Posted by: Dahni | July 31, 2018

Taking Stock of the Real Woodstock

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By Dahni
© 2018, all rights reserved

Born when cars took fathers away and mothers no more sang happily in the kitchen. Must keep up with the Jones’ and “NEW” and “Improved”!

Off to school to find a way to find your soul and self-express through art. But you did not fit the mold of conformity “they”wanted you to be. Strapped for cash you found some extra, singing and playing OK, and mostly familiar, someone else’s folk songs. Late nights and late assignments, “they” wanted to out you, though your completed work was turned in, eventually. How can you finish what has not yet been, what is not, before it is?!

Conflicts raged against you, you, just a young-woman-child, who prepared you to understand? You became a rebel without a cause. Turning to some distraction, anything or anyone, for a moment’s peace and pleasure. And you lost your title, as the oldest virgin in art school. And a child grew in your womb. To please “they” in doing the “right thing”, you married a man whose own mother said, “He is a selfish man!” And you lost whoever you were or could become.

Ending what should have never been and he would not work it out, on it and with you, you left him, but not the fruit of your womb! Until birth.

You gave up your child because, you had no money, no job, no home in the blistering winter, no prospects, no help and “their’s”, was money to be made off of you, torturing you daily, with insults that you were cruel, forcing you, to just let go.

And you became a poet, born out of perversity, travesty, innocence shattered, confusion and destitution. But it all had to be real and from your heart or no other heart would accept it or could relate.

You were among the top billing, but “they”, could not get you into 500,000 and “they” could not get you out, for another appearance the following Monday, someplace else. You couldn’t go; you didn’t go.

Who could write and play and sing a song about that which they had no experience? A song you wrote, for your friends and yourself and that your friends greatly wanted! Why did not, would not; didn’t they “get it” as you sang it for them? Why did they change it? And one of them you were dating and wrote for you, ‘Our House’, was OK with changing your song? A song that defined not only the experience of the largest outdoor concert in the history of Rock N Roll. A song that was the mass reflection of the experience. A song that would become an anthem of the experience, the culture, and the times.

“They” kept your powerful lyrics, word for word and changed the beat and arrangement and made it a celebration. To you, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

To you, the half a million people were children of absent fathers, away in fast cars and mothers that stopped singing in their kitchens.

To you, the 1/2 million were a voting block, for the political and war machines and new consumers, far beyond their parent’s Jones’- the hippie, yippie, yuppy, generation X, millennial and on, and on!

How could you have written, performed and sung such a song when you weren’t even there? How could you have known 49 years ago that so many of these “boomers” would become the corrupt government and culture and times of WE the People of today? How could she have known what started in our country, would affect the entire world? How did WE, how do WE, miss the very last line, surrounded by a parentheses (), at the end of your song?

How did your song with all its lyrics (parentheses included), become an anthem of celebration? How could this be, when you wrote it, played it and performed it, and sung it like a dirge, grieving from how far WE have fallen, from original paradise? Why can WE not take up your last line, your encouragement, your inspiration, the parentheses, and try to get back to some semblance of, “the garden?

Woodstock

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me

I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning

Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who l am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration

And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

(To some semblance of a garden.)

By Joni Mitchel
©️ 49 years ago

 

Just I-Magine


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