Monday, January 17, 2005

Long time gone...

I'm such an old '60s lefty that this somewhat silly but heartfelt song still gets to me everytime I hear it.

I very clearly remember JFK's assassination; I was in 10th grade. That something so violent could happen to my country was startling to a 14 year old.

Years later when Dr. King was gunned down, it was wrenching. The civil rights movement, which, away from the violence of the south, had seemed to be somewhat 'civil', had been blown apart. And two months later, when we lost RFK, I remember thinking and feeling that it all had been for nothing. It was over. Put a fork in it, it was done, the consciousness raising effort of the mid-60s was just a feeble and failed attempt to divert the juggernaut that was them. "Them" was the so-called mainstream in America that favored American intervention in Viet Nam, that was sullenly hostile to equal voting rights, and deeply concerned with the threat that eventually proved to be hollow, Communism.

Anyway, here's this song, as sung by Dion DiMucci in 1968:

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
You know, I just looked around and he's gone.

Anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
I just looked around and he's gone.

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
I just looked 'round and he's gone.

Didn't you love the things that they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?
And we'll be free
Some day soon, and it's a-gonna be one day ...

Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walk up over the hill,
With Abraham, Martin and John.


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