directed me to this video of "My Old Kentucky Home
," sung with the full original lyrics. You've probably never heard that before, because it isn't politically correct anymore and people tend to revise or ignore the old songs according to changing tastes. This performance is brilliantly done with a little explanatory narrative added in.
I feel that it's part of a bard's job to remember what was, not just what is. This is a good song for that, because it carries a great deal of love for a time and place that was home despite some pretty horrible bits. And that's the thing about home and family: you tend to love them, warts and all. I don't want people to forget that there were friends and kin on both sides of the color line, that a farm could be home to everyone who lived there even when some of them owned it and some of them were
owned, that the bitter and the sweet of it were all mixed up like a spoonful of sugar in a cup of coffee. Sometimes beautiful music comes out of the atrocity of human history. If we forget, if we whitewash, if we try to ignore away the mistakes that people made in the past -- then we don't learn from that. We're more prone to make the same mistakes again. So listen to the old songs the way they were meant to be heard, even if it makes you uncomfortable, and talk about the parts that have changed. It's good that things have changed. It's also good to remember why they needed to change.