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Lyr Add: The Price of Freedom (Crabtree/Mills)

Big Mick 13 Jan 09 - 05:09 PM
NOMADMan 13 Jan 09 - 05:59 PM
katlaughing 13 Jan 09 - 06:19 PM
bobad 13 Jan 09 - 06:54 PM
Amos 13 Jan 09 - 07:00 PM
balladeer 11 Feb 09 - 04:40 AM
Charley Noble 11 Feb 09 - 05:20 AM
Susu's Hubby 11 Feb 09 - 08:28 AM
Big Mick 11 Feb 09 - 10:02 AM
balladeer 12 Feb 09 - 12:35 PM
Rapparee 12 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM
Rapparee 12 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM
Paul Mills 12 Feb 09 - 01:50 PM
balladeer 12 Feb 09 - 02:45 PM
Big Mick 12 Feb 09 - 02:58 PM
black walnut 12 Feb 09 - 03:07 PM
Jeri 12 Feb 09 - 03:15 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 09 - 09:32 AM
VirginiaTam 13 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM
Marion 13 Feb 09 - 04:50 PM
balladeer 15 Feb 09 - 02:09 AM
balladeer 15 Feb 09 - 02:06 PM
JedMarum 16 Feb 09 - 12:15 PM
JedMarum 18 Feb 09 - 03:05 PM
balladeer 23 Feb 09 - 10:41 AM
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Subject: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 05:09 PM

I was once again listening to the superb CD titled "Freedom" put out by Mudcatters Joanne Crabtree and Paul Mills. The title is derived from a song they wrote called "The Price of Freedom", which is about the 3 slain civil rights workers from 1964. Reading the notes about the song, then the lyrics, then pondering the historic event which we are about to witness with Obama's inaugaration, caused me to realize yet again what a price has been paid. The struggle for civil rights in this country is one of the defining struggles of the last 200 years, and its climactic move to this moment is the defining struggle of my generation's time. It is wise counsel that Mills and Crabtree give us, when they remind us that behind this feel good moment lies a bloody, and vicious struggle caused by one people taking advantage of another. Viewed in the abstract, this moment is easy to see as inevitable and obvious. But when we re-examine the suffering, the tragedy, the cruelty in its full light, then we can rise to the moment with pride at having gotten there. Then we can say with pride that, at least for the moment, we have taken the correct step.

This fine song will go into my repertoire of social activism songs I perform with gratitude to these good friends for writing it. It is a true gem.

Here are the Joanne's notes, followed by the lyrics, with apologies for the caps on the lyrics. I am cut and pasting them.

Whenever the roll is called for those who died in the American Freedom Revolution of the nineteen sixties, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwermer, and James Chaney are referred to only by their last names.

It became important to me to write down their first names and to say/sing them out loud.

I had long ago created and filed away a rough version of the chorus for The Price of Freedom. One day I dusted it off and sent it to Paul. He responded by writing the lines that eventually became our first verse. His poem affected me on a very deep level and inspired me to make Michael, James, and Andrew the heart of our song.


THE PRICE OF FREEDOM
(Joanne Crabtree, Paul Mills)

LIKE A CHILD WHOSE NEEDS ARE GREATEST WHEN THE HUNGER COMES AGAIN
WHO TURNS TOWARDS HIS MOTHER AND CRIES ALOUD IN PAIN
IT'S THE SOUL OF A NATION BEARS THIS HEAVY LOAD
WHAT'S THE PRICE OF FREEDOM WHEN FREEDOM'S CHILD IS SOLD

CHORUS:
WHAT'S THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IN THIS LAND OF LIBERTY?
WHAT'S THE COST OF LIVING WITH THE STRUGGLE TO BE FREE?
GAINING GROUND BY INCHES, FOREVER STANDING GUARD
WHAT THE PRICE OF FREEDOM WHEN VICTORY COMES SO HARD


MICHAEL, JAMES AND ANDREW SIGNED ON IN '64
TO REGISTER BLACK VOTERS IN THE SAVAGE SOUTHERN WAR
KLANSMEN BEAT JAMES CHANEY BLOODY ON MISSISSIPPI NIGHT
SHOT AND KILLED THE THREE OF THEM BY FREEDOM'S FLICKERING LIGHT

CHORUS:
WHAT'S THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IN THIS LAND OF LIBERTY?
WHAT'S THE COST OF LIVING WITH THE STRUGGLE TO BE FREE?
GAINING GROUND BY INCHES, FOREVER STANDING GUARD
WHAT THE PRICE OF FREEDOM WHEN VICTORY COMES SO HARD


JAMES CHANEY, LOCAL BLACK KID, MICHAEL SCHWERMER, NEW YORK JEW
ANDREW GOODMAN, LIBERAL COLLEGE BOY FROM AMONG THE PRIVILEGED FEW
THEY SHARED ONE SINGLE ASPIRATION, TO GIVE EVERY CHILD A CHOICE
THEY DIED OUTSIDE THE PROMISED LAND,
BUT THEY STRENGTHENED FREEDOM'S VOICE

CHORUS:
WHAT'S THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IN THIS LAND OF LIBERTY?
WHAT'S THE COST OF LIVING WITH THE STRUGGLE TO BE FREE?
GAINING GROUND BY INCHES, FOREVER STANDING GUARD
WHAT THE PRICE OF FREEDOM WHEN VICTORY COMES SO HARD


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: NOMADMan
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 05:59 PM

It should perhaps be noted that Richard Farina wrote and recorded a song titled "Michael, Andrew and James" ("for Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney" in the liner notes). It's on Richard & Mimi Farina's LP "Celebrations for a Grey Day," issued by Vanguard in 1965.

John


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM (Crabtree/Mills)
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 06:19 PM

De-capped. Thanks for posting this.

Like a child whose needs are greatest when the hunger comes again
Who turns towards his mother and cries aloud in pain
It's the soul of a nation bears this heavy load
What's the price of freedom when freedom's child is sold

chorus:

What's the price of freedom in this land of liberty?
What's the cost of living with the struggle to be free?
Gaining ground by inches, forever standing guard
What the price of freedom when victory comes so hard

Michael, James and Andrew signed on in '64
To register black voters in the savage southern war
Klansmen beat James Chaney bloody on Mississippi night
Shot and killed the three of them by freedom's flickering light

chorus:

What's the price of freedom in this land of liberty?
What's the cost of living with the struggle to be free?
Gaining ground by inches, forever standing guard
What the price of freedom when victory comes so hard

James Chaney, local black kid, Michael Schwermer, New York jew
Andrew Goodman, liberal college boy from among the privileged few
They shared one single aspiration, to give every child a choice
They died outside the promised land,
but they strengthened freedom's voice

chorus:

What's the price of freedom in this land of liberty?
What's the cost of living with the struggle to be free?
Gaining ground by inches, forever standing guard
what the price of freedom when victory comes so hard

James Reeb also lost his life fighting for freedom in the 1960s. He grew up in my old hometown, Casper, WY.


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: bobad
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 06:54 PM

The first song on the My Space page to which Mick linked, titled "What Else Can I Do" is also very strong both lyrically and musically, well worth a listen.


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 07:00 PM

Mick:

This is a sobering perspective, not just because of the gruesome deaths involved, which happen so much less frequently now, but because of the terrified hatred that lay behind those deaths, as well as those of so many others. That hatred is still alive and rampant in the back alleys and the small diners in many corners of this country. I think, for example, of the hatred that killed Matthew Shepherd in a storm of Christian silence. I think of the storm of consent that led Dan White to murder George Moscone and Harvey Milk.

The price of freedom, it is said, is eternal vigilance. What that vigilance must be tuned for, set its radar on, is not the threat of fascists, communists, socialists or independent thinkers, all of which can rise or fall in the market of ideas without excessive strife. It is the much more insidious threat of human hatred. If our alarms consistently went off when that threat loomed we would be a better people.

A


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: balladeer
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:40 AM

Thanks, Mick, for posting our song. The Price of Freedom was picked up by international folk radio in January, and became the number one Canadian song on the playlists (mostly in the US) of those who report to the Folk DJ-L list.

Paul and I agonized over the writing of The Price of Freedom. It was by far the greatest challenge I personally have ever faced as a writer, and to see it so wholeheartedly embraced by many American disk jockeys and incorporated by them into their celebrations of Martin Luther King's life and Barack Obama's installation has been an incredibly moving experience.

There were a couple of typos in Mick's paste up, so I'm correcting them here.

Michael, James and Andrew signed on in '64
To register black voters in the savage southern war
Klansmen beat James Chaney bloody on a Mississippi night
Shot and killed the three of them by freedom's flickering light ...

James Chaney, local black kid, Michael Schwerner, New York jew
Andrew Goodman, liberal college boy from among the privileged few
They shared one single aspiration, to give every child a choice
They died outside the promised land,
but they strengthened freedom's voice

*Note to Nomadman: Yes, Dick Farina certainly did write a song that called the boys by their first names, but that was soon after the event. It is my view that the first names dropped out of public awareness by the end of the seventies, and those young martyrs became simply Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney to succeeding generations.

Joanne Crabtree


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:20 AM

Thanks for posting this song.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:28 AM

Wow...powerful lyrics.

Just goes to show that Freedom isn't truly free.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:02 AM

I continue to be powerfully moved by this song, and I must tell you that the entire CD is solid as a rock. I am in a bit of danger of being accused of bias as these performers are great friends of mine. But I am telling you that you simply must hear the power of that song when heard sung by the powerful voice of Joanne Crabtree. She simply has the ability to work your soul over with the strength of emotion she puts in the interpretation. Paul's voice is the perfect complement, and they are both excellent musicians. The words are powerful, but you really should hear them performed.

This CD is one that should be ordered, folks.

And this song will be in my repertoire, just as soon as I can figure out how to do it the justice its authors did.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: balladeer
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 12:35 PM

Mick, thanks for letting everyone here know about Crabtree&Mills' new CD, Freedom. I guess I should mention it's available for sale at our website,

www.joannecrabtree.com/crabtree&mills

Joanne

PS. With your powerful voice and heartfelt delivery, you will do a fine job on The Price of Freedom. I hope to hear you singing it soon.

PPS. I'm looking forward to hanging out with you at the Rick Fielding tribute concert in Toronto in March.

Joanne


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOODMAN AND SCHWERNER AND CHANEY (Paxton)
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM

Let's not forget Tom Paxton's song (from the DT):

GOODMAN AND SCHWERNER AND CHANEY
(Tom Paxton)

The night air is heavy, no cool breezes blow
The sound of the voices is worried and low
Desperately wondering, and desperate to know
About Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney.

Calm desperation and flickering hope
Reality grapples like a hand on the throat
For you live in the shadow of ten feet of rope
If you're Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney.

The Pearl River was dragged and two bodies were found
But it was a blind alley, for both men were brown
So they all shrugged their shoulders and the search it went on
For Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney.

Pull out the dead bodies from the ooze of the dam
Take the bodies to Jackson, all according to plan
With the one broken body, do the best that you can
Its the body of young James Chaney.

Well the nation was outraged and shocked through and through
Call J. Edgar Hoover! He'll know what to do
For they've murdered two White men! - (and a Colored boy, too)
Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney.

James Chaney, your body exploded in pain
And the beating they gave you is pounding my brain
For they murdered much more with their dark, bloody chains
And the body of pity lies bleeding.

The pot-bellied Coppers shook hands all around
And joked with the rednecks who came into town
And they swore that the murderers soon would be found
And they laughed as they spat their tobacco.


(c)Tom Paxton/Deep Fork
Recorded on "Ain"t That News" Elektra EKS-7298


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM

And let's not forget Norman Rockwell's vision.


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Paul Mills
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:50 PM

Hi all....

It's been ages since I visited this place. Long overdue, I know! Joanne told me about your thread, Mick and I've been quite moved reading through it. Joanne and I are both grateful for the reception this song has received but I have publically credited and thanked Joanne for leading it into the direction it took and persevering with it throughout a difficult birth.

Thanks, Mick for your kind words about this CD. I just can't wait to hear you sing "The Price of Freedom"!

Paul Mills


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: balladeer
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:45 PM

To Rapaire:

Of course there have been many works of art that have addressed that horrible night, including a major American movie, Mississippi Burning.

And though the three boys are often still referred to (for instance by Mavis Staples in the song I'll be Resting When the Roll is Called, on her CD Never Turning Back) it is usually by their last names only.

From my liner notes:

Whenever the roll is called for those who died in the American Freedom Revolution of the nineteen sixties, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney are referred to only by their last names.

It became important to me to write down their first names and to say/sing them out loud.

Joanne


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Subject: RE:Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:58 PM

I think that is one of the very important elements to this song, Joanne. We tend to make icons of our heroes, and we lose something in doing that. It almost dehumanizes them. The Rockwell painting linked in the post above should be a link on any post of this song. Heroes, such as these lads, were real people often who never expected nor desired this. Think of the lost potential, and of the mothers, brothers, sisters, and families grieving their loss. Think of the terror they faced. Then wash it with the knowledge that they were doing something good, and trying to help others, and seek justice.

Yes ..... this song captures it well. When one looks at Obama, and what he represents, and what it took to get us to this feel good moment, and the feelings and sacrifice of so many represented by these three young men ........ yes, this song puts it right where it needs to be.

Mick

Postscript: It bothers me greatly when we arrive at a moment in history like these times, and the uninvolved observers simply clasp their hands and say, "see how great we are. There is no racism, that was a long time ago. Get over it." That attitude is what spawned the old saw, "those that forget history are bound to repeat it". Reflection on the costs, the price paid, a full understanding of the evil and the blood spilled, and the pain to families over generations ..... these are the ways we both appreciate where we have come to, and commit to never allowing it again. Getting it, we will never allow language or actions that enslave, not just physically, but mentally and soulfully, from happening again. And as the bards of the modern times, that is the task of the singer songwriter. Crabtree and Mills, in this song, have taken up that mantle.


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: black walnut
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:07 PM

Well said Mick. And I look forward to hopefully meeting you at the Acoustic Harvest concert.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:15 PM

I agree. Having civil rights doesn't mean they won't be violated. Most people not hating based on race doesn't mean some won't. It's just that, thanks to those mentioned in Paul & Joanne's song and quite a few others, what is considered acceptable has shifted. It has shifted so white folks will vote for a black presidential candidate, and all the 'he has no chance' idiots are the ones to get put down, NOT the ones who hope that things can be more fair.


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:32 AM

A sad but inspiring story - an incident that inspired the artists of our day and many of our generation. Moving by inches, as Joanne says - our world is a much better one for the price these men (and others) paid.

Thanks for the remembrance, Joanne and Paul.
Thanks for the lovely recording and thanks for the thread, Mick!


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM

another powerful and telling song -

the mudcat thread origins of Strange Fruit

Billie Holiday


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: Marion
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 04:50 PM

Joanne, I remember you once singing a piece at the Friday song circle that mentioned Obama by name, but I don't think we've heard it again - was that an earlier draft of The Price of Freedom?


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: balladeer
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 02:09 AM

Yes Marion:

We had different Barack verses at different times, but ultimately decided to stay focused on Michael, James, and Andrew.

Joanne


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: balladeer
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 02:06 PM

If any of you are looking for something to do in Toronto today, Paul and I are appearing at the Black Swan on the Danforth at 5 PM, under the aegis of the Winterfolk festival. We will be performing The Price of Freedom, What Else Can I Do? and other songs from our collected works.
Come say hi.
Joanne


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:15 PM

Ooops - that GUEST above was me, on a borrrowed PC.

I hope the Black Swan show for Winterfolk went well. I wish I could have been there. Tell us about it!!


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:05 PM

Tell us about Winterfolk festival. How'd it go?


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Subject: RE: Obama, and The Price of Freedom
From: balladeer
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 10:41 AM

Hi Jed and all: Sorry for the delinquency in responding. All my time on line last week was spent trying to figure out which sound-hole pickup to install in my precious Laskin. I've been resisting the concept altogether for quite a while, but I'm finally sick of relying on an outside mic.

Paul and I had a lot of fun at Winterfolk. Our local fans showed up and we made some new friends. Besides our two Crabtree&Mills concerts, Paul spent some time on a panel judging new songs, and I teamed up with my friends Lynn Harrison and Marianne Girard to present a song-writing workshop called Women's Voices. This is a fabulous event that draws the whole neighbourhood together in the dead of winter.

More later.

Joanne


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