Friday, October 21, 2016

Thoughts from Arlo Guthrie

Sharing Youtube videos on the Internet is usually a lost cause, especially if, like me, you mostly listen to folk songs.  Often nobody has heard of the song or the singer in the video, and many folk singers don't worry about how well they sing or how they sound:  I'm thinking of Bob Dylan and John Prine and Kristofferson and so many others.  John Prine's voice, which was never great, was "ruined" by throat cancer, but he still sings.  

So when people see a video of an artist who isn't on their list of favorite musicians, they cruise right along on the Internet highway.  Occasionally a brave soul might listen long enough to decide they don't like the sound, and then they move along.  I know, because I do this all the time.

This morning a Facebook friend shared an Arlo Guthrie YouTube video of Amazing Grace.  I checked to see how long it would last, because Arlo can get a little long-winded.  Thirteen minutes?  Did I really want to spend that much time listening to Arlo's rendition of a song I've heard since I was in the womb?

Turns out for me, it was worth it indeed.  Almost halfway through, he tells an amusing, spot-on story about some rabbits that ends with the statement, "I've just been home, breedin'."  That was good for a laugh and gave me something to think about.

But after that story, after Arlo had already made me laugh and almost cry, I took the time to write down some of the words he said after the rabbit story and realized I was listening to one of the best sermons I've heard in years.

"If the world was perfect... if everybody had money, nobody was homeless, nobody got sick, everything was wonderful, everybody was smart and happy all the time... you'd have to go a long way out of your way to make a difference in this world.  You'd have to do a lot to improve the way it was.  But in a world that sucks like this one, you don't have to do very much at all!  There was never a time in the history of the world where you could do so little and get so much done!  You could do more with a smile, just hold somebody, say hello to somebody, or just feel good all by yourself when you don't FEEL like feeling good!"

So I'm sharing this Arlo Guthrie video knowing full well most of you will move right along, and that's OK.  I do the same when some of my friends share songs by artists that aren't my style, or that I've never heard of.  I'm sharing it so I have a way to come back and listen to it again sometimes and perhaps realize that there ARE some things an introvert like me can do to make a better world, yes, even while I'm marching to the beat of my own drummer.



  1. You know I'm very into quotes, and I LOVE his words. (not sure I would like his music, although I do enjoy some folk music)

  2. Donna, some of your entries make this schizophrenic's life a little better. My socialization is WAY down, but I like to check in here.

    Guthrie's "sermon" is essentially true. But, it takes very little to make a person(certain people especially) feel like crap too, & there is absolutely no shortage of that happening.


I love comments!