Many years ago, I don’t remember where, I purchased an anthology of poems called Poets Against the War. Published in 2003, edited by poet Sam Hamill, the anthology was culled from some 11,000 or so poems, submitted in response to a poetry symposium planned at the White House by Laura Bush. Upon her realization of what the event could become, she cancelled the symposium. Instead, on the day it was to take place, poetry readings were conducted in over 200 locations around the country.
Ever since reading the book, I’ve had it in the back of my mind to set some of the poems to music. A number of pages had the corners turned down for that purpose, and I had some sketches, but never quite got around to finishing the work. However, in light of current events around the world – not just here in the U.S. with a lunatic raving in the White House – the need to get back to this became more urgent for me.
Finally sitting down and getting to it, the songs poured out quickly, and I finished setting seven poems over the course of a few weeks. Maybe, some day, I will find someone to perform it – but in the meantime, I don’t quite care. I needed to write this.