Tuesday, October 02, 2007



You might be sick of hearing me urging John Mellencamp to run for governor of Indiana. But the schlemiel in there now just gets worse and worse... and John keeps getting better and better. John has been in the studio working on a new album, still untitled, with T Bone Burnett and it's due out soon... maybe in January (once he makes a new record deal with some company).

Lately he's been busy performing for wounded Iraq war vets-- like all Democrats and progressives he hates them-- and last month he performed his all-American classic, "Small Town," at the opening game of the NFL Season (between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints), 3 nights before the annual Farm Aid benefit he does with Willie Nelson. Many of his most inspired songs are patriotic in the finest sense of the word, celebrating the inclusiveness and unity that brings people together, like his Woody Guthrie-like "This Is Our Country".

In August he recorded the song "Jena," as soon as he heard what was going on in that small town. He wanted to get it out even before the album was released. Here it is (click to watch the video):
"Jena," a powerful and healing song of redemption.

An all white jury hides the executioner’s face
Is this how we are, me and you?
Everyone needs to know their place
And here we thought this blackbird was hidden in the flue
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down
So what becomes of boys that cannot think straight
Particularly those with paper bag skin
Yes sir no sir wipe that smile off your face
We’ve got our rules here and you’ve got to fit in
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down
Hey some way sanity will prevail
But no one knows when that day will come
A shot in the dark, well it might find its way
To the hearts of those who hold the keys to kingdom come
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

It'll be up on YouTube soon.

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At 11:50 AM, Blogger Hackwhackers said...

John Mellencamp's a classy, talented, articulate, informed man. The easy thing would be for him to send checks to support of progressive causes, but he rolls up his sleeves, shows up, and makes things better. Thanks Howie.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger zombie rotten mcdonald said...

That's a great song.

Eat it, Bishop.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger free2be2cool said...

I'm grateful to John Mellencamp for being "priviledged" yet taking the time to identify injustice and help needy people. His talent is to touch our hearts with music and make us think as well as feel. The music industry is back on the love/hate continuum, but this will put IDEAS back on the radio. THANK YOU!

At 12:08 PM, Blogger steven edward streight said...

I applaud John Mellencamp. What do you mean "like all Democrats, he hates [all wounded Iraq war veterans]?"

At 10:40 AM, Blogger TJColatrella said...

Way to go John, well done it's like that tune on the new Ry Cooder CD I love so much, the title is Three Chords and the Truth, Three Chords and the Truth..

That's what scares the hell outta these bastards more than anything..

Three Chords and THE TRUTH..

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought America represented freedom of speech and all that. Why are you so upset because the Republicans used your songs. Afraid to be tied to that side? I think it is a matter of freedom to play any kind of music any side wants to play. Shame on you John!!!

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This song is amazing.
I love male compassion
and glad he wrote this.
-Impressed Girl

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