"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas

Friday, June 2, 2017

Common Man

 


In 1985 Dave Alvin wrote the lyrics to a song called Common Man, sung by his brother Phil on The Blasters album Hard Line. It is another of those depressingly relevant songs that keep popping up these days now that a sizeable majority of US citizens has decided the way to Make America Great Again is with bigotry and lies. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr put it all the way back in 1849, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" or, for us monolingual Americans, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."


Here are The Blaster performing Common Man at Live Aid:




He wasn’t born in a cabin
He never fought in a war
But he learned to smile and quote Abe Lincoln
And get his foot in the door


He knows all your problems
He shares all your dreams
When he laughs his wife laughs too
As they ride in their limousine

So wave the flag and take a stand
Stand in line to shake his hand
He says he’s your friend
A friend of the common man
 

He’s got all the answers
The good days will be back soon
Just one more strike and a compromise
And a hungry child in each classroom

So wave the flag and take a stand
Stand in line to shake his hand
He says he’s your friend
A friend of the common man


Everybody works day to day to get by
Every morning searching for a reason to try
Ain’t he the friend?
The friend of the common man?
 

He wasn’t born in a cabin
He never fought in a war
But he learned to smile and quote Abe Lincoln

And get his foot in the door

With one hand on the bible
He swears he’s only here to serve
While everyone says “for better or worse,”
We get what we deserve