Joan Jett: Bad Reputation

Written by Mila Henry

Music Director and Pianist

In category: Song of the Day

Published May 8, 2019

With so many possibilities, I decided to use the themes of Fierce Grace: Jeannette Rankin as the themes of my “Song of the Day.” Women’s rights. Civil rights. Women’s suffrage. Pacifism. And a whole lot of Fierce Grace.

Rankin didn’t care whether she fit into the public’s expectation of her, or into “the boys club” of Congress– she was going to vote for what she believed in. She voted against World War I, and was the lone voice of dissent against the declaration of war on Japan in 1941. Following the vote, she was pursued by a mob of reporters, forcing her to take cover in a phone booth until the Capitol Police arrived to escort her to her office. “As a woman I can’t go to war,” she stated, “and I refuse to send anyone else.” As an ode to Jeannette’s resolution and Kitty Brazelton’s rock ‘n’ roll past (which you can hear hints of in the second song of Fierce Grace), I give you this gem by Joan Jett.

author: Mila Henry

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Mila Henry is a music director, pianist, and the future Artistic Director of American Opera Projects (beginning in July 2019). “A stalwart contributor to the contemporary opera scene” (Opera Ithaca), Mila has lead rock musicals, hybrid performance pieces and folk operas; performed at The Stone, The Apollo and the Library of Congress; and traveled to Opera Philadelphia, LA Opera and Dutch National Opera. She can be heard on Voices of Women (Affetto Records) and Love & Trouble (Roven Records), and is a core member of the band Opera Cowgirls. Hear Mila perform in NYFOS Next: Laura Kaminsky & Friends on June 11 at 7:30 at The Center. Tickets available from Five Boroughs Music Festival.


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