Another Song for Peace

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“When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock; when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.”

Doug Newman

Inspired by Stephan’s contribution, I tracked down a video featuring one of my all-time favorite peace songs: “Tick Tock,” by the heroic Jimmie Vaughan and his brother, the immortal Stevie Ray. It was the high point of their wonderful 1990 collaboration Family Style.

A few years ago I had the privilege to talk for quite a while with Mr. Vaughan, who struck me as a quiet and self-effacing man with a deep love for, and understanding of, liberty and its sustaining principles. (I have to admit that, as an amateur guitar player, I was a bit intimidated by him; this is the guy who taught SRV how to play the guitar, after all.) When I mentioned how much I love the song “Tick Tock,” Mr. Vaughan observed that some people were concerned that it was promoting socialism or globalism, which are often wrapped in similarly idealistic language. I pointed out that perceptive listeners wouldn’t make that mistake, because the song was entirely about people freely helping each other, and nothing in it so much as recognizes the “need” for government of any kind.

The only version of the original song I could locate on YouTube incorporates footage from the Woodstock documentary. I don’t have a brief for drug use, public nudity, and free “love,” but then again the point here is that those people neither picked my pocket nor broke my leg. This stands in contrast to everything the government does, which always involves picking pockets and breaking legs.

7:52 am on April 3, 2009