The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29850   Message #379509
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
22-Jan-01 - 09:19 AM
Thread Name: Steve Earle sees a friend killed
Subject: Steve Earle sees a friend killed
Only part of that post came out. I hop etghis timwe it'll work better:

Here's a piece they printed in today's Guardian (London). It's an account by Steve Earle of the execution in Texas of a man he'd got to know and see as a friend. I think some Mudcatters who might like to read it might miss it otherwise. The man can't only write great songs:

When he finishes reciting he takes a deep breath and says: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." The warden, recognising the prearranged signal he and Jon had agreed on, nods toward the unseen executioner and Jon begins to sing.

"Silent night / Holy night . . . "

He gets as far as "mother and child" and suddenly the air explodes from his lungs with a loud barking noise, deep and incongruous, like a child with whooping cough - "HUH!!!" His head pitches forward with such force that his heavy, prison-issue glasses fly off his face, bouncing from his chest and falling to the green tile floor below.

The Guardian took it from a magazine I hadn't heard of before, Tikkun, published in San Francisco, which has some fascinating and moving stuff in it. It's the kind of magazine that would stop me dead in my tracks if I was ever tempted to feel a bit anti-American. (And there are people like that as well.)