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
‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life, you were only waiting
for this moment to be free.’
-Paul McCartney, ‘Blackbird’
“I read that McCartney wrote this song about the civil rights struggle after reading about American race riots. He said he got ‘The idea of using a blackbird as a symbol for a black person. It wasn’t necessarily a black bird, but it works that way…Take these broken wings was very much in my mind…it was purposely symbolic.’
McCartney said he penned it in his kitchen in Scotland not long after an incident when the US federal courts forced the racial desegregation of the Little Rock Arkansas, school system.
It is said that freedom begins in the heart.
Many of us are still waiting to be free – – liberated from ourselves – – from our perceived limitations. We yearn for freedom from our patterns of holding ourselves captive and remaining bound to our likes and dislikes, locked in an unwillingness to expand beyond our fears and the past. Freedom from a limiting self-identity is spiritual freedom. Regardless of circumstances, we are called to freedom – – to live from the heart – – in more love, less fear.”
-Rev. Andriette Earl, Heart and Soul Center of Light in Oakland, California