Thursday, April 12, 2007

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sunday is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and it is observed in many different ways. I choose to observe it by sharing a beautiful piece of music with you.

The track is called "Lithuania" and it's by Dan Bern. Here is a link to download it (only good for the next 7 days). Here is a lyrical excerpt.

These are my ghosts: Uncle Emmanuel, Uncle Eli, Aunt Mia, and my
grandparents, Jenny and Tobias, none of whom I have ever met
I saw some letters once that they wrote to my dad in Palestine in
1940, not too long before they were all shot
My only bridge to them was my dad--he knew them, and he knew me, and now he's gone too

Sometimes I want to get next to them, and sometimes I want to push them all away,
Say, You’re not my ghosts, I live in Sunny California,
I drive a 1992 Red Chevrolet, I drive fast, and I drive as far west as anyone can drive,
Eight thousand miles from Lithuania, and if I could escape by driving further then I would,
But it doesn't get me anyplace new

I guess if I was a true American, I could write an elegy to the automobile,
But when I jump in I can't escape the way I feel
I sometimes want to dance on Hitler’s grave, shout out
Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Leonard Cohen, Philip Roth, Bob Dylan,
Albert Einstein, Woody Allen, Leonard Bernstein, Harry Houdini, Sandy Koufax

And then I want to sing as loud as I can,
Watch the chandeliers sway dangerously overhead,
Proclaiming Kristallnacht is over
I say that Kristallnacht is over--The only broken glass tonight
Will be from wedding glasses shattered under boot heels
We are not the ones in the museum--its you,
Your curious mustache with your chamber of horrors

Humor me and give the track a listen. It's fairly moving.

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