It’s countdown to the presidential election, which could not be a more symbolic battle between our collective goodness or divisive hate. I’ve had a soundtrack playing in my head these days, a mix of hope, struggle and exhaustion. Today, it’s Rufus Wainwright’s “Going to a Town,” which speaks to my weariness in this campaign season and to the ongoing beautiful, imperfect, human struggle within this democratic experiment.
Wainwright says it’s about a lover’s quarrel and I hear that but the lyrics of “Going to a Town” have a broader meaning with, “I’m so tired of America.”
“I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down
I’m going to a place that has already been disgraced
I’m gonna see some folks who have already been let down
I’m so tired of America”
These words speak to a broader meaning within the American fabric and the decimation of our cities and middle class. And these following lyrics speak to the judgmental segment of the extreme self-identified Evangelical Christians who hold a group think that no matter their actions, their Jesus seal of approval trumps (ha!) their misdeeds, bigotry or even voting for an amoral, racist, narcissistic grifter.
Tell me, do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me, enough of thinking everything that you’ve done is good
I really need to know, after soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood
I’m so tired of America
And yet he stakes his inner strength closing with, “I got a soul to feed, I got a dream to heed, and that’s all I need.”
Enjoy the minor, melancholic melody of the song, then muster your soul and dreams for this country and vote. Vote as soon as your state allows. I beg you.