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A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Not My Colorado [katlaughing]


catspaw49 20 Apr 99 - 11:53 PM
Rick Fielding 21 Apr 99 - 12:05 AM
Night Owl 21 Apr 99 - 12:19 AM
Night Owl 21 Apr 99 - 12:29 AM
katlaughing 21 Apr 99 - 12:35 AM
catspaw49 21 Apr 99 - 12:47 AM
Big Mick 21 Apr 99 - 01:08 AM
LEJ 21 Apr 99 - 01:57 AM
catspaw49 21 Apr 99 - 02:14 AM
Vixen 21 Apr 99 - 08:27 AM
bet 21 Apr 99 - 09:06 AM
Allan C. 21 Apr 99 - 09:14 AM
Max 21 Apr 99 - 10:45 AM
katlaughing 21 Apr 99 - 11:26 AM
Penny 21 Apr 99 - 11:37 AM
Penny 21 Apr 99 - 11:38 AM
Max 21 Apr 99 - 11:43 AM
Alice 21 Apr 99 - 11:54 AM
Frank Howe 21 Apr 99 - 12:05 PM
Margo 21 Apr 99 - 12:12 PM
LEJ 21 Apr 99 - 12:53 PM
Barry Finn 21 Apr 99 - 01:46 PM
katlaughing 21 Apr 99 - 01:49 PM
jburdoo@ksu.edu 21 Apr 99 - 01:51 PM
Frank Howe 21 Apr 99 - 01:59 PM
The Shambles 21 Apr 99 - 02:44 PM
Barry Finn 21 Apr 99 - 04:00 PM
Lion 21 Apr 99 - 04:13 PM
Frank Howe 21 Apr 99 - 04:23 PM
Alice 21 Apr 99 - 04:29 PM
Allan C. 21 Apr 99 - 05:00 PM
Barry Finn 21 Apr 99 - 05:49 PM
Matthew B. 21 Apr 99 - 06:17 PM
Cuilionn 21 Apr 99 - 07:13 PM
Alice 21 Apr 99 - 07:57 PM
Lion 21 Apr 99 - 08:43 PM
Alice 21 Apr 99 - 08:49 PM
Big Mick 21 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM
dwditty 21 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM
EAST 21 Apr 99 - 10:28 PM
Alice 21 Apr 99 - 10:48 PM
katlaughing 21 Apr 99 - 10:56 PM
rich r 22 Apr 99 - 12:05 AM
catspaw49 22 Apr 99 - 12:30 AM
katlaughing 22 Apr 99 - 12:49 AM
Margo 22 Apr 99 - 01:21 AM
Tucker 22 Apr 99 - 01:26 AM
bbc 22 Apr 99 - 01:30 AM
Pete M 22 Apr 99 - 02:13 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 22 Apr 99 - 02:40 AM
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Subject: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 11:53 PM

Today's tragic event in Colorado brings pain to us all. The victms of it are not just the one's who were shot, but also their families and friends. And the list goes on: Other kids who saw too much and their circle of friends and family; the staff for the same; EMS workers and police and the circles surrounding them, sure it's their job but.....; and as a foster parent, I've had kids with great parents who are candidates to be the perps and I've had kids with the worst of parents and have overcome the abuses they have had put upon them...my point is that the parents of the perpetrators might be people like yourself and they, along with their circle, are suffering tonight too. Perhaps we all are.

We are music people...We believe in the power of music. What song or songs would you sing and give to all of these victims to help in the healing process of this life altering event. This is not a thread about politics, societal order, violence, religion, or even parenting. As Karen and I have seen many sides to family situations, we have come to see that there but for grace are we...and possibly you too.

So how about it 'Catters? Have we got a song or two for Colorado's victims?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:05 AM

Thanks "Paw". The only one that keeps running through my head is the song "Healing River" by Fred Hellerman and Fran Minkoff. Pete Seeger sang it right after the bodies of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney had been found. If anyone knows the lyrics (or can remember them) it's a powerful song for this sad day.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Night Owl
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:19 AM

" How Can I Keep From Singing"-on the database from "Turning Toward The Morning" album.

My life flows on in endless song

Above earth's lamentation

I hear the real, though far off hymn

That hails the new creation

Above the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing

It sounds an echo in my soul

How can I keep from singing.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Night Owl
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:29 AM

"How Can I...."- I'm thinking about tonight, because when events in my own life were too horrific to comprehend, just as events in Colorado are now, this album and more particularly, this song gave me solace.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:35 AM

"That's not my Colorado
With the blue skies up above,
That's not my Colorado,
Where the school ran with blood.

That's not my Colorado
Where my parents grew up proud
That's not my Colorado
Senseless killing was not allowed.

Colorado was the beauty
Of the Rocky Mountains high
Colorado was the quiet
Of the river's gentle sigh.

Colorado meant a home to me
And now, I know it not
That's not my Colorado
Where the children felt the shot."
kathleen lafrance 4-20-99

Well, phoaks, it's not a song and not the best I've ever written, but it comes from my heart which is heavy with sorrow for all the parents, children, educators and everyone else involved and for my ancestral home.

Just plain Kat, tonight there is no laughter


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:47 AM

Thank you Katie, well done.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 01:08 AM

I am sick with grief for these families, these children, their parents and for our society. What has happened to our children, where is their hope? I want so much to use my talent for putting thoughts and feelings into words, to describe something, or contribute to a solution...........but words fail me. I have no ideas and I am crying for the victims, the perps and their families. And I am crying for us..............

"When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn"

Mick


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: LEJ
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 01:57 AM

It's not fair to blame our state for this thing. This is a disease that is spreading throughout our nation. And the disease is not just violence, it is an increasing blur between what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps it is failure on the part of us, the parents, to pass on to our children a sense of the sanctity of life. Perhaps it is the action of two soulless maniacs.

If this sounds rambling and disconnected, it probably is. We are stunned and wounded in Colorado. And we are giving blood, and we are praying. We are searching our souls.The good people here far outway the evil, but we have lost a battle, and badly. But you waste precious time lamenting Colorado's loss of innocence. Spend that time holding your children close.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 02:14 AM

Hi Leej,

I think you and kat are on the same page. I think it is difficult NOT too lament a little for the innocence lost by us all. In your backyard or on the other side of the world we are a different place now than as before.

But as I said, this thread is about healing and songs and perhaps the one that Mick used above is one that ties both thoughts together.

Thank You Mick...the song can heal, but it speaks the truth about the human condition too.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Vixen
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 08:27 AM

I've been thinking of "how can I keep from singing" and of a newer song by Chris and Meredith Thompson, "not in our town:"

We all said

Not in this place

Not in this town

...

Will we ever see the sunshine

In our town again?

V


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: bet
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 09:06 AM

Great thoughts all. I have no song, things are to close to home living in Colorado and being an educator. Hug your kids today. Don't give up, keep trying.

bet


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Subject: Lyr Add: SONG FOR A FRIEND (John Stewart)
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 09:14 AM

I am reminded of the song John Stewart wrote on the death of JFK. It would take very little "tweaking" to be made into an appropriate song for this sad occasion.

SONG FOR A FRIEND
John Stewart

When you sit and wonder why things have gone so wrong
And you wish someone would tell us where our friend has gone.
Look then in the hills when there's courage in the wind
And in the face of freedom and those who look to him.
And search within the heart of ev'ry young man with a song
Then I think we'll know where our friend has gone.

Summer takes the winter as the good years take the pain.
There'll be laughter in the land again but hearts won't be the same.
And I know I'll remember when a chill wind takes the sky
And speak of the years he gave us hope for they will never die.
And as we gaze at brave young men when yesterdays grow long,
Then I think we'll know where our friend has gone.

When you sit and wonder why things have gone so wrong.
It's then that we'll remember where our friend has gone.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Max
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 10:45 AM

Kat,

Great song, Any tune?

LEJ,

....This is a disease that is spreading throughout our nation....

You are right and I think that some of the blame must go to our leaders.
Now the term "Read my Lips" means "I'm Lying"
How much of the "No new taxes" went to bail out the Savings and Loans, and not so indirectly into Neil's bank account?
It's OK to cheat on your wife - If you're the President.
It's OK to illegally sell arms if "I did it for America".

That's what we are teaching our kids "Sure it's OK to Lie and Cheat and Kill"- No wonder they grow up confused and feeling that they can't win.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 11:26 AM

Bert/Max?

I am confused. Which are you? I'm guessing it's you, Bert.

Thank you very much. Sorry, no tune, it really just was a spontaneous poem. Please feel free to use it with a tune if you can think of one and want to.

I know what you mean about our leaders. I just heard on NPR that Congress wants to build up the military for the Yugoslavia campaign by using Social Security surplus money! (I am wondering what surplus, since they've been saying it's going bust for years.)

Sorry, I don't think this should be a political thread. I promise not to write anymore of that.

Some may read my words as a condemnation of Colorado. I did not intend it to sound that way. One could substitute Colorado for any other state or country. It is a sickness throughout our world and I am in despair to understand it.

To my sister and nephew, in school in Colorado, I say stay safe and love each other well.

kat


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Penny
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 11:37 AM

And on a market street in Brixton,
Nails driven into innocence again.
And with no meaning, for no reason,
Blood pools until it's washed away by rain.

Across the world, more brief lives lights gone,
As metal rips through muscle and through brain.
A school stained by that unlearned lesson
We never learn, despite the old refrain.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Penny
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 11:38 AM

No tune. Yet.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Max
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 11:43 AM

Kat,



Yes, It's Bert. I'm using Max's machine.
I'll just try to sing it and see what comes out.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Alice
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 11:54 AM

Shame on America. As the Pope has pointed out, we have a culture of death.
What Did You Learn In School Today?
Tom Paxton
"I learned that war is not so bad,
I learned of the great ones we have had,
We fought in Germany and in France,
And someday I might get my chance.

American parents need to stop turning their backs on their obligations to their kids. When you have kids, you have to realize that you have made a choice to meet the obligation of raising those children yourself, because it is YOU, mom and dad, not a babysitter that needs to spend the majority of time with them. It is YOU, not the teachers, that ultimately need to teach them values, morality, and ethics. (getting off my soapbox now)


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Subject: Lyr Add: PUT THE GUNS AWAY
From: Frank Howe
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:05 PM

I am particularly worried about the coverage of this and other events. We feed the next crisis by focusing on the dreadful impact the sick few have had on the rest. In doing so we validate their belief in the importance of their behavior and their sick notion of notoriety through violence

I've tried to say that in the lines below

PUT THE GUNS AWAY

When our children turn to violence
What lessons can they know?
When our children die in classrooms
Where can they safely go?

Which parents need our solace?
Which parents warrant blame?
When our children turn to violence
We share it all the same

Those sad few who use weapons
To seek revenge or twisted fame
Are but pathetic remnants
Of a spirit with no flame

We will not endorse their sickness
With relivings of that day
We will love and heal our children
And put the guns away


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Margo
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:12 PM

Oh boy. I think that it is a gift from God to not feel everyone's pain. We'd go crazy. But when something like this happens, it is haunting.

I agree with the above statement that kids are growing up confused. I believe that such a killer mentality has been nurtured by the loss of moral standards. In colonial America a man was hanged for having sex with animals. That's extreme in my book, but there must be a medium, a balance.

The wonderful shanty "The Flying Cloud" is a perfect example of desensitization step by step. First, William accepts the offer to go on a slaving voyage to Africa. Perhaps he didn't realize the horror he had agreed to perpetrate. "Scarce eighteen inches to a man was all they had to go" he admits. Disease killed half of five hundred of the Negros they had taken from Africa. "We dragged their bodies up on deck and hove them in the sea". Can you imagine such a horror? Then William agrees to sail under the pirate flag sinking and plundering ships, and drowning their crews to silence them. After being condemned to die for his crimes he warns other young men, saying "for whiskey and bad company first made a wretch of me".

I think the song is easily applicable today. Desensitzation occurs step by step as children are exposed to horribly violent scenes in movies and in video games. No longer is a schoolteacher a figure of authority. The teachers have lost their ability to maintain disclipine. They might get sued and lose their jobs!

Gone are the days when boys and girls are taught to be gracious and courtious. A friend of mine related a story to me about her mother teaching 6th grade. The kids were nasty. They'd hold out their pens as she walked by and mark up her clothes. When I was in school, we'd never even dream of doing something like that!

Sorry about the tirade. It's so tragic. God help the victim's families. Surely the slain lambs are with our heavenly father.

Margie


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: LEJ
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 12:53 PM

I want to apologize to Kat for interpreting her song as a criticism of Colorado. I know she feels the pain of this as I do.I also think Frank's words are very wise. I am avoiding the news reports and rehash of this thing today, because there is too much pain in the details of it, and I don't think any more information about what happened will bring me closer to understanding it. I only pray for peace for the souls of the kids that died, and for their parents, and for all of you.

LEJ


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Subject: Lyr Add: NO TOMORROW FOR THE POOR^^
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 01:46 PM

I don't really find it so hard to believe that those with no hope for a future or those that have been either physically or mentally abused would carry out acts that shock. Not much notice goes to the violence that is experienced in our slum districts that lay in the shadows of wealth & power.

Alice, as an American parent, I'm offended by your statements that we bear the blame here. I'm sure you were expressing a raw gut feeling rather that a statement that was thought through. I know many others that don't rely on schools/baby-sitters for the nourishment of their children. That was not a very fair statement.

I see our schools as a reflection of our priorities. Teachers receive low pay. towns don't want to support a system if it means they're taxed. Discipline is more of a concern than education. The taunting, bullying & abuse that students suffer at the hands of other students is criminal but looked on with a blind eye & a turned back. I live in a town where the Superintendent of Schools just dragged a 9-yr.-old kid off a bus by the neck pinned him over a car & screamed at him. Why? Because the bus driver had a hard time with some of the other kids before this kid ever boarded. This is assault & battery, but within school systems, this is common. The bus is now empty. Both kids & parents are in fear. This fear & the fear of physical abuse by others that is allowed to continue unchecked is felt by many students & parents on a daily basis, but it takes a tragedy before some will take notice & then the causes & effects are studied, probed & processed & then forgotten.

Though I can see how these things happen, I can't understand the wasting of young life through either neglect or murder. It's as much a crime when a kid is a victim as it is when the grown kid victimizes another & yet we know this is a cycle. Does the kid as a victim get the aid needed (or the protection beforehand) so they won't victimize or does the grown kid receive the consequences of their actions (or chain reactions) when it's to late to do anyone any good?

I've posted this song before. The only difference in the background of the song would be that this tragic scene happened in the burbs & the focus of my song was the inner city.

NO TOMORROW FOR THE POOR by Barry Finn
Tune: Virginia Lags, Traditional

Inside the ghettos dwells the greatest of crimes
Where kids with no hope are serving their time
Where they're shocked into feeling that life has no price
They live and they die no tomorrow

With no higher learning, no place they can turn
They see daily the wealth from crime they can earn
They're under the gun every time that they turn
And we ask why they have no values

Their language is foreign; their culture is strange
There's slight chance for survival outside of a gang
To get life from drugs beats the pain of no change
There's no light at the end of their tunnel

There's abuse of all kinds that runs rampage with rage
And the cycle runs deeper with each passing age
Until lock them away is all we can say
They've been locked away all of their young lives

We'll draw cheap labor from them that'll slave
And watch while we help the rest into the grave
Keep them from good health, good schools, and good wage
And hope that there isn't a backlash

So now let us finish and shake hands with our fate
And don't be surprised when you're a victim of hate
What they've been robbed of to you they'll relate
You'll be hunted as prey by your victim


Copyright, Barry Finn 1997

Barry, who's for education with compassion.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 01:49 PM

Leej, I am sorry, too. I skipped right to bet's pos this morning, after going to bed last night and missed your earlier post altogether and so was kinda surprised at teh email this a.m. I am sorry it came off that way.

I, too, have avoided the "gory details"; the horror of being a prent and still not knowing, this morning, the fate of my child, would be too much to bear. I cannot help them by wallowing in the medai coverage. Better we should all pray/meditate.

Alie, you are absolutely right. My three sisters are all schoolteachers. We have all seen sucha decline in what children are taught at home about respect, responsibility, and ethics. The same parents who complain and expect teachers to do it all these days are also the ones who are too lazy or undisciplined to actively take part int ehir kids lives through monitoring what they are exposed to in the movies and television. Those parents want our government to guarantee federal censorship because they can't be bothered to do it themselves. I think they've all forgotten how to say no and that their tvs have off buttons. And computers, too!

I am sorry, this is a raw nerve.

kat


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: jburdoo@ksu.edu
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 01:51 PM

I've been thinking for several hours now of all the anti-war songs I know. There are many very powerful ones. One of my favorites is THE CHILDREN DRAW GUNS, which is in the database.
It makes me think on the war in Bosnia. The very same things have been going on there for ten years, yet we pay no attention because they are thousands of miles away. Yet for the people there, the sorrow and shock is just as great as it is here, and in some ways it is far worse. But still we ignore their pain and focus on our own lives. What happened yesterday is a blessing, in the sense that it gives us a chance to put this into perspective. I don't wish to minimize the pain of those in Littleton, but I think this incident tells us something not only about ourselves, but about the world at large.
Just something to think about.

Jennifer Burdoo


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Frank Howe
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 01:59 PM

I teach future teachers. Yesterday as the events in Colorado were unfolding, I had to meet with 20 students who were about to go out into schools for a three week practical experience. It was a very difficult meeting. Dedicated caring young people had to pause and give serious consideration to the question "Do I really want to do this" not because the job is tough or underpaid we know that, we're used to that - their worries were ... 'can it happen to me?'

We reassured ourselves and reaffirmed the belief in the importance of what we do .... but for while as educators we were asking ourselves questions I thought only soldiers or police officers asked.

It was a sad day.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A DIFFERENT KIND
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 02:44 PM

A DIFFERENT KIND

Taken from the cradle, you bent them to your will,
Born for you to sacrifice, whilst teaching them to kill.
You taught them how to use the gun, the knife, the hands, the heart,
Children of obedience, they've learnt to play their part.
Do they call you father, Hitler of Saddam?
You nurture their dependence, they act at your command,
The history of their nation, distorted and confused,
While they keep asking questions, you see they're yours to use.

Watch them grow but keep in mind,
The power of your destruction, is building from behind.
Heartless souls have leaned to find,
That the murder of their innocence, has bred; a different kind.


But when the rage is over, the wind is blowing cold,
Do you think they'll put away the toys they know of old?
Returning to their families, a viper in the nest,
You'll find they'll teach their loved ones to skills that they know best.
A country born of murder, a country born of lust,
Rallying together, where can you place your trust?
There are no moral boundaries, living in your land,
They won't accept surrender by the raising of your hand.

Watch them grow but keep in mind,
The power of your destruction, is building from behind.
Heartless souls have leaned to find,
That the murder of their innocence, has bred; a different kind.


You chose to fuel the furnace, you chose to use the small,
They did the fighting for you, whilst you hid behind closed doors.
Machines of your destruction, you failed to see had grown,
Turning now to face you are the seeds that you had sown.
No longer seen as savior, leader or their God,
They seek to overthrow you and feed you to the dogs.
They'll fight and kill to gain the prize, awarded to the few,
Is it with pride, you turn to see they've grown to be like you?

Watch them grow but keep in mind,
The power of your destruction, is building from behind.
Heartless souls have leaned to find,
That the murder of their innocence, has bred; a different kind.

Watch them grow but keep in mind,
The power of your destruction, is building from behind.
Heartless souls have leaned to find,
That the murder of their innocence, has bred; a different kind.


Katrina Gall 1998.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 04:00 PM

I find the laying of blame here in the parents lap very short sighted & to excuse any system, including the school system of having any fault in the decline of the Modern Empire just as short. The raising of children includes us all & all systems should have the rights & needs of all children parmount to any other concern. "It Takes A Village To Raise A Child" is no mire quip, it's a map to the future. Please be more sensitive to those of us that are trying not to raise monsters. Barry


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Lion
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 04:13 PM

No songs from me, just an observation. Aren't we all sick at heart? We pride ourselves on being, perhaps, the most civilized nation in the world, with our BMWs and cell phones and all the "privileges" imaginable. Yet, where are the mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, etc. who should be standing up and saying enough already. When it was apparently obvious that these kids at Columbine High were so disturbed, someone, anyone, should have tackled them head on. I mean, to actually say something, anything to let these kids know that someone recognized something was "up" and that they were willing to do something about it. We all have to take responsibility, after all we seem to be good people, or at least here in the safety of the "net" (Mudcat). Why is it so hard to be the person who stands up for what is right and what you know in your gut is right. Why do we just walk away and think that someone else will do it.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Frank Howe
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 04:23 PM

Barry, Yes we are all in this together and as a society must work towards creating and nurturing a climate that supports the growth and development of our children. As a society we have evidenced some glaring flaws in our efforts to do so. But no matter what insults or assualts an imperfect society unleashes on my children (and there are many - just turn on the TV), if they are at home making pipe bombs and sawing the barrels off shotguns - and I as a parent am unaware or fail to respond, then I as a parent own the lion's share of the blame.

I am a parent. I know the pressures and concerns of my children, I know who their friends are. I advocate for their wellbeing at every opportunity. If they have a bad day, I know about it. The parents of children who murder in the manner we all observed yesterday have failed miserably in their responsibility as parents. That is very sad but very true!

The difficulty with all of this is our very human tendency to assign blame as a starting and ending point. Better questions to explore are what can we do as parents, what can we do as educators, what can we do as citizens to keep our children safe. Frank

Sorry for rambling on.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Alice
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 04:29 PM

Bert, I have been thinking this through long before this Littleton incident (as an American parent, too) about the way families have come apart. I am sure you and many others are doing a fine job of parenting. I do think we need to address a real problem in our country with the lack of parental attention. It IS a problem, but not the only one. I am stating this from the perspective of having to be the only parent my son has known, and he is a kid who has never been in trouble. He has just recovered from having a broken collar bone, deliberately fractured by another student at school. And you are right, the school turned a blind eye, and basically swept the problem under the carpet. The school administration sits on the fence, playing 'see no evil', 'hear no evil'.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 05:00 PM

A local law official who is trying to run for public office made a statement yesterday on the subject of parenting. He has encountered some political difficulties because his son has been arrested and convicted of some fairly serious crimes. The jist of his statement was this: Sometimes the best of parents, the most caring of parents, the parents who do their very best to nurture their children and raise them to be good citizens cannot prevent their children from making some really bad choices.

I fully agree. I also strongly agree that our children are influenced by far more things than we, with all our "wisdom" could enumerate. Those who understand the basic principles of ecological systems and their delicate balances often overlook the same principles within our own society. It serves no useful purpose to attempt to point fingers in any one direction. There are not enough points on the compass to demonstrate the many directions from which our influences come. In my view all we can do, ALL WE CAN DO! is live the best lives we can; be active, responsible citizens of our world; pray that in all of our actions we do will do no harm and hope that others will do the same.

I have learned that one of my co-workers is a parent of one of the kids in that school. I guess my concern for them far outweighs my ability to wax poetic. So I will borrow: "Bury the rag deep in your face. Now is the time for your tears."


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 05:49 PM

Alice, I too see the same happening. In an out of school environment the infliction of injury & threat is a criminal act of assult & battery. Was someone charged (if not why not?) or did the school sweep this away. If so then the school can & should be held responsible, for if they cannot provide a safe environment for children they should know that doing nothing lends to a more violent environment & fosters more abuse. When we fought our school system our children were singled out & dealt with in a way that would make a leg breaker pleased with the advancements made in the areas of intimidation. We needed to arm ourselves with federal law in order to get some education for our kids, sad sight.

Frank, my point was that parents provide the most for their kids but everyone around also has an effect. If you're doing a great job & your kid goes to school with the aim to learn & they're attacked then the school again victimizes them by making the victim the one who's to blame. Now if the neighborhood they are encompassed in is also home to the same bullies & no one says a thing then your kid is most likely to be in danger & it doesn't matter if you know it or not. I grew up getting a very poor education so I know first hand the cost of not having one, my neighborhood was riddled with violence, I had very loving parents but it takes more. I fought for what schooling I could get, I fought to stay there, I fought for love & compassion & I fought my way past prison, drugs, thugs, gangs, preachers, most I knew never made it & now I fight tooth & nail for my kids & it always seems like it's against the odds. The odds shouldn't be stacked against kids, when they are the results are tragic & all indicators point to things getting worst not better. How often do you hear parents & neighbors express shock & suprise at the actions of someone they thought they knew. Barry


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Matthew B.
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 06:17 PM

You've all made some excellent points, reflecting on many complex issues...

But what about one simple issue: How did two high school kids get their hands on an army platoon's worth of guns and ammo?

As sick as they were, they could never have caused this much harm if they didn't have ready access to such an arsenal. Imagine if they had tried to terrorize their entire school with a knife? Tragic as that would be, it's nothing com[ared to what they were able to accomplish.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Cuilionn
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 07:13 PM

Ev'ryane seems tae keep referrin' tae th' shootin' as a tragedy. It's nae a tragedy... that implies there wis sumpit false an' theatrical an' inevitable aboot it, an' insteid it wis a' tae real an' cuid hae been preventit if folk were nae sae blind, sae terribly blind. Th' unco' fact o' th' matter is that I spent th' afternune o' th' shootin' in ma apartment at seminary in Denver, readin' aboot different theological responses tae th' Problem o' Evil, an' as families were aff sobbin' an' grievin' an' media hounds were sniffin' at th' kill, I wis wrichtin' oot ma ain response, strugglin' tae articulate ma ain beliefs. Ma ain understandin' is that there's nae Auld Clootie runnin' roond wi' hooves an' pitchfork, but human folk are muckle guid at ca'in up oor ain demons, an' settin' 'em loose on ither folk. I believe that guidness an' justice are claise kin tae th' cosmic balance o' th' yirth itsel'. Injustice is th' same as th' pattern bein' damaged. These young men whae plantit explosives insteid o' seedlings, an' weedit oot folk insteid o' bunchgrass... what dreadfu' imbalance maun hae been devourin' their intimmers, tae mak 'em lash oot sae terribly an' then destroy their ainsels? In th' sair-hairtit aftermath o' a' this, I dinnae ken how tae feel aboot th' event ither than sair distressit that, ane mair time, some folk challenged ither folk tae help 'em stay human, an' baith sides seem tae hae failed. I wish I cuid jist tak th' trauchled souls under ma ain wings, haud 'em claise, help 'em walk thro' th' darkness an' drive awa' the demons...I dinnae think ye can meet hunger an' fears o' scarcity wi' onythin' but a feast o' abundance, if ye want tae restore th' balance. Ane thing wha' binds th' web back taegither in sic a time is music. Since ye askit, here's th' fairst ane wha' cam tae mind. I dinnae ken th' wrichter o' it, but I'm thinkin' it micht be someane back in Seattle, for I first haird it amang th' singers there. If onyane else kens th' original artist/wrichter o' th' sang, please post it sae we can hae credit whaur credit is due...

The Quilt Song (wrichten aboot th' AIDS Quilt Project)

Hold on/ to what is good,/ even if it's a handful of earth.../ Hold on / to what you believe/ even if it's a tree which stands by itself.../ Hold on / to what you must do/ even if it's a long way from here.../ Hold on-- / Hold on to life/ even if it is easier, letting go.../ Hold on--/ Hold on to my hand/ even when I have gone far away./ Hold on--/ Hold on--/ Hold on.

A h-uile beannachd leibh,

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Alice
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 07:57 PM

RESIGNATION
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is no flock, however watched and tended
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair!

She is not dead - the child of our affection,
But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection
And Christ himself doth rule.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Lion
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 08:43 PM

Alice: I feel for you having to deal with the broken collar bone incident, but I have to ask this, what about the parents of the offender? Were you able to talk to them, because having sufferred the verbal abuse of my 10 year old daughter, I know that however cooperative the scope of the school is somewhat limited. Discipline is all very well at the school level, but if the kid is going back to a home situation where the parent/s don't care you are not going to stop the violence.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Alice
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 08:49 PM

My impression is the kid learned to be violent at home.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM

I am both delighted and saddened by the commentary in this thread. On the one hand I see friends that I have come to love and respect trying to grapple with a very complex and tragic event. And doing so with respect for one anothers opinion, even though there is disagreement on the issues.

My disappointment is with what I see as the "cubbyholing" of the problem. If there is a problem in our society, specifically the US society, it is that we continually seek to find an answer we can live with, put the problem there, blame someone and then put it behind us. And with that, we doom our children to another generation of poverty, hopelessness and school shooting incidents. It is when conservatives wash off an incident as being perpetrated by "them" (you know, single mothers' children, or innercity children, not monotheistic children....blah blah blah), or when liberals throw a bunch of money, and poorly managed programs with no accountability or measurable results. All to promote someones f****ng political agenda. In the meantime, more children die, or kill. More single parents, overwhelmingly women single parents, struggle with the impossible task of putting food on the table and paying rent and raising decent human beings and watching their children be influenced by others because they have to work to survive. And we will find someone to be "at fault", and then we will put our blinders back on until some other 13 to 18 forces us to take them off again.

What's the point? If you want to find someone to blame, if you must have that quick indictment, then look in the mirror. We are all to blame, and none of us deserves the blame. We must not allow ourselves to just walk away. And we must not fall into the cheap worthless phrases that are designed to promote our own agenda. Examples? "If Jesus were in their lives, we wouldn't have these problems". "We have lost our traditional family values". "If we had gun control we wouldn't have these problems" "It is the breakdown of the family unit". It seems to me that we need to admit that we are lost, don't know why this is happening and search for real solutions. We need to recognize that it can never be the "good old days". We need to recognize that they weren't really that good anyway. And we need to stop listening to people who, under the guise of "intellectual discussion", really seek to spread their own agenda. When I taught disadvantaged young people who were aged 16 to 21, I sought first to understand them, their background, where they were coming from, and then waded into the problem of helping them become employable in the building trades. I made no assumptions about the "right" way, instead I figured out where I was with each student, and started there. Did that make me special? Nope, that made me lucky. Most teachers are not blessed with the ability to spend the kind of time I did. They are overwhelmed.

I will stop ranting, but I would wrap up with an observation. If we are going to save our kids, ourselves, and our society, we are going to have to acknowledge that the problem is huge, that no one is safe, and that our kids deserve to have us dig in with passion and seek real, quantifiable solutions. It begins with dumping our agenda's, acknowledging that we don't have the solutions and moving from there. It means saying that the gun may have been the means, but hopelessness was the cause. Until we start attacking the cause, someone will always find the means.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM

What has changed in the 35 years since I was in high school? Back then, "bad" kids created michief for the most part - not the horror of Littleton. So what is different.

1. Back then it was common for a parent to be at home. It was also common for a child to be raised in an extended family with grandparents, aunts/uncles, or cousins living in the household. Today, many kids are in day care - at least until they reach 8 or 9 years old. In many cases they are then left unsupervised for several hours a day throughout their adolescence. They a free to suck up the influences of bad TV (Kids love Jerry Springer, for Christ's sake.), pornography, unprotected sex, drugs, alcolhol, and more. Clearly this is not a good environment for a kid to develop socially, emotionally, or intellectually. I am not saying that day care/latch-key ruins all kids, but I personally think, and it is only my personal opinion - so don't anyone get offended, that it profoundly affects more kids than we care to admit.

2. Back then it was common for teachers and school officials to enforce "the rules." While I never heard of anyone getting physically acosted by a teacher/principal/etc.,there were always stories of an enraged pricipal hitting a student. Basically, we all thought that it could happen, and maybe that wasn't so bad. Today, the mere hint of a threat to force a student to behave in a certain way brings lawyers ready to sue the teachers, the school board, the town, and anyone else who gets in the way. All too often, the student observes the proceedings with a smirk on his/her face. This only reinforces lousy behavior. Now my parents never hit any of us growing up - and I am thankful for that. But if I ever came home complaining about being discipled for doing something wrong, I am 100% positive that my father would have supported that authority of the teacher.

My wife and I were happily living the two-income, professional lifestyle when we had our first child. My wife went back to work for a few short months when our daughter was six months old. It took a matter of weeks for us to come to the conclusion that "This sucks." The dilemma was that my wife's income supported 50% of our lifestyle. Our decision was to bite the bullet. We cut out everything so that one of us could stay home. We couldn't make it. Now my wife does typing work at home in the evenings while I parent the children. It works. The point is we both have time for our kids now. We are very involved with their school. As a family, we are active in our church. At least for us, I believe all of this increases our chances of being parents of good, well-adjusted kids. But it's no guarantee.

DW

So, in a nutshell, I personally think that parents bear the brunt of the responsibility for their children. And, yes, Barry, everyone else does, too - teachers, cops, clergy,...passersby, for that matter, if they see something wrong.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: EAST
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 10:28 PM

I go to middle school less than 20 miles from Columbine H.S. It is shocking to all of us, not just my grade who will be in high school next year. Everyone was badly shaken up, and we all feel the pain. The worst part is not the news casts, or being so close to it, but not being able to help the victims. The ribbons for the dead and hope for the future help, as do the cards which we sign, but we want to do more. Please, if there is any sight with printable sheet music that will ease the pain I will be very grateful.

-a colorado student


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Alice
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 10:48 PM

colorado student, there is music that will help the tears to flow, if that will help with the pain. There are sites that have sheet music at the links page you can find by clicking here.
You may know you can search the Digitrad database for lyrics with the blue box in the upper right corner of this page.


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 10:56 PM

"Grief fills the room of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me....Remembers me of all his gracious parts...Then I have reason to be fond of grief."
William Shakespeare

To the student in Colorado who posted above: try this address on the Internet. I hope it helps:

www.geocities.com/Area51/Realm/5747/

kat


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Subject: Lyr Add: HEALING RIVER
From: rich r
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 12:05 AM

HEALING RIVER

1964 Fred Hellerman & Fran Minkoff, published in The Collected Reprints From Sing Out! Volumes 7-12

O healing river, send down your waters,
Send down your waters upon this land;
O healing river, send down your waters,
To wash the blood from off the sand.

This land is parching, this land is thirsting,
No seed is growing in the barren ground,
This land is parching, this land is thirsting,
O Healing river send your waters down,
Let the seed of freedom awake and flourish,
Let the deep roots nourish, let the tall stalks rise
Let the seed of freedom awake and flourish,
Proud leaves uncurling against the skies.

O healing river, send down your waters,
Send down your waters upon this land;
O healing river, send down your waters,
To wash the blood from off the sand.

rich r


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 12:30 AM

Thank You East for knowing what's important now. It's not on sheet music, but some good songs are in this thread along with typical opinions. I hope the songs can help and I hope you have many friends that feel as you do. You and your friends are having to grow up far too fast and to live with things that most of US did not. So my best hope for you is that in the "living" you'll have learned the answers which WE don't have. Our love to all of you.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 12:49 AM

For those of you who would like to send a message directly to the students of CHS, I found this address at Denver's Channel 9 news; it allows one to post a message to the children.

www.9news.com/newsroom/chs.htm


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Margo
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 01:21 AM

No, I am not to blame for what happened. I did not make any bombs, I did not shoot anybody. I am not responsible for others actions outside of myself and my family.

I do not believe in blaming everyone for one person's foibles or their wickedness. I do the very best I can everyday to be a decent person, living by principle and standing up for what's right.

I see in our threads a common ground amongst us all: we are not proponents of violence. We seem to disagree mostly on our opinions about why things are the way they are and what to do about them.

This kind of discussion is, I think, part of the answer!

Margie

Margie


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Tucker
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 01:26 AM

Hello Catspaw and everyone. My heart and sympathy go out to all in Colorodo. I am sure we will all be debating the whys soon enough. For now though my prayers are for the families there. May God be with them. Tucker


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: bbc
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 01:30 AM

Friends,

When I read your posts last night, I was still too stunned to add my piece. Like some of you, I am both the parent of teenagers & an educator & the news hit too close to home. After a few hours of sleep, I woke up w/ my thoughts together & ready to share, here at 1:25 am my time.

Events such as these jar us from our mistaken sense of security & remind us that life is fragile & only given to us one moment at a time. I want to say, again, that I feel blessed to be part of this community. The news media told us all the shocking, gory details; you, my fellow-Mudwhatevers have responded w/ your hearts & minds--empathizing & wondering where we go from here. Most of us do not have the ability to touch this situation directly, but we all have an influence on the world, for either the greater darkness or the greater light. Our lives have a ripple effect, day by day & moment by moment. You hearten & heal me; let's continue, by our actions & our music, to spread light!

yours,

bbc


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: Pete M
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 02:13 AM

I hesitate to add anything to this thread, the songs I would have suggested are at the begining, and last night adding anything seemed almost like an intrusion.

To the Colorado student, your reaction is natural, the feeling of helplessness in any situation you cannot control is numbing. To try and fail is bad enough, but to be unable to do anything can at times be unbearable. I hope that knowing the rest of the world shares your feelings may help.

Some have talked of blame, and it is a natural reaction to want to blame someone, or something, for in attributing blame one can in some ways make the unbelievable more understandable. For others, the attribution of blame to individuals absolves them, at least in their own minds, from any complicity, yet as Barry has said, if we do not take responsibility for what happens around us, how can we blame others. We all do our best for our children, but we are also responsible collectively for the social environment in which they grow.

At the end of the day our children make their own choices, but we are responsible for the choices they select from. If we as a community give primacy to individual "rights", including the right to own firearms, over the responsibility of the individual to their community, can we really deny culpability if they take this precept to an extreme which shocks us?

DW's method may not work for all, but it does seem to me to be a recognition that responsibilies come before rights, as does Barry's stand.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: A Song or Two for Colorado's Victims
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 02:40 AM

Rich, the song sounds like Hellerman could have written it thirty years later about Iraq. When will we ever learn, indeed.

A couple of years ago, Margaret Albright was asked about the 5000 or so Iraqui children who were dying of starvation and disease caused the sanctions every month since the Gulf War, specifically whether our goals were worth that sacrifice; she thought a minute before saying "Yes."

President Clinton called the deaths of the dozens of refugees killed by a misguided missile "regrettable," but, hey, accidents will happen (not his exact words).

NBC's special edition of "Nightline" tonight showed from two recent movies--"The Basketball Diaries" in which a young man dreams about going back to his high school dressed in black and blowing away his classmates with a shotgun__and "The Matrix," in which characters dressed in black walk the halls shooting people, and a video game called "Doom" in which the player walks the halls shooting people. The boys loved that game. They also loved the film "Natural Born Killers."

I don't know what to make of these events, but I do know that American culture tends to glorify violence--and even to justify it when inflicted upon those outside the circles we draw around ourselves. These two boys seem to have been--within the school--driven into a very tiny circle.

Barry Finn's message above seems the closest thing to an answer--as I interpret it. Barry, in getting into his students' worlds, was bringing them into his. Every inch by which we can help young people expand their circles helps.

--seed


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