Saturday, January 16, 2021

Music & Lyrics: "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & the Shondells (Crimson & Clover, 1969)


Tommy James & the Shondells
Original lyrics by Eddie Gray


Look over yonder
What do you see?
The sun is a-risin'
Most definitely
A new day is comin'
People are changin'
Ain't it beautiful?--
Crystal blue persuasion

Better get ready
Gonna see the light
Love is the answer
And that's all right
So don't you give up now
It's so easy to find
Just look to your soul
--Look to your soul!--
And open your mind

Crystal blue persuasion
It's a new vibration
Crystal blue persuasion
Crystal blue persuasion

Maybe tomorrow
When He looks down
On every green field
And every town
All of His children
In every nation
There'll be peace and good
Crystal blue persuasion

Crystal blue persuasion!

I'm not a "have a Coke and sing 'Kumbaya' "
kind of guy.
Never have been.
Sometimes it's necessary to fight.

These are such times,
when fascism and authoritarianism have once again
raised their ugly heads.
The followers of such grim, soulless,
and unethical philosophies have never,
and will never,
understand overtures of peace and reconciliation.
We refuse to learn such pertinent lessons
from history at our great peril.

That said,
this song has always been one of my
all-time favorites.
It speaks to an ideal,
one, unfortunately,
the human species is further from
than any time in history.
We are not only succumbing to
fascistic hate, and to the hateful words
of authoritarians,
but we are making total war upon this good earth
and the life on it,
a war we are certain to lose,
and well within this century.

The ideal remains.
For those of us who haven't sold our souls
to the siren songs of status, power, money,
simple answers and the used-car salesmen of all stripes
selling them,
for those of us who refuse to coddle fascists
and authoritarians,
may this beautiful song guide us to
truly peaceful waters
and a healing world.

So be it.