My favorite song via Joe Strummer, 10 years gone.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 22, 2012
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strummer machine

“I’d like to say that people can change anything they want to; and that means everything in the world.

Show me any country and there’ll be people in it. And it’s the people that make the country. People have got to stop pretending they’re not on the world. People are running about following their little tracks. I am one of them. But we’ve all gotta stop just stop following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything; this is something that I’m beginning to learn.

People are out there doing bad things to each other; it’s because they’ve been dehumanized. It’s time to take that humanity back into the centre of the ring and follow that for a time.

Greed… it ain’t going anywhere! They should have that on a big billboard across Times Square. Think on that.

Without people you’re nothing….that’s my spiel.”

~ Joe Strummer

And he sounded like Kerouac or Ginsberg when he said, of his art:


“You can only follow what’s on your mind. In fact, a song is something you write because you can’t sleep unless you write it.”




For more great links to songs and conversation re Strummer, click here.

The Minstrel Boy. I’d be honored if you’d play it at my funeral.

It’s one of my favorite songs, period. We have a Shambhala version for this. It’s about warriorship and bravery and a lack of fear of death and the cruel, deceptive nature of this life…and yet…it’s about that noble broken heart and art and music, slung on our back, that gives us bravery to strut through it all.

Some history:

An emotionally stirring and inspirational song, The Minstrel Boy was written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of “The Moreen,” an old Irish aire.

It is believed by many that Moore composed the song as a memorial to several of his friends he had met while a student at Trinity College and who had participated in the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. One died in prison, another was wounded, and a third captured and hung. The song originally consisted of two verses.

Due to its popularity, the song was a favorite of the many Irishmen who fought during the U.S. Civil War, primarily on the Union side. It was at this time that a third verse was added by unknown authors:

“The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it,
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as Heaven intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And ev’ry battle must be ended.”


The Black Hawk Down version:

The Minstrel Boy to the war has gone:

The Fullll version: 21 minutes long.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “My favorite song via Joe Strummer, 10 years gone.”

  1. "Let fury have the hour, anger can be power, know that you can use it."
    Joe Strummer

    It should be noted, also, that "This Machine Kills Fascists" originated with one of Joe's heroes, Woody Guthrie–or, actually, it began with stickers created in munitions factories during WWII, and Guthrie, very much supportive of the war effort against Hitler, brought it into a musical context by putting one of those stickers on his guitar.

  2. Yes! I was thinking the same thing about it being on Woody's guitar. Both are amazing & have an important place in my music collection.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Awesome. Thanks for the history! Looove that, and have loved Woody, what (too) little I know of him.