Home of the Brave

I could not wait for a decent production to share this song.  Maybe it’s because I feel the winds of change blowing all around us. I hope so. One day I will re-record it with more attention to detail.

This song is dedicated to Veterans who are still suffering and struggling to get help. And it’s also for our elderly and disabled folks who, in like manner, have to fight a bureaucracy to get the help they need.

There are so many basic human needs unmet by our current “system” and I agree that the FIRST to tackle are those programs that do actual harm to our communities, like policing can.

But there are other programs for which money alone may not resolve their inabilities.  Healthcare – and I mean caring for people’s health, NOT feeding money to Insurance bureaucracies – is among the most problematic as I see it.

As we re-arrange our funding priorities, can we address this issue too?

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Folk, General Conversation, Guitars, Music, Music Performance, Music Recording, songwriter, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bad Apples

Recent news compelled me to write this song.

I don’t know about you, but to me, it sure seems odd that there would be so many “Bad Apples”.  But there they are, in a disgusting parade across my TV screen.

Are they really “Bad” or just “Drawn that way” like Jessica Rabbit? And by “Drawn”, I mean “Trained”.

Let’s not kid ourselves. There ARE Bad Apples. And when there are so many bad apples, it’s likely time to suspect there’s something wrong with the tree.

Let’s face facts, our Police have an awesome responsibility on their shoulders and we the public have been screaming at them to better handle a plethora of circumstances that seem more complex each day.

I pity the police who are trained in ways that do not meet the situations they are sent to resolve. We want them to “protect and serve”, but the system has created a militaristic force trained to “dominate and punish”.  I support building parallel forces to augment and in some situations, replace police officers in jobs our police are not trained to handle – like psychiatric counselling for instance. How can we expect them to handle the mentally distressed when people with PhDs still scratch their heads over some of these troubled souls?

Clouding all of this is the hyperbolic language of protest. For Example: “Defund the Police”.  A little investigation and listening will reveal that the phrase doesn’t really mean “no policing allowed at all”. Instead, it means “Let’s re-examine the roles we have asked police to perform and devise a better structure, with new added talents, that can transform “Law Enforcement” into “Crime Avoidance”.

A real plan won’t fit on a poster, only a divisive little snippet will, and that’s a tactic intended to gain attention. It certainly does that, but now it becomes our society’s  challenge to explore what is attached to the hyperbole and create a workable path forward. That’s tough when you’re pissed off, but someone has to remain the adult. Let’s try to assume that mantle and work this out for the good of children everywhere.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Killing Time or Killed BY Time?

Here we are with over 2 months of sequestration behind us and the Governor about to open the doors. Are you preparing to rush right out??  Not me. There are far too many unknowns right now to convince me that it’s safe to go out, in fact, with so many people choosing their “rights” over their responsibilities, I think it has become more dangerous to venture through public spaces.  I can wear a mask to protect others from MY cough or sneeze, but about half of the folks I see don’t seem to care one bit about protecting ME.  And I don’t have an M-95 and goggles. I’m a sitting duck. Or at least a feebly walking one.

I’ve been using a cane for the past two weeks because of knee pain and swelling developed after several weeks of 10-hour days at my desk (Ultrasound showed “no clots”). I am GRATEFUL to the Lord above that I have a job that allows me to earn a paycheck from home. But the enormous workload has literally crippled me.  I haven’t even had time to work on several new song ideas and that’s been really annoying. Particularly when my friends are posting such wonderful live performances by streaming and recordings.  (You really should check out Eric Ramsey and see his “COVIDEO” series).

So, a week or so ago, I decided to make some time and try recording myself live.  The result (shown below) tells me this needs work – finding the right mic placement is paramount, but I also need to address lighting.  The wind through the trees created moving shadows in the room.

Well That’s a start I guess. Maybe I’ll have some time during this Memorial Day weekend to hone my live recording skills.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Folk, General Conversation, Guitars, Music, Music Performance, Music Recording, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Philosophical Perspective

OK, we’re all “hunkered down” waiting for the plague to pass over (that sounds familiar).

I’ve been thinking, and have posted on Facebook, about the things I see as revelations from this COVID-19 crisis. Some things the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated:

1. Humankind is a global society. – We are more closely linked than we ever imagined.
2. Humans are inter-dependent. – We depend upon each other.
3. Hiding the truth can kill people. – Open truthfulness allows collaborative work on a problem.
4. We are gullible and panic easily.- Evidenced by the empty store shelves!

But that’s about or CURRENT situation. What if this latest crisis is really just a part of a much bigger PROCESS?

The 20th Century was 100 years of warfare, from the relatively small Spanish-American War and the ensuing years of Philippine warfare, to World War 1, World War-2, Korean War, Vietnam War – all connected by a constant parade of warfare actions that cost countless human lives. And those actions have continued into the 21st century with the Gulf War and all the conflicts before and since.

In each war, there were “sides” – sometimes 2, sometimes 3, lately MANY. We’ve gone into these conflicts somewhat prepared, and somewhat confused. But the outcomes, win or lose, have so far not served to unite everyone, but rather, just a few. And those “left out” have periodically become the next foe in war.

So what was the point? Was it all just economics? What a price we paid! I contend that war has sometimes been inevitable, BUT it was NEVER truly necessary. It became inevitable because we had insufficient patience to exercise other options for conflict resolution. War was just a short-cut to getting what we wanted.

Now comes a virus – an invisible enemy – attacking everywhere on the planet – but this cannot be repelled by war.

My friends, this is a struggle that demands not “warfare” and conflict between opponents, but COOPERATION and COLLABORATION between ALL OF US to fix a global problem. Just as we developed the skills war in our past struggle, we now need to develop the skills for cooperation and collaboration that can protect and preserve us into the future. Perhaps through this skill-building exercise we can remedy the ills that have truly plagued humankind for so long.

I hope that from this struggle we will discover how to operate as a global society – relying on scientific and technological cooperation to resolve problems everywhere.

I hope the recognition of our inter-dependence will also enlighten our views about “globalization” so that we see that globalization must not be relegated only to the lowest bidder (willing to suffer for crumbs) but in a manner that preserves the reliability of production and distribution for the good of all humankind (eliminating single points of failure).

And for heaven’s sake, for our OWN sakes, let us not be afraid of the truth – particularly, let us NEVER choose our own image or momentary popularity over the dissemination of facts that people need to make sound decisions that contribute to the good of all.
And last, but not least, let us learn to trust each other by first correcting our own vision to see and accept the truth, and learning to love our neighbor MORE than ourselves with sacrificial actions.

Yes, it’s a tall order. But think about this – the Lord’s Prayer includes these words:
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Stay safe and sound!

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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A Love That’s Meant to Be

To my dear Bride,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here is this year’s Valentine’s Day song for you, “A Love That Meant to Be”.

Each year now since 2012 I’ve made a song video for Valentine’s Day.  I have joked that after “a few more years”, I’d have enough of these for an album.  Well, if I consider that one year I actually wrote TWO songs, I think that day is upon us!

This year, I have a very personal message for you.  You’ll understand parts of it like no one else will. And when you hear the part about the future, imagine you are singing that part to me. I just considered that as I was finishing the song and it did my heart good.

Remember, Friends First, and Forever.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Folk, General Conversation, Music Performance, Music Recording, songwriter, Video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment