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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,George Mann Songs about war and its effects (25) Seeking Songs about War and its Effects 28 Aug 16


Seeking Songs:
"Until You Come Home" Compilation CD

(George Mann, producer)

In 2010, I produced a compilation CD entitled "Until You Come Home: Songs for Veterans and Their Kin." It was my reaction to a marked increase in the work I was doing in veterans and nursing homes, as I began to transition from 14 years squatting in New York City (I never really considered it my home) to Ithaca, where I now live.

I was seeing physical and psychic wounds up front, much more than I had in the past, and getting to know the humans who carried those wounds— men and yes, women too, especially from the most recent wars. I also became aware of the work of Veterans for Peace and The Welcome Home Project, and members of those organizations— most of them veterans themselves— whose work and courage in the face of their own wounds and pain inspires me to this day.

The album was an attempt to address the horrors of war, the damage to the human spirit as well as the body, and I was lucky to have songs from so many great artists associated with it.

The website http://www.untilyoucomehome.com

has info about this CD, including links to videos for some of the songs. In assembling the album, I put out an open call to artists to submit songs, and in some cases went after specific songs and artists I knew and wanted represented on the CD (such as my mentors Julius Margolin and Utah Phillips, both veterans themselves and longtime activists for peace, and who had died recently). In other cases, we were lucky that revered artists such as Tom Paxton, Holly Near and John Gorka understood the goal of the project and donated their songs to it. I also found songs from a number of relatively "unknown" songwriters that were heartfelt and right on the mark.

Six years later, I still sing regularly in veterans and nursing homes, and the endless flow of wounded bodies and minds in these VA and state hospitals and homes is at times overwhelming. Every week I see kids in their twenties, men and women in their fifties and sixties, in various stages of breakdown, much of it caused by reckless decisions to enter war and send humans into inhuman conditions.

I am planning to produce a second album, a collection of songs about the horrors of war from the perspectives of all affected by it, but especially those who serve during wartime and their families. "Until You Come Home: Songs to Heal the Wounds of War" will be released independently as a CD and online in late October. I am interested in hearing from people who can recommend songs and artists who are writing about these topics.

I have deep love and admiration for so many artists who have written songs about war and its permanent scars, and those people who conquer the demons that war conjures up. In the past, when I have produced similar compilations, I have received songs from dozens of artists, and ultimately I have to choose about 15 songs. This time, I am already clear about some of the songs that will appear on the CD, and am honored that songwriters such as Charlie King, Joe Jencks, David Rovics, and Magpie (Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner)— people I am overjoyed to call friends and partners in some of the work I have done over the years— have written songs that will be on this album.

I will be reaching out to others over the next month, but invite anyone who has questions or a song they think might be relevant to contact me privately at georgemann@att.net with suggestions, questions, etc.

If you would like to submit a song for the project, you can mail a physical CD or CDR containing the song with a copy of lyrics to George Mann, PO Box 435, Ithaca, NY 14851. If the song is available in video format or audio on Youtube or other streaming service (you can upload a songfile in about 5 minutes) you can also submit a link to Youtube or your website.

DO NOT SEND ME MP3 files to download.

The deadline for submitting songs is September 15, as we go into production for release in late October. If you are a songwriter and this inspires you to write something in the next few weeks, send me a demo! But the completed version needs to be in my hands by September 15.

I plan to work with veterans' organizations and folk DJs around the United States, and in other countries, to get these songs out and will initiate a GOFUNDME project to help with the production and marketing expenses.

Thanks for reading this and thanks to all who sing and play music for people living out their lives in institutions such as veterans' and nursing homes; we get to do the fun work. At the same time, there are thousands and thousands of health-care workers who do the hard work, every day, for our veterans and seniors. I hope this music also reaches as many of them as possible.

-George Mann


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