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9/11, My Show, and the Caller Who Didn't Like the Music or the Actualities……

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It just so happened that 9/11 fell last year on a Sunday, last Sunday, and this was the 10th anniversary to mark the terrorist attacks on America.

Because of this I put a lot of thought into what to play on my show.  I wanted to have gravitas but also a heart full feeling of optimism.  As such I chose songs by Mary Black, Dead Can Dance, Arvo Pärt, Bobby McFerrin, Mahalia Jackson, Willie Nelson, Gurdjieff, Mercedes Sosa and others.   I included as well a beautiful and moving Norwegian religious folk song called Engleskyts that I featured after the Norwegian attack a few weeks ago.

You can see the playlist here:

http://newmedia.kcrw.com/tracklists/index.php?search_type=0&date_from=09%2F11%2F2011&host=Tom+Schnabel&date_to=&artist=&channel=Simulcast&label=

I played a song by Alan Jackson called “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” early on in the show, around 12:13 p.m.  I don’t feature much Country music–I’m just not into it.  But Jackson is a fine songwriter and this song told a timely story.

We got a call a few minutes later from a disgruntled listener who said, “just move on, get over it”.  We were all surprised.  Get over what?  America’s new vulnerability, three thousand people murdered, the horrifying images of people jumping from buildings, friends lost?  You don’t get over things like that.  It isn’t like a co-dependent relationship or a bad breakup that one deals with in therapy.  Whoever this guy on the phone, it reminded me of Alfred E. Newman in Mad Magazine:  “What Me Worry?”  And made me conclude that yes, there are emotional fugitives out there who listen to KCRW as well.

Maybe this particular listener, who probably tuned out of KCRW last Sunday, should read this anonymous poem that has always moved me:  it is a sort of literary analog of the music I played on Sunday, September 11th.

I give you this one thought to keep,
I am with you still, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint upon the snow.
I am as sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
when you awaken in morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone,
I am with you still in each new dawn. I give you this one thought to keep,
I am with you still, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint upon the snow.
I am as sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
when you awaken in morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone,
I am with you still in each new dawn.