Anti-war songs and anti-establishment peace protest music

Music speaks to our deepest feelings. Military cadences drive troops. National anthems prick conscience. We stand a little taller, united in singing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Songs commemorate historical events: oppression, war, labor struggles, violent acts. Music evokes sorrow, righteous indignation, anger at injustice. It inspires resistance as well as nationalistic conformity. Insurrections, uprisings and protests have their rallying cries. Sometimes people rally against what others sing anthems of praise to.

December 7 commemorates Pearl Harbor attacks and the U.S.'s entrance into World War II. There's protesting galore over police brutality in the shooting death

of Michael Brown and the chokehold death of Eric Garner, said Associated Press Dec. 8.

Here are anti-war protest songs to commemorate that day which will live in infamy plus anti-establishment protest songs that express sorrow over violence in our nation.  Anti-war songs and anti-establishment peace protest music - AXS

Day of the Dead Lesson Plans and Printable Activities to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos - Bubblews

Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, originated as a pagan celebration preceding the Catholic church's observance of All Saints Day (a holy day honoring canonized saints) on November 1. It is followed by All Souls Day on November 2 which remembers the beloved dead. It involves much music, dancing and celebrating. Here are activities to celebrate  Day of the Dead Lesson Plans and Printable Activities to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Mungo Jerry Jugband "In the Summertime" Fun

I don't know about you, but hearing "In the Summertime"  by Mungo Jerry, just makes my day. That song, with Ray Dorset on lead vocals, topped the charts 40 summers ago.  "Lady Rose" and "Baby Jump" were hits, too. But nothing touched 'In the Summertime' for zesty rhythm and child-like rhymes. I love how when Mungo Jerry can't think of any words, they grunt or hum or make up nonsensical words.

I love everything about Mungo Jerry: long, bushy hair, big mutton chops, jug band, cheesy lyrics, leather fringed boots. My husband and I had a disagreement about Dorset whether he was Puerto Rican or Jamaican. Finally we decided he must be Cuban. Imagine our chagrin when we discovered the band was British.

And the name, Mungo Jerry. I had somehow connected it with mung beans. After all, hippies lived on seeds and beans and wore strange pod-like jewelry, right? As a kid, I could only listen to classical, so overlook my ignorance. In point of fact, Mungo Jerry is a literary reference to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by Mr. T.S. Eliot. One portion references Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. The broadway musical "Cats" sources Eliot's work.

Mungo Jerry 's meteoric rise to fame was an unexpected surprise, starting with band members themselves, I'll bet. The Jugband sound has elements of Cajun, creole accordion, Zydeco. Mungo Jerry has roots rock, ska, reggae and afro-caribbean undertones also. The closest band connection is Creedence Clearwater Revival as Willie and the Poorboys. It hints at Sailcat (Motorcycle Mama) and T-Bone Burnett.

Free Printable Guitar Sheet Music, Chord Charts, Licks, Riffs and Tablature

Guitars, electric and acoustic, are oft-requested teen gifts. Men used to dominate guitar-playing, particularly electric, but girls are playing in increasing numbers. Children are beginning to play at younger ages. Guitars cross all music genres. My personal favorites are 12-string, resonator, classical and Spanish guitar. And who can resist the deep drone of an electric bass guitar? Gets you right in the solar plexus. Suffice it to say, guitars are popular instruments! With that in mind, here are Free Printable Guitar Lessons, Sheet Music, Chords, Licks, Riffs and Tablature

Mar and Big Al Playlist World Songs That Cross Time and Space

Sometimes, with a little serendipity, my third shift husband gets a night off work once a week. If the stars are in alignment, and he's an extra specially lucky boy,  he might get TWO nights off. As he did last weekend. So when he does, we like to enjoy music. We stay up all  night and sing (and sip a wine and IPA or three!) I call our selections the Mar-and-Big-Al-Playlist and it's wild. It's pan-genre, pan-world. It is hectic, electric and frenetic. Here's a sampling from last Saturday.  Mar and Big Al Playlist. Eclectic, Hectic, Frenetic (picture is us at Jazz Legends Park, Bourbon St., New Orleans--enjoying Steamboat Willie)

Five Best Barbra Streisand Movies, Scores and Soundtracks

I was five years old when my mom took me to see Funny Girl. We fell in love with Fanny Brice (and Barbra Streisand--"Don't tell me not to live just sit and puttah. Life's candy and the sun's a ball of buttah!" GLEE would reprise that some 40 years later. But NOBODY does it like Babs. Later, in 1971, my dad took me to see What's Up, Doc?. It's still one of our favorite movies. Here are Barbra Streisand's best movies and soundtracks. Because of her amazing voice. Barbra has been cast in parts that didn't always sufficiently showcase her acting and dancing talents--Like "A Star is Born." Meh. But the song Evergreen was gorgeous. These movies represent some of the best of Barbra's acting skills also. Yentl is my favorite. I love how she embraces and celebrates her Jewish background. And the best of her music doesn't come from a movie--it's her "Classical Barbra" album. I still have mine from high school. Five Best Barbra Streisand Movies and Soundtracks

Memorial Day Pageant and Parade, with Patriotic Musical Selections

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May has several names: Remembrance Day and Decoration Day. We honor fallen military and our loved ones who have passed. Looking for a fun interactive Memorial Day activity the whole community will enjoy? How about an educational Memorial Day pageant planner with U.S. history tie-ins, American patriotic musical selections and a vintage flavor.  Educational, Vintage Memorial Day Student Pageant and Party

Music Playlist of War and Government Protest Songs for Memorial Day

I always feel the need to play war protest songs around Memorial Day--all the misguided RWB fever, I guess.  Don't get me wrong--I get choked up at the Stars and Stripes. I just can't wrap my mind around the concept of "just war." It's all killing. So here's my government protest playlist. Please forgive my bombastic writing. I was at a different place in my journey and tended to get a little strange. Music Playlist: 25 War and Government Protest Songs

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, with Latino Music, Dance

Cinco de Mayo--"fifth of May" in Spanish--celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Pueblo. It's not the Mexican independence day though it sounds like the U.S. 4th of July. My Latino friends tell me Cinco de Mayo isn't as big in Mexico as in the U.S. And what do we Americans do with holidays? Party! Or in this case, fiesta. Here's are Latino music selections, including mariachi and Tejano (Tex-Mex style), plus dancing, games, crafts, homemade maracas and food for a kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo party! Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Fiesta With Latino-Inspired Games, Crafts, Food

Holland Tulip Time is About Music, Dance, Not Just Flowers

What's Holland Tulip Time, you ask? Only one of the loveliest events in Michigan! It's what we locals used to call the Tulip Festival. It's about flowers, imported from the Netherlands, to be sure. But my favorite part is the historical-cultural arts element.

There are three parades, including Volksparade (Folks Parade), Kinderparade (children's parade) and Muziekparade (a music and dance parade). There you experience traditional Dutch "Klompendans." Klompen dancing, called Holzschuhtanz (clog shoe dance) in Germany, is a group Dutch festival dance, It's like square dance. It features hand-offs and partnering, like the Virginia Reel (or the Sir Roger de Coverly as it's called in England). Klompen resembles the Circle Polka, Mazurka and Schottisch, too.

Klompen dancing uses high kicking, almost like Irish dance. Local high school students dress in native regional costume and, of course, their "klompen" (clogs or wooden shoes). The musical trills from the various calliope street organs like the "Gulden Engel," (Golden Angel). Can't get to Holland? Read this article for links to see video presentations. Holland Tulip Time Kicks Off, Just in Time for Mother's Day

Jesus of Nazareth Soundtrack is Reverent, Liturgical and Beautiful

There are some movie soundtracks that just stick with me. The score from Jesus of Nazareth (1977) is one. It's haunting, bold and profoundly moving. My husband and I watch it with the kids every year and we cry at the crucifixion scene every time. Viewing and listening is a spiritual experience almost as intense as mass. The London Philharmonic Orchestra does stellar job performing Maurice Jarre's transcendent score. Jesus of Nazareth (Franco Zeffirelli) is a must watch for the Lenten and Easter season. Watch it with your family, classroom, Sunday School, youth group, religious ed class or Bible Study group.  Best Movie for Lent and Easter: Jesus of Nazareth

Poetry Writing Prompts, NaPoWriMo Games, Music Lyric Composition Activities

April is National Poetry Month. For online writers, it's NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writer Month). What are music lyrics but poems set to song? So I say let's celebrate with a poetry and music writer workshop. Write about Earth Day, spring, Easter, awakening. Want to join NaPoWriMo fun but don't know where to begin? Here are poem and music writing prompts, story starters and word games to call forth your inner bard! Perfect for homeschooler parents, English and creative writing teachers. Free Poetry and Music Writing Prompts, NaPoWriMo Games, Activities

I'll Veggie Rap with Michelle Obama and Skip the Sarah Palin Cookies

Wise cracks about Michelle Obama's veggie dance bug me. The First Lady does a cute healthy eating rap with kids and gets accused of child abuse, just about. Let's see, 34% of Americans are overweight. Obesity is epidemic. Her "Let's Move" program teaches kids to be healthy. And opponents turn it into a smear campaign? Think I'm just an angry progressive? (I am) Read for yourself. I Would Rather Do the Michelle Obama Veggie Dance Than Eat Sarah Palin Cookies

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Soulful Jazzy Blues, New Orleans to Motown, Monterrey to Montreal

A lot of us freelancers have got the 504 Blues as my buddy dubbed the gateway errors. I'm wearing a spangly dress and singing back up. Anyway, I thought that with all the drama the past few days, you might like some more jazzy-blues with a soul overtone to help you make it through the night. Here are tunes from Montreal to Monterrey, New Orleans to Motown. That's Louis Armstrong Park in Treme, in the photo. We visited there on Kwanzaa.  Eine Kleine Nacht Music--Jazzy Blues with a Little Soul

Broadway "Sister Act" was Mardi Gras and Motown Go to Mass

For our first 25 years, my husband and I didn't go out much, not even to movies. Too expensive and money was needed in a million other places. Now with kids grown, we indulge our theatre passion. Last weekend, we saw Grand Rapids Gloriously Broadway "Sister Act." This wasn't my favorite musical, so I was reluctant to spend $80 for nosebleed seats. But my husband really wanted to see a show and I thought, hey, a guy actually wants to do theater without being dragged? I should look a gift horse in the mouth? I'm glad I went!  Broadway "Sister Act" was Mardi Gras, Motown and Mass

Alternative Indie Songs that Make Me Feel Good - News - Bubblews

This list might not be precisely alternative indie music, so you purists, don't judge. It's just me trying to sound young and hipster. I have no idea what constitutes "indie" other than something about independent, So, like not under fascist control? Not living with parents? Non-gratis? (Erhm, highly doubt that). Alternative, I have no clue about. But I ask you, hipsters, can YOU really define it? I think like me, you just like how alternative rolls off the tongue. Anyhoo, semantics aside, here's the playlist. Let's begin with Ane Brun "Do You Remember?" (a little cabaret). Read on for the rest. And if you don't like it, well, go to Bubblews (tell 'em I sent you) and write your own list of suggestions! Smiley face--love you!  Alternative Indie Songs that Make Me Feel Good

Solidarity Forever, Brother Pete Seeger

The world lost a dear person today. Pete Seeger entered his final rest. I grew up on his music, if not his purpose. In the late 60s, my parents were redefining themselves. We listened hardcore Christian revival like Bob Harrington (Chaplain of Bourbon St.), Mamas and Papas, New Christie Minstrels and Sister Rosetta. Pete Seeger fit that style by default. Then I grew up and started working in the labor movement and Pete was an icon. So it with deep sorrow that I bid him farewell. Solidarity Forever, Pete Seeger

Bobby Watson says MLK Jr Day is "Check Cashing Day" and He's Right

 I forgot it was MLK Jr. Day until I tried to go to the bank to cash a check. Ironically, a good object lesson for me, remembering Dr. King's "check marked insufficient funds" metaphor. MLK alluded to a 100-year-old "moral check" written by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence. It was payable to ALL "Americans" but only some could collect on it.

My son referenced these owed funds today, too. Coming home from work, he caught a song called "Check Cashing Day" on WYCE (our favorite alternative public radio from Grand Rapids). Jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson's wrote it as tribute to the I Have a Dream speech's 50th anniversary. The song says 50 years later, the check is still in some ways overdue.

 Bobby Watson is Right MLK Jr Day is "Check Cashing Day" - News - Bubblews

Kwanzaa in Congo Square Treme New Orleans Jazz and Roots at It's Best

On our recent trip to New Orleans, we explored Treme. If you're not familiar with NOLA, you might recognize this neighborhood from the TV show. Exotic, colorful, music-infused Treme was home base for many jazz icons--Alphonse Picou, Shannon Walker, Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Tuba Fats. That's only the ones I recognize. There are many more bands and players.

Louis Armstrong Park on Rampart, honors legends Sidney Bechet, Mahalia Jackson, Wynton Marsalis, and its namesake Armstrong. Famed Basin Street, of Basin Street Blues, runs through the Treme.

Treme was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. All around are reminders. Foliage sprouted from flood water still grows on some buildings, like modern Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The original Mahalia Jackson Theater for Performing Arts was drowned in 14 feet of water. A new theater opened in 2009. Some areas still await clean up. Others are gone. Blessed Kwanzaa Ceremony, Congo Square New Orleans Treme Neighborhood