ANTHEM, Book 3 of the Sixties Trilogy, publishes on October 1. Each of the book’s 47 chapters begins with a song from the Sixties to set the tone, mood, and scene. Every day between now and October 1, come have a listen and read a snippet from each chapter. On October 1, these posts will be archived with a link at ANTHEM’s webpage for #teachingAnthem1969
This is Chapter 47 (day 1):
Written by Paul Simon
Performed by Simon & Garfunkel
Recorded at Columbia Studios, NY, NY 1968
Drummer: Hal Blaine
And so they journeyed home together….
They drove through a summer when men would walk on the moon and kids would throng to a farm near Woodstock, New York, and Wavy would be there telling them, “What we have in mind is breakfast for 400,000!” and people of all colors and shapes and identities would march against injustice of all kinds in an effort to bring down the established old order and re-establish the ideals of liberty and justice, equality and opportunity, safety and kindness for all.
The future of America drove home.
Without giving away just who drove home, you know that they do go home, and the circle completes itself, although our characters are much changed… and, perhaps, so are readers, for that is the magical, mysterious quality of art. And of America.
ANTHEM is love letter to America, in all its shapes and forms, all its people, and all its incarnations, trouble and good times alike. At our best, we are one nation, indivisible, and that’s what I wanted to explore.
I wanted to take readers through the time that… well, as Gail Zappa puts it in ANTHEM’s last scrapbook: “In 1965, half the population of the western world was under 25. You have an evolution and a revolution in consciousness when you have a situation like that.”
But that was then, this is now, I hear you say. So to Gail Zappa’s statement, I added one from Little Richard that ends the book: “It’s not the size of the ship; it’s the size of the waves.”
So I leave you with Simon and Garfunkel’s “America.” Substitute friends for lovers, and you’ve got, “Let us be friends, we’ll marry our fortunes together.” Yes. That’s what I want for America. And that’s ANTHEM’s over-riding theme. We’ve all come to look for America.
Here are a few more stills from ANTHEM’s scrapbooks that highlight our struggles and our triumphs as a people… work that continues today, work that we are lucky to be engaged in, in a country where we can still make change. Where we can still demand the best for America.
And a last still that will lead us to the next book, KENT STATE, which publishes in April 2020:
Chapter 47. Of 47 chapters. Thank you for coming along. Publication day is tomorrow! xoxoxo Debbie