25 November, 2009


Every day I wake up around the time that the local rock station, which wakes me up, plays what is called a "deep cut", by request. It's basically a classic song that doesn't get much radio play - either because it was never popular as a single, or because its popularity has waned over the years. Needless to say, the deep cuts are far more interesting than the other 99% of the material the corporate radio stations (this one the same as all the others) play.

Some days I'm awake enough to consciously register what song is played, other days I'm not. Today I was, and the song played was Steppenwolf's epic three-part Monster/Suicide/America. It's a great song, one that I've put on a Collection in the past, though I don't hear it often. It also runs on for a good nine minutes or so - it doesn't feel overlong, but that's surely a good enough reason not to give it regular radio play.

So I listened closely (more than usual anyway) to the lyrics as the song played today, and I couldn't help remarking at how poignant they are. And you hear this about old media from time to time, but it's really true that the song is every bit as relevant today as it was back when it was written, right around the turn of the seventies. I think it just might be one of the best political songs I know of. It certainly paints a fantastic portrait of America. I remember Quinn in the Morning used to use the chorus from the third part of the song to open his radio show every day, years ago, but the song has much more value than just that novelty, I assure you.

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