Healings, whoa whoa whoa, healings: Songs for November 4 and beyond
The Washington Post’s Sunday magazine yesterday featured a powerful article about our bitterly divided country’s prospects for healing after Tuesday’s election. The author, Gene Weingarten, though he’s a humor columnist by trade, struggled to keep his optimism up.
I understand how he feels. So do millions of us.
A dear old friend, a naturalized American citizen who fled South Africa because of apartheid, told me the other day that despite accusations from the Right, she doesn’t hate Trump supporters, she simply can’t fathom their allegiance to such a creepy guy. Another old friend, a former Peace Corps volunteer no less, has been arguing with me on Facebook, determined to convince me that Joe Biden is thoroughly corrupt, senile and certain to drag the country down to socialistic hell.
They’re very civil representatives of the respective sides. I’ve actually had a gun-loving Facebook acquaintance use the phrase “Lock and load” during a testy exchange.
I’d say that the prospects of our healing and reclaiming some common ground are better if Biden wins, if only because he will at least try. That’s not only his promise, it’s also his history. Don’t forget he was harangued by his opponents in the Democratic primaries for having been too friendly with Senate Republicans and “blue dog” Southern pols of yore.
President Trump, on the other hand, has demonstrated little if any interest in mitigating his policies or his behavior to win over Americans who disagree with him. The notion that he would suddenly turn magnanimous and conciliatory in a second term seems pretty farfetched.
Whatever happens Tuesday — or the Tuesday after that or the Tuesday after that, depending on how the vote count and the likely challenges go — we’re going to have to make the best of another four years together.
And because I would much rather us be singing and dancing in the streets than shooting, here, respectfully and not at all facetiously submitted, is a little playlist for the days ahead, a diverse, non-partisan Top 10 of songs that speak to wellness, optimism and unity:
“Peace in the Valley” — Elvis Presley
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb
“Everyday People” — Sly and the Family Stone
And so on, and so on, and shoobie doobie doobie
“Get Together” — The Youngbloods
Come on, people now
“Coconut” — Harry Nilsson
Add lime, then drink ’em both together
“We Can Work It Out” — The Beatles
Life is very short and there’s no time.
“A Spoonful of Sugar” — Julie Andrews
Makes swallowing easier
“Why Can’t We Be Friends” — War
The color of your skin don’t matter to me/As long as we can live in harmony
“Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills” — Ray Stevens
Guaranteed to be just what you need for quick, fast, speedy relief.
“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” — Nick Lowe
“Sexual Healing” — Marvin Gaye
The old reliable
Bonus track for the hopelessly devastated:
“Whiskey River (Take My Mind)” — Willie Nelson.