SAN FRANCISCO BAY CITIES QUARTETS Report August 2015  -- Jordan Makower


Summer time finds many members on vacation, but we managed to have a few quartets serenade us for our usual lunch meetings (1st & 3rd Wednesdays) at Harry’s Hofrau, in San Jose. One topic that elicited surprising conversation was the new edition of Barber Polecat Songs (volume II). Several of the old familiar songs were there, but now given an updated treatment, requiring a greater degree of artistry. The separate CDs demonstrated this quite clearly. Several of the 12 songs, like Caroline, Hello Mary Lou, Darkness on the Delta, Lida Rose, remained virtually the same. A discussion ensued about how some words had been changed, so that groups of people would not now be offended. A few of our members, who considered themselves free of any such attack, lamented this change, seemingly wishing for the ‘old days’ in words or tune. This reminded me of a poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller, “First they came for … and I did not speak out. … Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.” There is more to treating people equally than ‘political correctness’; it represents true justice. This is a welcome change in the new lyrics.


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