A blog for Joe Henry fans

donderdag 24 augustus 2017

The People Sing!

On september 12th the event 'The People Sing!' will take place.

An event To bring to life extraordinary history of ordinary people engaged in struggles for freedom and justice.

It's a gathering that takes place on openingnight of Americanafest 2017. Presented by AmericanaFest, War Memorial Auditorium and Voices of a Peoples History of the U.S
Invited by Allison Moorer, Joe is 1 of the participating artists next to Hayes Carll, Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, Alice Randall, Teddy Thompson, Otis Taylor, Elizabeth Cook, Shelby Lynne, Blind Boys of Alabama, Rhiannon Giddens, Billy Bragg, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and more. 
It's not the first time Joe performed for 'Voices of a Peoples History'. In 2014 he performed on their 10th anniversary celebration.
And don't forget that Joe and Billy Bragg are nominated for duo of the year.
This summer I myself became verry emotional concerning 'ordinary people engaged in struggles for freedom and justice.'
I read Flemish Author Stefan Hertmans book 'Oorlog en Terpentijn' (War and Turpetine). Stefan Hertmans his Grandfather was a soldier in the frontlines during the first World War. He wrote down his lifestory. 
I've been taught about the WW's in school, I've seen movies, documentaries, read books, but it's this one that had the biggest confrontation of what it must have been to live in a war. It's a stunning, shocking and heartbreaking book, about how a beautiful person's life has been overthrown by this war.
For our Familyholiday we went to flanders fields this year. Everything that I absorbed  on my Holiday lead me to write the following.

Out there in these Flanders Fields….
A generation of young individuals. These men and women, these heroes… Their lives chattered by mightier men, more powerful men who wanted more of the same thing.

A generation of beautiful people, forced to live in a disgusting world….
Everyone has heroes, people you look up to, and dream of grasping just a little spark of their talent. But the people who fought in the great war are part of a higher Heroism. A Heroism of which you do not want to have the littlest part of. I’m pretty sure, that even most of these soldiers in the frontline wished they had a normal youth. Wished they didn’t have to carry afterwards all these ghosts from the past with them.
4 Years in Hell. Without a choice… Wait, … No, they had choices: refuse to fight, and be executed as a traitor, fight and die, or fight and by strange ways of how things go: survive… physically.
4 Years forced in the frontline, by men, behind comfortable desks, who maybe only have seen the trenches when the battle was already done. Trenches they lived in, … Trenches they dug themselves lying down... Because standing up, was an open invitation for a bullet. Day after day after day.... Living between their own human dirt and the rats. No warm food, because the smoke of heating it, would give them away. Only the constant fear, that it could be over the next minute. Day after day after month, after year…
Out there in these Flanders Fields.
With the biggest respect,

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