Jubilee, n: any season of great joy and festivity; joyful shouting; exultant joy. In the book of Leviticus, every fiftieth year a Jubilee year, in which slaves and prisoners are freed, debts forgiven, proclaimed by the sound of a trumpet.

Oh glad day to celebrate
‘Neath the cloudless sky
Air so sweet water pure
Fields ripe with rye
Come one, come all
Gather round
Discard your Sunday shoes
Come on now, Oh my land
Be a jubilee
Come on girl, Come on boy
Be a jubilee

Oh my land, Oh my good
People don’t be shy
Weave the birth of harmony
With children’s happy cries
Hand in hand
We’re dancing around
In a freedom ring
Come on now, Oh my land
Be a jubilee
Come on girl, Come on boy
Be a jubilee

We will never fade away
Doves shall multiply
Yet I see hawks circling the sky
Scattering our glad day with debt and despair
What good hour will restore our troubled air?

Come on people, Gather round
You know what to do
Come on people, Oh my land
What be troubling, Oh my land
What be troubling, What be troubling
What be troubling you

We are love and the future We stand in the midst of fury and weariness
Who dreams of joy and radiance? Who dreams of war and sacrifice?
Our sacred realms are being squeezed Curtailing civil liberties
Recruit the dreams that sing to thee:
Let freedom ring
Freedom ring Freedom ring
Jubilee Oh my land
Oh glad day Oh my land
Hear our cry Freedom ring
Oh glad day, Oh my land
Jubilee Jubilee
– Patti Smith

When The Ship Comes In

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin.
And the ships wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watching.

Bob Dylan’s joyous “When The Ship Comes In” – sung by Marcus Carl Franklin from I’m Not There soundtrack.

The Times, They Are A-Changin

Sung by Mason Jennings from ‘I’m Not There’ soundtrack.

In praise of … Pete Seeger

Editorial in today’s Guardian:

Moments of historical symbolism do not rate higher than Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington today. Yet on Sunday, with Obama listening, Washington witnessed another small sign of the mood of change and hope that will swathe the US Capitol today. More than 50 years ago, the leftwing folk-singer Pete Seeger was – a bit like many African-Americans – a second-class citizen in his own land. Summoned to give evidence about his political leanings and contacts to the House Un-American Activities Committee, Seeger refused to testify. This led to an indictment for contempt, a prison sentence and a travel ban. In America’s cold war blacklisting and red-baiting years, Seeger was unable to perform in many halls, was excluded from college campuses and banned from the airwaves. All the while, though, he kept writing and singing, mostly for good causes and sometimes, naively, for less defensible ones. He sang with Woody Guthrie at the start, then with the Weavers, later in the 1960s folk revival with Bob Dylan and, more recently, with Bruce Springsteen. This week, the 89-year-old Seeger stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial singing Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land with Springsteen at the pre-inauguration concert. Seeger’s judgment on politics and music has not always been right, but he is a man of his times and he has been the troubadour of the American left for more than half a century. His return to the spotlight is another sign that things are changing for the better in America this week.

Pete Seeger & Bruce Springsteen – This Land is Your Land

Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert 18 January 2009

I see you Mary in the garden
In the garden of a thousand sighs
There’s holy pictures of our children
Dancing in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancing on the end of my line

Sky of blackness and sorrow ( a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness ( a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow ( a dream of life)
Your burnin wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

I spent most of my life as a musician measuring the distance between the American dream and American reality. For many… the distance between that dream and their reality has never been greater or more painful. I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and work. I believe he understands in his heart the cost of that distance in blood and suffering in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president he would work to bring that dream back to life. So I don’t know about you, but I want my country back, I want my dream back. Now is the time to stand together with Barack Obama and Joe Biden and the millions of Americans that are hungry for a new day, roll up our sleeves and come on up for the rising.
– Bruce Springsteen, 2 November 2008.

This is Barack Obama’s official Presidential portrait by the newly appointed official White House photographer Pete Souza; the first ever taken with a digital camera. Since the image is digital, the EXIF data can also be seen. According to the information, the portrait was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II on January 13, 2009 at 5:38pm. The lens used was 105mm stopped to F/10 at a 1/125 exposure, with an ISO setting of 100.

Hear Pete Souza’s story of following Barack Obama and view some of the pictures he captured:

Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run; Obama is running so our children can fly!

Read about the origins of this epigram in a text message from a 19-year old single mother from McKeesport, Pennsylvania – or maybe it was here.


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