Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pittsburgh's G20 Soundtrack: Complete

It isn't over -- the bills will come due, the barricades must be dismantled, imported police are still driving back home with their trophy photos, some students must still sort through the aftermath of being arrested (for less commotion than Luke Ravenstahl creates at a Steelers game after consuming "some alcoholic beverages") -- but it is nonetheless time to complete the soundtrack.

The G20 summit was a major splash (Bill Flanagan, who apparently studies American History Since World War II exclusively, this morning called it "the first time this region mattered") but as it recedes Pittsburgh is still Pittsburgh -- a once-mighty region of great men and women reduced to a second-rate town of lessers who mistake running on fumes for progress.

Pittsburgh could be a jewel, but it is not. People with resources, talent and opportunity have left. Of the residue, those who succeed do so despite the dysfunction, the civic leadership vaccuum and the self-inflicted wounds of today's Pittsburgh. Written by Pittsburghers Joe Grushecky and Bruce Springsteen, the final song of Pittsburgh's G20 soundtrack celebrates a once-proud region's golden era, and its survivors: Homestead.

I was born in the corn fields of Kentucky
I moved north in '73
The war was still going strong so I found a job
Rolling steel in a foundry in Homestead

I worked beside a guy named Grzbowski
Who taught me how to keep safe
He said 'there's many a man
who lost the fingers from their hands'
You could wind up crippled or dead in Homestead

And the steel glowed in the white-hot chambers
The furnace spit fire and smoke
And the sunlight came through the cracks in the roof
The dust was so thick you could choke

I heard all the old stories
about the twelve-hour shifts in the mill
All the union brothers the Pinkertons tried hard to kill
Heard about Frick and Carnegie and the day the river ran red
How the union caved in, in Homestead

It was more than a job it was my family
I got married, settled down, bought a little home
And in the bars down the street, in the late summer heat
You never had to feel alone

I got work tearin' those old mills down
Until there's nothing left but the sweat and blood in the ground
At night we tuck our little babies in bed
We still pray to the red, white and blue in Homestead
I'm still livin' in Homestead
I'm in Homestead
Right here in Homestead
We're livin' in Homestead

A solo version from Joe Grushecky:

Every song on the soundtrack is a damn good song. Please listen. I'll leave 'em up for a while.
1. Homestead (Joe Grushecky/Bruce Springsteen)
2. Blowin' In The Wind (Bob Dylan)
3. One Trillion Dollars (Anti-Flag)
4. Highwire (Rolling Stones)
5. Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
6. What's So Funny 'Bout (Peace Love Understanding) (Elvis Costello)
7. For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
8. Code of Silence (Joe Grushecky/Bruce Springsteen)
9. Before The Deluge (Jackson Browne)
10. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan)
BONUS TRACKS (Oakland remix): Know Your Enemy (Green Day), Ohio (Crosby Stills Nash And Young), The Times They Are A-Changin' (Bob Dylan), My Generation (The Who)

NOTE: I do not know why comments are unavailable, or how to fix it.


Infinonymous said...

Testing . . . testing . . . 1 - 2 - 3

Anonymous said...

You are all over the G-20 law enforcement/local governance crime spree. Great job, please keep it up.

I'd say that the only chance Acklin has to beat Luke is to run with the G-20 cost overruns, mismanagement and law breaking.