A little Halloween ditty from Allen Ginsberg, Paul McCartney, and Philip Glass. First published in 1995, and recorded in 1996. Ginsberg died one year later.
‘The Ballad of the Skeletons”
The American political climate from which it arose bears a striking resemblance to the one we’re living in today. “I started it,” Ginsberg told Harvey Kubernik of The Los Angeles Times in 1996, “because of all that inflated bull about the family values, the ‘contract with America,’ Newt Gingrich and all the loudmouth stuff on talk radio, and Rush Limbaugh and all those other guys. It seemed obnoxious and stupid and kind of sub-contradictory, so I figured I’d write a poem to knock it out of the ring.”
🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻 🕸️🎃👻
H A P P Y
‘It is coming into election week in the U.S. I am here, on this side of the Atlantic, looking at the other side of that ocean. So much has happened in the sea between us: ships shipping enslaved people, hungry people, desperate people; ships going to a land they called uninhabited from a Europe that prefers to forget its history. As I think about how reparations and justice can be enacted, I’m reminded of an old Breton prayer: God help me, because the sea is so big and my boat is so small.’
Pádraig Ó Tuama
[Beir bua: ‘take a victory, and a blessing.’]
Pádraig Ó Tuama is leader of the Corrymeela Community, a poet, theologian and mediator. He has worked in conflict resolution in Ireland, Africa and the Middle East.