Saturday, February 25, 2012

Add Your Voice to Protest Songs at the McLean County Museum of History

Do you play the guitar, banjo, mandolin or harmonica? (Harmonica is not specifically included, but seems likely to fit. How can you do protest songs without Bob Dylan, and how can you do Bob Dylan without a harmonica in the room? I'd even allow a fiddle if it were me.)

The McLean County Museum of History is holding a Protest Songs Hootenanny from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, February 29, in the Governor Fifer Courtroom on the third floor of the Museum. They're inviting anybody who wants to better understand American history as told through protest songs to join Illinois State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Mark Wyman and friends in the courtroom on Wednesday. You can celebrate protests past or practice for protests future just by adding your voice (or your guitar, banjo, mandolin or harmonica -- maybe even fiddle) to this rousing, always timely art form.

No mention so far of what Mark Wyman and friends plan to sing, but if they're taking requests, I'd ask for "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again," 'Bread and Roses," "Ohio," and Josh White's "Trouble." I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear the classic folk and protest songs like "If I Had a Hammer," "The Times They Are A-Changin'," "A Change Is Gonna Come," "Blowing in the Wind," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"And just to thumb our collective nose at CBS, maybe "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy." But maybe that just reflects my age. There's a lot more to protest songs than just the 60s!

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