FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Musical Roots – Happy Birthday, Tom Paxton!

Well it didn’t take too long to find a name that had a connection to my musical roots today, because today is the birthday of an artist whose music is a large part of my life’s soundtrack. Tom Paxton celebrates his 75 th birthday today!  Pete Seeger says this about Tom’s music:

“Tom’s songs have a way of sneaking up on you. You find yourself humming them, whistling them, and singing a verse to a friend. Like the songs of Woody Guthrie, they’re becoming part of America.” Pete goes on: “In a small village near Calcutta, in 1998, a villager who could not speak English sang me “What Did You Learn In School Today?” in Bengali! Tom Paxton’s songs are reaching around the world more than he is, or any of us could have realized. Keep on, Tom!”

In the comment at This Day in Rock Music it says “Folk singer Tom Paxton, who went from being a topical rabble-rouser to children’s performer”, while many of Tom’s songs are topical I don’t know that he is a rabble-rouser more of a songwriter that makes you think, laugh and touches your heart, too, and while Tom has made some well received children’s songs (which he’s been writing forever see “the Marvelous Toy” and “Jennifer’s Rabbit”) he is still performing and writing topical and touching songs. So how about some morning music from the birthday boy. Here’s Tom with a song he wrote after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon and it’s even more appropriate after the Aurora and Wisconsin gurdwara shootings!
“What if , No Matter…”

WHAT IF, NO MATTER…
By Tom Paxton
What if, no matter how angry he was,
How outraged he was,
How furious he was,
What if, no matter how angry he was,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun?

What if, no matter how right he was,
How wrong they were,
How evil they were,
What if, no matter how right he was,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun?

No rifle, no pistol,
No shotgun in sight,
No revolver, automatic,
No assault gun tonight,
No clips crammed with bullets
Anywhere to be found,
No weapons just laying around?

What if, no matter how outraged he was,
How furious he was,
How murderous he was,
What if, no matter how outraged he was,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun.

If he dug through his pickup,
The back seat, the trunk,
The attic, the basement,
And piles of old junk,
And came up empty-handed,
Again and again,
Tell me, what would he do then?

What if, no matter how angry he was,
How outraged he was,
How furious he was,
What if, no matter how angry he was,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun,
He couldn’t lay hands on a gun?

©2011 Pax Music, ASCAP