dream of quick fix I'm swaged
Now I know it's hard when it's through
And I'm damned if I don't know quick fix way
But formerly mistreat me silence now outdated
My tendency to want to run feels unnatural now
The urgency to want to give to you I don't want most feels good

The only way out is through
The faster we're in the better
The only way out is through ultimately
The only way out is through
The only way we'll feel better
The only way out is through ultimately

The only way out is through
The faster we're in the better
The only way out is through ultimately
The only way out is through
The only way we'll get better
The only way out is through ultimately


Song of the Week: For Sale

This week's song comes from Australian sensation Kasey Chambers, probably my favorite artist of the last few years.  She's got a unique voice and singing style and a great lyrical flair.  She has a new disc, Carnival, that I recommend.  This song is called For Sale and is from an earlier album, Wayward Angel, which is one of my all-time favorites.   

Wouldn't you think that
I'd have it all figured out by now
That I'd know exactly what I'm dong
Wouldn't you think that I'd have a key
To open every melody and sing
Like it is all here at my feet
Wouldn't you think that
I'd have a life hanging on my wall
So I could prove that I'm alive
But these are just things I've been given
For a plastic way of living
And I'm not sure if that really is my style

The second hand it rolls on by
It never looks back to wait for mine

And if I fall any harder this time
If I dig any deeper Lord what will I find
Well you can buy my life on radio
And order me by mail
But not everything about me is for sale
No not everything about me is for sale

Wouldn't you think that
I'd have the strength to carry anything
And I could buy myself
A brand new set of hands
But sometimes like the others
I just ran away take cover
And I swear that no one really understands
The second hand that rolls on by
It never looks back to wait for mine


Song of the Week: The Beauty of Gray

This week's song of the week comes from Live's first album  and is called "The Beauty of Gray."

If I told you he was your brother
We could reminisce
Then you would go about your day
If I said you ought to give him some of your water
You'd shake your canteen and walk away

The perception that divides you from him
Is a lie
For some reason you never asked why
This is not a black and white world
You can't afford to believe in your side

This is not a black and white world
To be alive
I say that the colours must swirl
And I believe
That maybe today
We will all get to appreciate

The Beauty of Grey

If I told you she was your mother
We could analyze the situation and be gone
If I said you ought to give her
Some of your water
Your eyes would light up like the dawn
The perception that divides you from her
Is a lie
For some reason we never asked why
This is not a black and white world
You can't afford to believe in your side

This is not a black and white world
To be alive
I say the colors must swirl
And I believe
That maybe today
We will all get to appreciate

The beauty of gray

Look into your eyes
No daylight
New day now


New Order Mormon Song of the Week: How It Is

This week's song is by one of my all-time favorite bands, the "Canadian Power Trio" Rush.  I could post one of their songs every week and never run out of material.  It's a song called "How It Is."  Its relevance will become more apparent in the coming days after I post a piece I have been mulling over for awhile.   In some ways I think life is all about dealing with the difference between how it is and  how it ought to be....

Here's a little trap
That sometimes catches everyone
When today's as far as we can see
Faith in bright tomorrows
Giving way to resignation
That's how it is - How it's going to be

It's such a cloudy day
Seems we'll never see the sun
Or feel the day has possibilities
Frozen in the moment -
The lack of imagination
Between how it is and how it ought to be

Here's a little trap
That sometimes trips up everyone
When we tire of our own company
Sometimes we're the last to see beyond the day's frustrations
That's how it is - how it's going to be

It's such a cloudy day
Seems we'll never see the sun
I feel the day is all uncertainty
Burning in the moment - trapped by the desperation
Between how it is and how it ought to be

Foot upon the stair
Shoulder to the wheel
You can't tell yourself not to care
You can't tell yourself how to feel
That's how it is - Another cloudy day


NOM Song of the Week: Walking Contradiction

This may be the mother of all NOM songs.  NOMs are, by necessity, at war with themselves to some extent--walking contradictions.  Peggy Tatyana at the New Order Mormon site, has an essay called "The Paradox of the Faithful Unbeliever" that talks about this.  And one of my favorite bands, Greenday, succinctly encapsulates the idea in their song, Walking Contradiction

Money quote: "I have no belief, but I believe I'm a walking contradiction."  It doesn't get any better than that.

Walking Contradiction

Do as I say not as I do because
The shit so deep you can't run away
I beg to differ on the contrary
I agree with every word that you say
Talk is cheap and lies are expensive
My wallet's fat and so is my head
Hit and run and then I'll hit you again
I'm a smart ass but I'm playing dumb
Standards set and broken all the time
Control the chaos behind a gun
Call it as I see it even if
I was born deaf, blind and dumb
Losers winning big on the lottery
Rehab rejects still sniffing glue
Constant refutation with myself
I'm a vicitm of a catch 22
I have no belief
But I believe
I'm a walking contradiction
And I ain't got no right


NOM Song of the Week: I Don't Want to Be

This week's New Order Mormon song comes from Gavin Degraw (not to be confused with Gavin Macleod).  It's called "I Don't Want to Be."  You may remember Bo Bice performing this song on American Idol last year.

I don't need to be anything other
Than a prison guard's son
I don't need to be anything other
Than a specialist's son
I don't have to be anything other
Than the birth of two souls in one
Part of where I'm going, is knowing where I'm coming from
I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me
I'm surrounded by liars everywhere I turn
I'm surrounded by imposters everywhere I turn
I'm surrounded by identity crisis everywhere I turn
Am I the only one who noticed?
I can't be the only one who's learned
I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me
Can I have everyone's attention please?
If you're not like this and that, you're gonna have to leave
I came from the mountain
The crust of creation
My whole situtaion-made from clay to stone
And now I'm telling everybody
I don't want to be
Anything other that what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me
I don't want to be        


Hiatus

Equality is going on a little hiatus and will not be posting here for awhile.  My buddy Domokun may post occasionally if the spirit moves him.  Feel free to continue to comment on previous posts and use this site as a jumping-off point to the rest of the DAMU.  As part of my farewell, I leave you with the words of the late great Warren Zevon:

This time I have to leave
It's all too clear
It's plain to see
No use in hang'n 'round
Like a dog that cries and growls
This time I have to leave

Did you hear that I'm attached?
I'm on a dead end path
Can't you see it hurts me so?
But I really got to go
This time I have to leave

I'm gon'na disappear
Stayed too long, I'll shake my tears
You gave your all, we weren't shy
So thanks again, it's been nice
This time I have to leave

It's all too clear
It's plain to see
No use in hanging 'round
They tell me I'm out'ta bounds
This time I have to leave

Well, It looks as though I'll be gone for a while
So try not to get too riled
There'll be another time when we can unwind
But I got to get it on down the line

This time I have to leave
It's all too clear
It's plain to see
No use in hanging 'round
You'll get by somehow
This time I have to leave

But love won't go away
I'm feel'n I got to stay
And go on liv'n a lie
With you I know there's no goodbye

This time I have to leave
It's all too clear
It's plain to see
No use in hanging 'round
After all, anyway, anyhow
This time I have to leave


NOM Song of the Week: Temples of Syrinx

This week's song is dedicated to Jeffrey Nielsen, former adjunct professor of Philosphy at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  The song comes from my favorite rock band and one of their best albums, 2112.  The first side (I still remember when big black discs contained music on both sides)  is taken up entirely by the title track, which is based loosely on Ayn Rand's short novel AnthemThe story told by 2112 is about a man living in a future religious totalitarian state who finds an ancient musical instrument (a guitar).  He realizes the potential for his musical discovery to bring great pleasure to his society and so takes it to the governing priests, naively thinking that they, too, will see its utility and beauty and desire to make it available to the people they govern.  But the priests are interested only in their own power and control over the people.  Things end badly for the tragic hero.  Anyway, I just can't help but see parallels between the priests of the "Temples of Syrinx" and the folks who run BYU.

... "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the priests..."

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.
It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why.
We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.
Look around at this world we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand.
We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.


NOM Song of the Week: I Want to Break Free

This week's NOM Song selection comes from Queen and is called "I Want to Break Free."  You may remember it from a Coca-Cola C-2 commercial a couple years back. 

(I want to break free)
(I want to break free)
I want to break free from your lies
You're so self satisfied I don't need you
I've want to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free

I've fallen in love
I've fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know it's for real
I've fallen in love, yeah
God knows, God knows I've fallen in love

It's strange but it's true
I can't get over the way you love me like you do
But I have to be sure
When I walk out that door
Oh how I want to be free, baby
Oh how I want to break free,
Oh how I want to break free

But life still goes on
I can't get used to, living without, living without,
Living without you by my side
I don't want to live alone, hey
God knows, got to make it on my own
So baby can't you see
God knows, gods know, gods know
I've want to break free