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Paul Simon – Peace Like a River, by Davin Michael Stedman

I am not going to lie to you. I have listened to ‘Peace Like A River’ seven times tonight. This song is so beautiful it’s cutting me.

“You can beat us with wires,
you can beat us with chains,
you can run out your rules,
but you know can’t outrun the history train”

This song is like smoking the perfect joint. Paul Simon has best little voice. He’s such an underrated guitar player.

Music can obliterate bigotry if you have just have ears connected to a human heart. How can you hate Jews listening to Paul Simon? How can you hate African Americans hearing Otis Redding? How can we hate any group of people?

Music is the Preservation of our individual and collective magnificence. It can turn the cumulative pain of generations into pure empathy. It can change your life, so it can change the world.

Listening this week to brief histories of various peoples of the world, I gained a deeper insight into the plight Jews of Northern Europe that were often poor and wandering as the Sephardic Jews had these incredible ups and downs.

Eventually the history said, the Ashkenazi like Paul Simon would be ascendant. America would be a huge part of that rise from the European ghettoes and gutters where Jews were often literally locked in at night.

There is a Simon & Garfunkel record cover for Sound of Silence I am looking at now that I have had tacked on my wall. The photo shows them wandering, maybe escaping at sunset or sunrise. The Wandering Jew. That’s the blues man.

I thought tonight as I walked under the Red Moon as smoke choked the land and sky, that as amazing as the alleged miracle of Jesus turning water into wine or feeding 4,000 with two fish may (or may not) have been, it was more matter of an ample credit line.

Hey that’s a miracle too.

But the act of turning the pain of being scorned for a couple thousands years into art. Feeding the masses for decades with such heart breaking beauty. That’s the sort of miracle I can understand. Paul Simon has fed millions.

– Musician and writer Davin Michael Stedman has many musical ventures and is one of the driving forces behind the Staxx Brothers. He is planning a tour of Nigeria for 2018.

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