Fighting the Civil War

April 9, 2010 8:39 PM

The recent announcement of Virginia's "Confederate History Month", and this comment in particular, in a Mefi thread about it, inspired me to write this song.

The song was written and recorded in approximately four hours, starting just after I read BitterOldPunk's comment. Would've posted it here immediately, but I was still on a 24-hour wait period here at MeFiMu, having posted another tune the previous day...

posted by flapjax at midnite (7 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Cool. I really like the production, particularly the guitar sound. Nice 'n live. C'mon champ, what's your secret??
posted by MajorDundee at 3:37 AM on April 10, 2010

No secret, Dundee. It's a cigar box guitar, with three strings, and I just put a mic in front of it and pressed 'record'. It's a very good mic (my trusty Microtech Gefell), but other than that, just some compression on it and some reverb. C'est tout!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 AM on April 10, 2010

Man, that post and following thread of comments was killing me. This response to it is beautiful.

Forgive me, but I have to share a little story with you. A few years ago while working as a forklift driver in a stock yard, I found myself cornered by a few black american truck drivers. They pretty much rounded me up and had me against a wall. Just as I was about to piss myself, one of the guys got right up in my face and said, "Ya know, a few years ago, this could have been a few white guys rounding up a black guy for a lynchin'."

It really took everything in me to not cower, but some how I was able to kinda touch his chest with the back of my hand and say, "You know, man, if you knew how many men in my family died to end slavery you'd probably be a little ashamed right now."

We ended up being friends, of course, and I found out later that he was what some call "red-bone", half american indian and half black american. He certainly did have some ancestral anger to express.

Again, forgive me for yapping on, but after hearing this song, I figured you'ld understand.
posted by snsranch at 7:57 PM on April 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Great story, sns.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:04 PM on April 10, 2010

I thought so too - hey sns, how's about a song detailing that experience?
posted by MajorDundee at 9:22 AM on April 11, 2010

Hey awesome. I said a thing that inspired someone to make a thing. That's almost like making a thing myself: I'll take it.

I guess that what I meant, unpacked, was something like this:

I've traced my family's geneology back to the 18th century on my father's side, and to the early 19th century on my mother's. As far as I can determine, my ancestors settled in Alabama in the early 1800s. Poor Irish sharecroppers who landed in South Carolina and immediately headed south, probably because the scion of the fambly was a sheep thief avoiding an air dance and a tight noose in County Donegal.

No one, on either side of my family, ever had enough money to own a slave. Like most people. We were sharecroppers.

As the geneology unfolds, we see some progress. A great-great-great bought some land, died, his kids parceled it out, my grandmother (who was a heinous racist bitch, btw) bought it back up.

During the whole Unholy War of Northern Aggression, my illustrious ancestors, to a man, deserted the Confederate Army and went back home at harvest time.

And here I am today. A Southern liberal. See, I actively LIKE black people. I've lived with them, dated them, had sex with them, shared drugs with them, called them

Them them them. That sounds so
off-putting. But black folks ain't the Other: the Other is unknowable, scary, unpredictable. I know black folks. I ain't scared. I got my goddamn ghetto pass.

But I'm still The White Guy.

And that's why I'm tired of fighting the Civil War. I don't care. I truly really deeply don't fucking care. My friends are my friends, and the internal logic I deploy to determine that is mine and mine alone.

I don't want a buncha Yankee libruls telling me how to think any more than I want a buncha Kluxers.

It's my state, too. It's my home. My roots are deeper than most. We're figuring this shit out, person by person.

I'm just exhausted with talking about it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:44 PM on April 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

The sound your getting here is awesome, as noted above. A real depth and richness to the voice, with the cigar box guitar sitting comfortable within your voice. And a cool song to boot!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 3:25 PM on April 13, 2010

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