Laura Nyro: Save the Country

Written by Elaine Sexton

Poet, Critic, Educator

In category: Song of the Day

Published May 15, 2019

Save the people, save the children
Save the country, everybody save the country
Save the country, save the country, save the country now

The Pollyanna in me reaches for something hopeful today. The political climate we are living in certainly calls for more protest songs like this one. And if ever we needed a positive rallying cry, it is now.  Nyro, an acclaimed songwriter, singer, pianist, who lamentably died young, at the age of 49, was inspired to write this optimistic, almost buoyant song after the assignation of Robert Kennedy June 5, 1968. Even as she wrote of fury, she went on to assert: 

We could build the dream with love, I know
We could build the dream with love

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Elaine Sexton is a poet, critic, and educator. She is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Prospect/Refuge (Sheep Meadow Press, 2015). Her poems and reviews are widely anthologized and appeared in journals including Art in America, ARTnews, American Poetry Review, O! the Oprah Magazine, and Poetry. She teaches poetry and text and image at numerous colleges, universities, and art and writing centers in the US and abroad, among them Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Arts Workshop International.

NYFOS and Five Boroughs Music Festival recently commissioned a set of poems from Ms. Sexton inspired by the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. They have been set to music by a group of women composers and the complete song cycle, titled After Stonewall, will be premiered on June 11 at NYFOS Next: Laura Kaminsky & Friends.


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