From their second album, …From The “Hungry i”, the Kingston Trio sing “The Merry Minuet”. The Kingston Trio were a very popular folk band made up of Dave Guard and Bob Shane from Hawaii, and Nick Reynolds from San Diego. According to Guard, they were the “Hawaiian Calypso folk group who saved country music”. They were hugely popular in the late 1950s, early 1960s, and with their song “Tom Dooley”, which won the first Grammy ever awarded to Best Country and Western Song, began the second wave of the Folk Revival in America. “The Merry Minuet”, while exceptionally political, has the audience cracking up. They sing about current events happening in the time, and then how eventually, hopefully,
“That some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off,
And we will all be blown away!”
The song describes the political issues of its time in 1959, and, hilariously enough, the song could be describing the political issues of our time in 2015. Its lighthearted, comedic tone makes it all the more devastating. The Kingston Trio were singing at the beginning of the 60s Revolution, yet that revolution failed. The Government and Big Business won, and now the world is a madhouse run by the tight laced, judgmental, closed minded assholes of the world as we forget that, to use a quote from Gattaca, “Blood has no nationality”.
Why cannot Phil of the Future come true now? Why cannot we reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from 400 ppm to 350 ppm so the planet remains livable? Why cannot we realize that there are more things on the world than just humans? Why can’t we be friends? As the animals fall into extinction and we multiply by the millions into our mind-numbing cog jobs, the “whole world is [still] festering with unhappy souls.”
I like to dream about what life would be like if the 60s Revolution had been successful. Imagine a world where love, respect, and acceptance were our core values as a society. Instead we value security, family, and success. Instead, “I don’t like anybody very much”.
So here’s a song for Throwback Thursday. Sadly, it is a timeless tune.
Samantha Emily Evans