Friday, April 04, 2008

Yarzeit for Dr. Martin L. King

In the Jewish religion, one is responsible for remembering the dead. This is accomplished by saying a prayer, Kadish, and lighting a candle, known as a Yarzeit candle. We say that Yarzeit is tonight for Martin Luther King, for example, as we remember the anniversary of his funeral. I do it with music here.

I remember 1968 starting off as a year with promise. I had graduated from college, and I had started working in New York City. It turned out to be quite different than anyone could have expected. We lost an enormous number of really good people that year, including Dr. King and Robert Kennedy. One of my ex-roommates from college died in Viet Nam when his outpost was destroyed in a rear area. He was a non-combatant, a typist. He didn't have a rifle. The Tet Offensive was very egalitarian. No event diminishes any of the other events, and today is Dr. King's Day.

I picked the first song, which is a group of children from the age of nine to fifteen who entertain in El Paso, Texas at college basketball games, because we should always remember that King was an American hero who was killed standing up for the rights of other Americans. We are all better off because he lived. We should all use his memory to make this a better place, and that probably should start with self-inspection, and correction. Leading by example is a good deal about non-violent protest. Another example is Gandhi.

So let us remember Dr. King for his achievements, in life and in death. And be thankful for his existence.

The Cactus Cuties - The National Anthem

Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky

Leonard Cohen - Halleluhah

Amazing Grace - Judy Collins and the choir

"Hallelujah" by Rufus Wainwright (Irish performance)

John Cale - Hallelujah


Odat said...

Wonderful choices!!!! Believe it or not Hallelujah is a favorite of mine...I actually did not know who wrote it but I heard it on a CD for the movie Schrek! lol. Those cuties are fantastic too! (I can't listen to Amazing Grace...too many memories).
I hope Judy is feeling better.
Thanks so much for the music!

The CEO said...

Odat, for you, almost anything.

AmyTree said...

All songs that make me proud, make me cry - well chosen.

cmhl said...

beautiful tribute, ceo...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love the idea of lighting a yahrzeit candle for Dr. King, who did more than any other American I can think of to change the lives of others.

A very nice post, Monty.

The CEO said...

Amytree, thank you, I'm glad you got a lot out of it.

CMHL, thank you for your kind thoughts.

Hearts, I think it will be many more years before we really understand the depth of the contribution that Dr. King actually made to us. We simply aren't that smart yet.

Lee said...

Have you heard Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley? It makes me cry it's so beautiful.

Glamourpuss said...

I'm very fond of the Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah - like, Lee, it makes me cry.

Lovely post.


Open Grove Claudia said...

What a lovely celebration of life! I think it takes a lot of work, and courage, to simply celebrate!

You're a gem.

singleton said...

Beautiful. Hallelujah! And amen. I have Hallelujah on my playlist, another version, and it will, simply put, have another meaning, another light from now on. Shining. Celebrating.....

Robin said...

loved the videos...Spirit in the Sky brought back a lot of good memories. Thanks!

The CEO said...

Lee, I haven't heard it, I'll have to find it. Thank you.

Puss, thank you too.

O.G. Claudia, thank you so much, it means a lot coming from you.

Singleton, you're terrific, you think like me. I love your blog.

Robin, thank you, it's always good seeing you.

NoRegrets said...

Wow three hallelujiahs in one place. I love love love Rufus' version, and I will listen to the other two.

Welcome to my blog. I knew you were old when you mentioned you had a kotex belt! That was even before MY time! :-) Oops, was I not supposed to mention that on your blog?