Pick of the Political Pops: Josh Ritter “All Some Kind of Dream”

2020 has obviously not covered itself in glory so far as a year although come November 4th it could look a lot worse still. If Trump does lose, future generations will no doubt look back at this period in US history in time with a kind of detached sense of curiosity, like viewing a horror-show aberration, and learn about it through cultural artefacts such as songs which were written by artists of the age.

One of the best examples might well be the track ‘All Some Kind of Dream’ from Josh Ritter’s ‘Fever Breaks‘ album from last year – Trying to pick out a single line or even a single verse has proved impossible, so here they are in their compassionate beautiful entirety.

“I saw my brother in a stranger’s face
I saw my sister in a smile
My mother’s laughter in a far off place
My father’s footsteps in each mile
I thought I knew who my neighbour was
We didn’t need to be redeemed
Oh, what could I have been thinking of?
Was it all some kind of dream?

I saw my country in the hungry eyes
Of a million refugees
Between the rocks and the rising tide
As they were tossed across the sea
There was a time when we were them
Just as now they all are we
Was there an hour when we took them in?
Or was it all some kind of dream?

I saw the children in the holding pens
I saw the families ripped apart
And though I try I cannot begin
To know what it did inside their hearts
There was a time when we held them close
And weren’t so cruel, low, and mean
And we did good unto the least of those
Or was it all some kind of dream?

I saw justice with a tattered hem
I saw compassion on the run
But I saw dignity in spite of them
I prayed its day would finally come
There was a time when we chose our sides
And we refused to live between
We rose to fight for what we knew was right
Or was it all some kind of dream?

Last night I lay in my true love’s bed
And she lay there close beside
And we lay thinking ’bout what lay ahead
And wondering if the sun would rise
For it seems that these are darker days
Than any others that we’ve seen
Oh, how we wished that we weren’t wide awake
And this was all some kind of dream.”


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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 17 years and still feels like this is his pretend job, mainly because it is.

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