Obama Song is 44th track for “Of Great and Mortal Men”By davidhall
Apparently, indie songwriters are some of the nations brightest new historians.
Conceived by songwriters Christian Kiefer, Matthew Gerken and Jefferson Pitcher, “Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.s Presidents” is one of the most compelling indie projects in recent memory. Three discs of epic presidential history seems like a strange idea, but just wait ’til you hear it before you pass judgment! With more than 40 guest artists from all corners of the indie-rock world, it couldn’t get much sweeter, could it?
Yes, actually, it can.
Just in time for the inauguration, the project’s creators debuted a 44th song, “Someone to Wake,” about President Obama on NPR‘s All Songs Considered. The song was released several days after the supergroup performed at the Songs For Presidents benefit concert on Jan. 17 in Washington D.C.
In this case, however, it’s worth the splurge for the physical box set, all tracks included, because it comes with an impressive 100+ page book with each president depicted by a different American artist and a free download of the new Obama song. In an NPR interview, Kiefer used a metaphor that paints Obama as the United States’ caring parent:
“He says everything is all right in the same way that you might hold a child in your arms who has an ouwie,” Kiefer says. “And you stroke that child, and you say everything’s all right. That’s essentially what I think what Obama has done for us as a nation — taken this basically broken child and said, ‘Hey, come on, everything’s good. We’re tough, we can do this. Let’s move forward.’ “
Sounds like Kiefer’s taking this little history project pretty seriously. In fact, the project’s Web site has a section for teachers that proposes that the songs be used in curriculum about each president and even offers study questions!
Indie-rock in the classrooms?! I vote yes. Maybe these guys can use their songs to schmooze their way into Congress and make this a federal act.