evalyn parry

Mix: The Power and the Glory

Here is a land full of power and glory, beauty that words cannot recall- oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom, her glory shall rest on us all.

Yet she’s only as rich as the poorest of her poor, only as free as the padlocked prison door, only as strong as our love for this land, only as tall as we stand.

A July Fourth Mix for America, in all its beauty and all its ugliness.

Some of these songs contain potentially triggering content; the asterisks denote trigger warnings, which I’ve listed at the end of the post.

  1. Power & the Glory (Phil Ochs)
  2. Ballad of the Sit-Ins (Sweet Honey in the Rock)
  3. America (Simon & Garfunkel)
  4. What You Own (Rent Film Cast)
  5. With God On Our Side (Neville Brothers)
  6. City of New Orleans (Arlo Guthrie)
  7. Prison Trilogy* (Joan Baez)
  8. Young Man In America (Anais Mitchell)
  9. Sincerely, Jane** (Janelle Monáe)
  10. Deportee*** (Richard Shindell)
  11. The Boxer (Mumford & Sons)
  12. Ballad of Harry T Moore**** (Sweet Honey in the Rock)
  13. Immigrant Punk (Gogol Bordello)
  14. Things That Scare Me (Neko Case)
  15. Democracy (Leonard Cohen)
  16. Drive Through America (Evalyn Parry)
  17. Cops of the World***** (Phil Ochs)
  18. Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
  19. Plains of Nebrasky-O (Eric Andersen and Phil Ochs)
  20. This Land Is Your Land (Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, Sweet Honey in the Rock, The Little Red School House Chorus)

*includes accounts of suicide, drug overdose, and police brutality; it’s basically about how utterly screwed up the American prison system is
**includes references to drug use and gang violence
***recounts a plane crash where hundreds of immigrants died on their way to being deported to Mexico
****recounts the murder of a civil rights worker and his family
*****makes reference to war crimes and human rights violations, particularly rape. this entire song is kind of a punch to the gut.

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“The Heart is the Engine” - Evalyn Parry

In her brilliant performance “Spin” Evalyn Parry says this about the bicycle and about the physical heart. But in art, especially her art, the open heart is the emotional engine.  It is the engine that delivers the rich meaning that comes of seeing the world through the prism of her  brain.

I loved everything this performance, the rich intricacy, the history lesson, the political stance, the personal reveals, the deeply felt emotion and connection across time and space between strangers. We in medicine have so much to learn and I think some of it was being taught by her tonight:

- The value is in the doing

- There is meaning and connection everywhere and the more disparate the elements the more unique the light they cast on one another.

We need to keep an open heart and approach the richness of the human stories we are surrounded by with wonder and reverence - there is meaning waiting for us everywhere.  In our work too, the heart is the engine. How much more texture and meaning there would be if we could keep our hearts open and allow our emotional hearts to be our engines.