James McMurtry - "Remembrance" (audio) (premiere)

by Sarah Zupko

7 November 2016

Texas singer-songwriter James McMurty has written a song called "Remembrance" just in time for election day tomorrow.
Photo: Mary Keating Bruton 

Texas singer-songwriter James McMurty has written a song called “Remembrance” just in time for election day tomorrow. It’s a Dylanesque folk number looking back at previous elections. This tune isn’t currently planned for an album release, but McMurtry was moved to write an election-themed song, one that encompasses elections of the past around the world, including Spain’s first democratic government, the Reagan election in 1980, as well as Thatcher in the UK. McMurty asserts in the song that “those placing faith in intelligence / Must surely be out of their minds / Out of their minds,” which echoes contemporary analyses of the 2016 contest and Bill Maher’s frequent comments that the U.S. public isn’t well-educated enough to make smart decisions about candidates.
McMurtry says, “It’s election time, but I couldn’t get my head around modern politics. Perhaps history holds a lesson or two. Please forgive my bad Spanish. I haven’t been to Spain since I was 18 and I’ve spent most of my adult life in the border states so my Castellano may sound somewhat like a northern Sonoran with a speech impediment, but what the hell.

“Despite the junior high popularity contest nature of the media circus, this election is not about personalities. It is not about whether we like or dislike a candidate, whether we are ‘inspired’ by a candidate or not. This election is mostly about the Supreme Court. It is about how we will legally interpret our constitution for at least the next generation. People will live or die as a result of this election. Therefore, to cast a ‘protest vote’ for a third party candidate, or any candidate, is an immoral act at this time in history. We must vote for the future we want to see, corny as that may sound, it’s no bullshit.”

Thurs., Nov. 10 SOLANA BEACH, CA Belly Up Tavern
Fri., Nov. 11 WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA Troubadour
Sat., Nov. 12 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Great American Music Hall
Sun., Nov.13 SAN RAFAEL, CA Terrapin Crossroads
Mon., Nov. 14 ARCATA, CA Humboldt Brews
Tues., Nov. 15 EUGENE, OR Hi Fi Music Hall
Thurs., Nov. 17 PORTLAND, OR Aladdin Theater
Fri., Nov. 18 SEATTLE, WA The Triple Door (two shows)

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