Story 2006-05-09 London, England
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09.05.06 London, England, intro to “John Henry”
“Alright, a true story of man versus machine…”

09.05.06 London, England, intro to “O Mary Don’t You Weep”
“Good evening (crowd cheers) good evening, everybody (crowd cheers) alright, Charles…”

09.05.06 London, England, intro to “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?”
“Alright…this was a song written, I think it was recorded a month after the…Great Depression hit in the United States by, written by a guy named Blind Alfred Reed (a guy in the audience cheers) and, uh…a Blind Alfred Reed-fan over there (laughs from the crowd) we got a real (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) but, uh…we were, I guess we…we were just out down in New Orleans, it’s hard to explain what New Orleans is like, you know, if you’re any…if you’re a musician, New Orleans of course is sacred ground and, uh, it’s just been so completely devastated and, uh, miles after miles of wrecked homes and wrecked lives and, uh, people spread out all across the United States, the city lost half of its population, uh, haven’t had anything like it in the States since the Dust Bowl so, uh, I wrote three verses to, to, hoping Mister, Mister Alfred Reed wouldn’t mind and, uh…and, uh…I dedicate this to our President Bystander who managed to screw up the only agency that was there to assist folks in times like that through just pure political cronyism and, uh, so this is called “How can a poor man stand such times and live?” (crowd cheers)…”

09.05.06 London, England, intro to “My Oklahoma Home”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) Sam Bardfeld, Soozie Tyrell on the fiddle (crowd cheers) alright, oh yeah (chuckles) alright, this was written in, uh, uh, by a gal named Agnes “Sis” Cunningham, she was a member of the Almanac Singers and founder-editor of Broadside Magazine, she was a Dust Bowl-refugee, uh, written about the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, it’s called “My Oklahoma Home” (crowd cheers)…”

09.05.06 London, England, intro to “Jacob’s Ladder”
“(crowd cheers) Let’s hear it for the horn section (crowd cheers) Eddie Manion, Clark Gayton, Curt Ramm, Art Baron (crowd cheers) well done, gentlemen…oh yes, yes…alright, this is a song called “Jacob’s Ladder” (crowd cheers) I always figured it’s, uh, Jacob, read up on him the other night and he was sort of somebody that was always doing it wrong in God’s eyes and, uh, God kept giving him things to do to work his way back into grace and he’d get step by step and he would screw up again and step by step by step by step till finally I guess he got there, he got there sort, sort of close but, uh, so this sort of like we are all climbing Jacob’s Ladder rung by rung by rung – you can ask my wife, alright (chuckles)(crowd cheers) but, uh, here we go (Bruce accidentally starts the song by himself on acoustic guitar)…this is not how this song begins! (laughs from the crowd) it doesn’t begin remotely like this! (laughs from the crowd) I was enjoying myself so tremendously, it, it doesn’t begin like that at all…but it actually begins like this…”

09.05.06 London, England, intro to “We Shall Overcome”
“(crowd cheers) Alright, Lisa Lowell, Curtis King (crowd cheers) Cindy Mizelle on those vocals (crowd cheers) Mr. Marc Anthony Thompson (crowd cheers) that’s right (crowd cheers) woo!…oh yes, oh yes…this is, uh, one of the most important, I guess, political protest songs of all-time, this is sung all over the world…wherever people fight for justice and equality and, uh…it was originally a Baptist hymn, I think it was brought into the Labor Movement in the ‘30s and was popularized, uh, by the Civil workers, Civil Rights’, Civil Rights’ workers in the 1950’s, this was, uh…sung as recently as last week in the States at immigration marches…here’s “We shall overcome” (crowd cheers)…”

Compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi

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