Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Memoriam

Last Friday, unbeknownst to me, witnessed the passing of U. Utah Phillips. His official obituary is here, for those who are interested in learning more about this remarkable man. For me, the Golden Voice of the Great Southwest was the truest kind of musician; he made his living making music, but he worked awful hard at other things, and his music worked for those other things too. Check out his We Have Fed You All A Thousand Years if you want to get a good idea of who he was and what he did.

Those of you who grew up in Protestant churches (or sang in them for money, like some Jews I know) may be familiar with the Old Hundredth, the tune that goes with the Doxology prayer. According to Utah, most of what he said in all of his performances could be summed up in this version of the hymn (authorship unknown):

Praise Boss when morning work bells chime.
Praise Him for bits of overtime.
Praise Him whose wars we love to fight.
Praise Him, fat leech and parasite.


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