Archive for September 28th, 2021

Going to a Town

9920017 Exile on Main Street rev 21 sm

Exile on Main Street“- Now at the West End Gallery

I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down
I’m going to a place that has already been disgraced
I’m gonna see some folks who have already been let down
I’m so tired of America

Going to a Town, Rufus Wainwright

I wasn’t going to display the lyrics above from the Rufus Wainwright song I am featuring here this morning. Saying that you’re tired of America isn’t a popular sentiment at any time and Wainwright says that this song, though one his more popular songs in concert, at times elicits strong response in the form of boos.

It was written in 2007 both as a relationship breakup song and as a protest against the Bush policies of that time, including an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, that Wainwright believed would lead to more and more damage here and abroad. America is symbolized here as being on fire and Wainwright is getting away by going to a city, a town, that has already went through this experience, as the lyrics at the top point out.

That town is Berlin with its dark history from the Nazi era. A place that has already burned down with people who have been let down and disgraced.

People who have endured the fire and came out the other side.

It’s an interesting song, one as much about rebirth as it is about the fire. It certainly has the feel of the bone-weariness that many folks here are experiencing now, as they can plainly see where things are headed. I know there are many days when I feel like saying that I am so tired of America and wish we could just move forward in time to the point where we are emerging from the fire.

But I won’t because we can’t. Just got to face the fire. Tired as we might be, someone has got to fight back the flames and start building once more.

Give a listen, if you are so inclined. It’s a lovely song. By the way, for those who don’t know, Rufus is the son of singer/songwriters Loudon Wainwright III and Kate Mc Garrigle and the brother of singer Martha Wainwright.

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