Thursday, April 18, 2019

What?!: What Are Their Names

purchase [If Only I Could Remember My Name]

Wikipedia tells us that Crosby's 1971 first solo album <If Only I Could Remember My Name> was selected for the Vatican's top pop 10 albums of all time list. What? David Crosby? The Vatican?
Said Crosby: It baffles me as much as it baffles you, man.

If Only I Could Remember My Name came on the heels of Deja Vu and was Crosby's solo album that coincided with the solo albums from each of the rest of CSNY.

The album seems rather raw to me. Others have labeled it as experimental. That is certainly true of this piece: the lyrics don't even kick in until the song is more or less finished, and up until that point, we listen to what I would call a rather wandering guitar. Very much <a la Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead>. No surprise then to learn that Garcia helped to arrange and produce the album.

A news article in a recent Guardian noted that 1 percent of Brits own virtually all the land in the country. Although Crosby was probably more focused on the US, this song rifs on that theme.
What are their names? What do they care about you? About the state of the world beyond their wealth?  What does their "charity" mean for the future of the planet (like rebuilding Notre Dame)?

The entire lyrics aren't long and the "choir" singing it includes most of the Airplane, the Dead, Joni Mitchell and CSNY

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand
What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask

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