Sabertooth Swing explored new avenues in their album Sabertooth Swing – Delta Bound. They set an unprecedented trend in storytelling in swing jazz music. The album is filled with swinging ragtime jazz songs that are similar to ragtime jazz songs from the 1910s, 1920s, and the 1930s. The album gets deep by discussing history on songs such as Free Day and We’re A Very Young Country. These songs have political and historical value in them.
We’re A Very Young Country explained how the United States is a young country compared to over countries on planet Earth that have been in existence for several decades and several millenniums. We’re A Very Young Country explained the dark history about the United States of America such as genocide against Native Americans. The song was written from an “American perspective”. This is one of those songs that political and historical value in them. The song was narrated by Catholic religious sister Sister Helen Prejean.
The United States is a young country a very young country and violence has worked for us in the past. It began with the settling of this continent and the genocide against Native Americans Then was continued when we brought slaves over from the continent of Africa. Now we tend to blame the poor and see them as a criminal element instead of placing blame on the actual problems that caused them in the first place. We use coercion and violence to control them.
It’s part of a cultural understanding that says the only way to subdue evil is with violence. But it’s not part of human nature. Look at all thе countries in the world that don’t have thе death penalty. To some extent violence is part of our nature, but compassion is too. Seeking justice for everybody is also part of human nature.
The death penalty is the most important civil-rights issue of our time and is a politically symbolic issue. Because it says that the way we’re going to solve problems is by violence. It says that some among us are such a danger to who we are and what we stand for that they must be eliminated. To arrive at this mind-set, human beings have to flip a moral switch inside that says, “The Other is not human like us.” And so we can do whatever we want to them. And of course, the execution must be removed from the public eye. The chamber is behind prison walls. And we don’t hear about what goes on inside it.
Sister Helen Prejean discusses and explains how the death penalty is the most important civil-rights issue of our time and how the death penalty is a politically symbolic issue. This is discussed in Verses 2 and 3. For those who didn’t not know, Sister Helen Prejean is an opponent of the death penalty and is a leading advocate for the abolition of the death penalty.
It’s part of a cultural understanding
That says the only way to subdue evil is with violence
But it’s not part of human nature
Look at all thе countries in the world that don’t have thе death penalty
To some extent violence is part of our nature, but compassion is too
Seeking justice for everybody is also part of human nature
The death penalty is the most important civil-rights issue of our time
It’s a politically symbolic issue
Because it says that the way we’re going to solve problems is by violence
It says that some among us are such a danger to who we are and what we stand for
That they must be eliminated
To arrive at this mind-set, human beings have to flip a moral switch inside that says
“The Other is not human like us”
And so we can do whatever we want to them
And of course, the execution must be removed from the public eye
The chamber is behind prison walls
And we don’t hear about what goes on inside it
The song Free Day was about Code Noir which gave enslaved Africans the day off on Sundays. In Louisiana’s French and Spanish colonial era of the 18th century, enslaved Africans were commonly allowed Sundays off from their work. The song explained how slaves would hear the calls of the drums. The song, in a way, explained slavery in the United States. This is one of those songs that political and historical value in them.
Back in those days, Sundays was free for the slaves. They’d be sleeping and they’d never know the time. But there was a clock for them in the dawn when it would come. And the dawn that woke them natural like. All they felt all that struggle to wake them up was knowing there was work all day until night. Sometimes if they dreamed, things would come to them out of Africa. Things they had heard about or had seen.
And in all that recollecting. Somehow there wasn’t any of it that didn’t have part of a music form in it. Maybe they’d hear someone from some tribe signaling to another. Beating the drums for a feast maybe. They’d sleep and it would come to them out of the bottom of their dream. They’d hear the drums of it. All sizes and all kinds of drums. They’d hear the chants and the dance calls. And always they’d hear that voice from the other tribe calling. Talking across the air from somewhere else.
That was how the Negro communicated when he was back in Africa. He had no house, no telegram, or newspaper.
But he had a drum and he had a rhythm he could speak into the drum. And he could send it out through all the air to the rest of his people. And he could bring them to him. And when he got to the South, when he was a slave. Just before he was waking, before the sun rode out into the sky. When there was just that morning silence over the fields with maybe a few birds in it. Then, at that time, he was back there again, in Africa. Part of him was always there. Standing still with his head turned to hear it. Listening to someone from a distance. Hearing something that was kind of a promise, even then.
And when he awoke and remembered where he was. That chant and that memory got mixed up in a kind of melody that had a crying inside itself. The part of him that was the tribe and the drums. That part moved on and became a spiritual. And the part of him that was where he was now, in the South, a slave. That part was the melody. The part of him that was different from his ancestors. That melody was what he had to live. Every day, working, waiting for rest and joy. Trying to understand that the distance he had to reach was not his own people but white people. Day after day, like there was no end to it.
But Sunday mornings it was different. He’d wake up and start to be a slave. And then maybe someone would tell him, “Today’s Sunday, man.” It ain’t Monday and it ain’t Tuesday. Today’s free day.
And then he’d hear drums from the square. First one drum. Then another one answering it. Then a lot of drums. Then a voice. And then a refrain. A lot of voices joining and coming into each other. And all of it having to be heard. The music being born right inside itself. Not knowing how it was getting to be music. One thing being responsible for another.
Improvisation. That’s what it was. It was primitive and it was crude. But down at the bottom of it. Inside it, where it starts and gets into itself. Down there it had the same thing there is at the bottom of ragtime. It was already born and making in the music they played at Congo Square.
Joie De Vivre is a French song performed in the French language about the Joy of Living. Joie De Vivre is “Joy of Living” in French. The song was performed by Zachary Richard. The song discussed how Zachary’s grandparents were from the last monolingual generation and had to learn English because they had never heard a word of English and then they had to speak English. Zachary talked about his experience of learning French.
Zachary’s grandparents were from the last monolingual generation. His grandparents didn’t speak English and there was a kind of understanding. So his parents went to school. They had never heard a word of English and then they had to speak English, period. Which means that his parents’ generation when they started raising their children stopped talking to them in their mother tongue and started talking to the kids in English. So, at home, they spoke English with his parents. But as soon as there was an old man who was a monolingual francophone, they spoke French, out of respect. And Zachary was always fascinated by these people because it seemed to him that they had so much more fun
The generation of my grandparents was really for him a kind of mythical generation. There was a joie de vivre that was truly incredible. His commitment to the Francophone is due to the search for this feeling of happiness that he found in the living room because everyone was laughing. Everyone was having fun. There was his grandmother who put her handkerchief on the floor then danced on the four corners. Only in the country that could do it. So there was this kind of exuberance and a way to get through. The life that was totally other than this very serious notion of American success and then. Working and then all that was really the legacy.
I rate this album 5/5*****!!