Long Time Passing

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The world has lost one of its greatest voices for civil rights and one of its greatest singers and writers of Hymns of Social Justice.  If I had to name just one voice that has influenced me to be liberal it would be Seeger.  It is impossible to pick just one of his songs that has influenced my life so I will do several Pete Seeger themed posts over the next couple of days."Where Have All the Flowers Gone" may be one of Seeger's best known songs.  It has been performed many times by many ar … [Read more...]

I’d Hammer Out Love

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It may be blasphemous to highlight a song performance by privileged White performers on Martin Luther King Day, but I love this song and this performance so much I will risk it.Peter, Paul, and Mary were one of several musical acts that performed during the March on Washington on 28 August 1963 (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others also performed).   The Hymn of Social Justice that they chose to sing was Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer".  The song, written by Seeger and Lee hays in 1949, became a … [Read more...]

Love and Understanding

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It was Christmas 1981. I was in 3rd grade and I loved Star Wars.  That year all of the 3rd grade classes at the Maeser Elementary school came together to sing a Christmas concert.  Each student was given a mimeographed booklet with the words to all of the songs in it so that we could read and memorize them (if you do not know what a mimeograph is ask some one who was born in the early 70's or before).  One of the songs immediately become my favorite Christmas song - "What Do You Get a Wookie For … [Read more...]

“We Three Kings” Judas Priest Edition

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Okay, it is actually Rob Halford and his supergroup. But Halford is best known as the lead singer of Judas Priest.Between now and Christmas, I will be sharing here at Approaching Justice some of my favorite renditions of Christmas songs.The studio version of Halford singing "We Three Kings" is on my iPod rotation year-round. Take a listen: As you will notice, Halford is joined by Slash on the guitar and Father Christmas on bass. Or maybe the bassist is a member of the … [Read more...]

Hymns Through the Lens of a 13-Year-Old Young Man

Todd playing his baritone.

"I already thought three was too many," Todd whispered to me in reference to the normal minimum of three hymns that we have in LDS Sacrament meetings (our main Sunday service).Todd is my 13-year-old son and I love hearing his commentary on the world and our shared experiences.Yesterday, we had a musical testimony meeting at church.It is an annual tradition in our ward to have a testimony meeting where anyone from the congregation can walk up to the podium and share a little bit about … [Read more...]

Mary Knew! Stop Asking Stupid Questions!

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The popular Christmas song "Mary Did You Know?" by Mark Lowry is a pretty song in many ways. However it is also stupid and disrespectful of Mary.Did Mary know? Well, according to the first chapter of Luke she was visited by an angel of God.26. And in the sixth month the aangel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.28. And the angel c … [Read more...]

46664 #mandela

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As the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela many are making lists of their favorite songs about him in tribute and I will join them.46664 was Nelson Mandela's prison number for over 25 years.U2, long champions of social justice, contributed "Ordinary Love" to the soundtrack of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"The Specials composed this song with a straight forward message while Mandela was still in prison … [Read more...]


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