zaterdag 31 oktober 2020

The President Sang Amazing Grace

Kronos Quartet and Meklit

Met dank aan Smithsonian Folkways


A young man came to a house of prayer
They did not ask what brought him there
He was not friend, he was not kin
But they opened the door and let him in

And for an hour the stranger stayed
He sat with them and seemed to pray
But then the young man drew a gun
And killed nine people, old and young

In Charleston in the month of June
The mourners gathered in a room
The President came to speak some words
And the cameras rolled and the nation heard

But no words could say what must be said
For all the living and the dead
So on that day and in that place
The President sang Amazing Grace
The President sang Amazing Grace

We argued where to lay the blame
On one man's hate or our nation's shame
Some sickness of the mind or soul
And how the wounds might be made whole

But no words could say what must be said
For all the living and the dead
So on that day and in that place
The President sang Amazing Grace
My President sang Amazing Grace




Keen readers of the New York Times op-ed column this week may have noticed a shout-out to Ethiopian-born, San Francisco-based vocalist Meklit and the genre-defying Kronos Quartet for their powerful rendition of Zoe Mulford's modern classic, "The President Sang Amazing Grace."  Columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes: 

 "As I was reflecting last weekend, my friend Elena Park, an executive producer for Stanford Live, sent me a YouTube video — an incredible performance the other day by the singer Meklit and the Kronos Quartet of 'The President Sang Amazing Grace.' The song was written by Zoe Mulford about the 2015 murder of nine people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., by a white supremacist. It was debuted by Mulford in 2017, telling in song how a different president, Barack Obama, came down to that church for a memorial service and during his eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney sang 'Amazing Grace,' one of the most moving and healing moments of his presidency."


 









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