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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Which Historical Event Would You Write a Song About?


Let me say this again: James Keelaghan is the best storytelling songwriter working today. Not only is he adept at creating stories out of whole cloth but he has a special talent for writing song based on history, and those are some of the best stories of all. His subjects have ranged from tragic forest fires to heroic rescues, from telling the story of sailors trapped on a sinking ship to the story of a Japanese women interned during WWII.

His appearance Live at this Friday got me thinking about what historic event I might right about if I were a songwriter. Let me see....
  • The "Little Ships" of Dunkirk? No, James wrote The Fires of Calais almost 25 years ago.
  • The Halifax Explosion? David Stone has done an album of songs on that. (Her Own War)
  • The seizure of Native Reservation Land to build Kinzua Dam - Peter LeFarge got there first.  (As Long as the Grass Shall Grow)
  • The Native American who helped raise the flag over Iwo Jima - Peter LeFarge again. (Ira Hayes)
  • Exxon Valdez - Geoff Bartley (Wreck of the Exxon Valdez)
  • Hurricane Katrina - Tom Russell, among others (Mississippi River Running Backwards)
  • The sinking of the Ocean Ranger off Newfoundland - As you might expect Ron Hynes has written that one. (Atlantic Blue)
Well, you can see what the problem is. All of which leads me to ask you, if you were/are a songwriter, what historical event would you want to write about?

Comment below and be sure to be tuned in on Friday when James Keelaghan joins me Live at .

- Dave Palmater

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