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  • Jon Houlon

Musings on No 2 Unalike (# 11)


Night Three, No 2 Unalike, Friday, November 6th at Fergie's Pub

Tom T. Hall's “Mama Bake a Pie” and my own “Don't He Look Good”

Tom T. Hall once said that some people can travel around the world and see nothing and other people can walk around the block and see the world. The man has an amazing eye for detail. Mama Bake a Pie is one the greatest protest songs ever written. Ole T. would undoubtedly bristle at that description. But the idea is to protest by describing ... vs. by telling. It's what you choose to describe and how you describe it that reveals your politics. Got all that? In any case, I put Mama Bake a Pie in there with the greatest soldier in a wheel chair song every written: Eric Bogle's And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Check out the Pogues' version of that one if you've never heard it. Tom T. writes about a soldier coming with"battered legs." My song, Don't He Look Good is about a soldier's uniform coming home without the soldier in it. As Guy Clark, another songwriter with a great eye for detail, once said: Sometimes you write the song; other times the song writes you. This one sorta fell in my lap. On the front page of the Inky one morning, during Oil War II, I saw a story about the US Military updating the Army Combat Uniform (ACU). Right next it to it was an article about a local kid coming home from Iraq ... well, his uniform came home.

- Jon Houlon


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