Posts Tagged ‘social change’

This Tuesday I wanted to feature a song by a good friend of mine. “Denham Street” was written by Bob Enderle. Bob Enderle died too many years ago. He wrote a number of songs that I really like. I am not a fan of most popular music. I don’t need to hear one more song about boy loves and loses girl, or how the singer wants to party and have sex all night.

Denham Street and many other songs he wrote are about social injustices we so easily overlook and ignore. This song points out how unfair, uncaring and mean our social policies are. He makes the song sound sweet while the dark lyrics dig into our consciousness.

I did a simple recording of this song. I started with some drum tracks and I played my 12 string Ovation guitar for the main instrument track. I added strings to reinforce the guitar. Once I sang the melody I thought it would be a good song for harmony. I added the harmony vocals and listened to the rough mix a few times.

After a few times through the song I turned off the drum track and liked it better without them. I worked on it for days. I wanted to ‘do the song justice’ and make it fit the image I have from Bob’s version. Sweet tragedy.

Here are the lyrics and my version of Denham Street. I hope you enjoy.


            “Denham Street”                                                     Bob Enderle
 
Car alarms squeal on Denham Street     
Like coyotes howling at the moon.
Tattered grey men look for some place to eat
Teen age mothers search for her womb.
Street lights shattered near the playground;
Darkness hides an old routine.
Cracks in the family, crack in the hall.
 
There’s an overpass over Dehnam Street
Supporting Highway 95.
There are no exits for Denham Street
But it’s only a twenty minute drive.
To the shops with plywood windows
Through the alleys of despair
Just another wrong turn and you’re almost there.
 
To every city there is a Denham Street
And to everyone who grows up there
There are few exits from Denham Street
Fewer thoughts behind an empty stare.
Social programs lack the funding
Social consciousness has died.    
Solutions on the shelf have never been tried.     

Sure enough, as the years passed the allergies and reactions changed. Some triggers no longer caused days of panicked suffocation brought on by these asthma attacks. A number of the allergens would start to cause breathing problems but I learned if I could remove myself from the environment or place myself in a calming mental state and focus on breathing properly I could stop the attacks from getting worse.

Eventually I reached a point where the severe attacks were rare. I could manage to do most of the things I needed to do and new friends had no idea that I suffered from bronchial asthma. As these things shifted I started to have sneezing fits in the place of attacks. I would walk into a room or go outside and breathe in the cold/hot air and start sneezing out of control. It was not unusual to sneeze 30 – 40 times in a row. Sneezing five times in rapid succession is exhausting. By the time I hit 30 I was helpless. My body temperature would raise dramatically and I would break out in a heavy sweat. Now, even those symptoms are gone.

Nowadays there is politics in everything. There was back when I was born, too. Politicians decided to make possession and use of marijuana a crime similar to use of narcotics and psychotropic based drugs. This allowed US law enforcement agencies to arrest and imprison ‘specific groups of radicals and dissidents’ who were known to use marijuana. In my pursuit of life, liberty and health, I was made a criminal by my own government for using something in my own home that I could grow in my back yard! Marijuana has been used throughout human history and there is no evidence based reason for a Schedule 1 classified drug. This year the WHO (World Health Organization) suggested rescheduling use of marijuana to delete its schedule 1 classification. https://www.icci.science/data/files/ECDDcannabisoutcome.pdf

My state of Ohio passed a medical marijuana law a couple years ago. You are required to be approved for a number of medical conditions by select certified doctors in the state. Once approved you will be issued a medical marijuana card that can be used in Ohio. I applied for the card and easily qualified for intractable pain. Late last year the first dispensary opened in Ohio. There are no dispensaries anywhere near me and the program is way behind schedule.

As a young adult I thought marijuana would be legalized very soon. I kept thinking this as I saw friends, family, classmates, teachers and every class of people destroyed by alcohol, sleeping pills, tobacco, sugar, salt and a million other things that seemed far more dangerous and showed little or no benefits. Years went on and no change in political attitudes, though there was a clear change in social views. I would just like to be able to use marijuana as a medication and no longer be a criminal by the time I die.

Then I would like to see the thousands of people with criminal records for non-violent use be freed and their records expunged. If it is not asking too much, I would like my country’s politicians to be governed by facts, science and compromise for the common good. I may not live to see that one.

The End of the Road