Suggesting Some Remakes

October 6, 2008

Brian Williams has been reporting again on the economic crisis.  He said that some forecasters say unemployment may rise from 6% to 8%.  Ha.  I was there in the 1980s.  I remember when unemployment was 10% or more.

Be that as it may, it seems that there is an undercurrent of fear:  Some are wondering if we’re in for another Great Depression.  I think these people don’t really remember what the Great Depression actually was like: 25% unemployment.  Lost bank accounts, before these days of FDIC insurance.  Bread lines.  Okies.  This is not going to happen again.  What we’re facing is almost certainly no worse than what Reagan presided over a generation ago.

Looking back to that time, I keep thinking it’s time to for a few remakes to provide the soundtrack of the day.  How about Ghost Town by the Specials or Allentown by Billy Joel?  One of the definitive lyrics goes way, way back to 1854.  Stephen Foster gave us Hard Times Come Again No More, recorded so many times by so many artists.

Let us pause in life’s pleasures
And count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger
Forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times
Come again no more.

Chorus:
Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times,
Come again no more
Many days you have lingered
Around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

I especially like the a capella version Jennifer Warnes did on 1979’s Shot Through The Heart.

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2 Responses to “Suggesting Some Remakes”

  1. Ray Says:

    Indeed, indeed. Even though FDR’s policies are believed to have exacerbated the recession of 1929, thereby creating the Great Depression, his statement about having nothing to fear but fear itself is apt to our times. It seems there are too many people with too few birthday candles on their cakes going about in a funk.

  2. robertangelo Says:

    The conventional wisdom is that Hoover’s policies exacerbated the 1929 downturn, creating the Depression prior to FDR taking office in 1933. Be that as it may…


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