Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Abraham, Martin and John
I got reacquainted with this wonderful song while loading songs by Dion DiMucci. Of all the anti-war songs, this one speaks the loudest, even though it preaches non-violence really. The song was written by Dick Holler and sung first by Dion. Following that there have been hundreds of covers, but the better one has to be by Marvin Gaye. Even Teresa Teng had done a quite beautiful version. To be clear, the song refers to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy, sometimes Bobby is inserted as well to represent John's brother Robert Kennedy ... although John has also been taken to stand for John Lennon in later songs.
The theme running through the song was that the three men were assassinated, taken before their time. While many would dedicate the song to those who have left a brilliant legacy behind, to me it speaks of the helplessness of us all when such dastardly and cowardly acts are committed. It speaks of more questions than answers, the futility of meaning and making sense of it all.
Needless to say, the two were Presidents of the US, one could have been the first black President I am sure. But its not just because of their fame that their lives lend us greater meaning. Everyday, there are untold sufferings, lynchings, brutality and unnecessary lives being taken because they stood up against oppression, they fought for basic human rights or democracy, or they were victims of collusion and entrapment, or they were politically a threat ... by people whose motivations that are just too temporary and selfish. To all of them ....