The Left and The Right

For America...

Odd isn't it, that Jackson Browne, politically to the left of me, expresses lyrically in this song what I thing is right?




  1. I have to start this by saying that Jackson Browne has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I haven't listened to him much lately and don't know if he has any good new stuff but his early work was pretty great. I was lucky enough to have parents who blasted albums like "Running On Empty" through the house when I was a kid, so I guess I just sort of absorbed his music from the air. Anyway, I've always liked his work.

    That said, it sure is funny to think of him saying something that seems in line with my (and your) thoughts politically. Browne has always been put up as a no-nukes leftist. I have no doubt that he is, which makes me wonder what's changed.

    I think it's the times. Dylan's said it all along but I guess I wasn't listening closely enough.

    Looking back at "For America" (and thinking back upon most of the album it came from) I'm struck with one thought: what's this guy's beef with the country? I never thought that at the time; it was just good music and I liked it. But really, I wouldn't think the late 80s in America would stand out as a time calling for protest any more than any other time has or does. But Jackson Browne thought it and sang about it. I'm glad he did.

    I've lately had a lot of things come into my memory that seem like they happened so that I'd think about them now. A little safe-deposit box of thoughts, maybe. I don't know. I do know that JB, lefty though he may be, made some music quite a while ago that seems to have found its proper place in time, finally, at least to me.

    I'm rambling, but it's a good ramble. Thanks for posting this JR!

  2. Your parents were pretty cool. My mother listened to classical music and opera and my father listened to Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Buck Owens and the like...which was definitely not cool at all to me at the time.

    Jackson Browne has been one of my favorite artists since he came out with "Saturate before Using" when I was in high school. I've always liked him but never quite understood what his beef was with America and I blew it off. I just enjoyed the music and ignored the politics. "The Pretender" was a meaningful album to me. He wasn't musically political until this album.

    The late 80s was weird and when he came out with the album with this song, I understood his point of view to a degree but felt he was wasting his effort railing against Reaganism, etc. Somehow I knew in the pit of my stomach it would take 20-30 years for us to come to our senses. What we got was our current crash. So now I appreciate his rant at the time more but still don't like his Hollywood style leftie activism much.

    I guess what I'm saying is I like his music, agree with some of his conclusions of what was wrong in this country but disagree with his answers to them and wish he's just stick to music.