From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Matthew Shepard: Too Young to Die

October 12, 1998.

A date which marked the death of a young man, who was killed for no other reason than he was different from the men who killed him. Matthew Shepard was gay, and it cost him his life.

Sometime after midnight on October 7th, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson drove Matthew Shepard to a remote area of Laramie, Wyoming. He was beaten so severely, his brainstem was affected. Matthew was tied to a fence and left to die. Eighteen hours later, his comatose body was discovered by a bicyclist, who at first thought his limp body was a scarecrow. All because he was gay.

Matthew died a few days later, never regaining consciousness. His death brought outrage and deservedly so.
Legislation was introduced to create a hate crime bill which would be inclusive of bias attacks concerning sexual orientation. After several failures, the Matthew Shepard Act was signed into law by President Obama on October 28, 2009.

When thinking about a song for today, I remembered one which dealt with another type of prejudice. Written by a teenager in 1965, "Society's Child" dealt with interracial romance. While today, a relationship between different races barely causes the blink of an eye, in the 60's it was unacceptable, even illegal in some places, and was spoken of in hushed tones.

Though the struggle between being accepted as gay is not the same as loving someone with a different skin color, the old mores and narrow-mindedness come clearly into the picture. Prejudice is prejudice.

On the anniversary of his death, let's shine some light on the issue of fear and hate of other human beings for no other reason than they are different.

Please read the lyrics as you listen to the song.

Janis Ian "Society's Child"

"Come to my door, baby,
Face is clean and shining black as night.
My mother went to answer you know
That you looked so fine.
Now I could understand your tears and your shame,
She called you "boy" instead of your name.
When she wouldn't let you inside,
When she turned and said
"But honey, he's not our kind."

She says
I can't see you any more, baby,
Can't see you anymore.

Walk me down to school, baby,
Everybody's acting deaf and blind.
Until they turn and say, "Why don't you stick to your own kind."
My teachers all laugh, the smirking stares,
Cutting deep down in our affairs.
Preachers of equality,
Think they believe it, then why won't they just let us be?

They say I can't see you anymore baby,
Can't see you anymore.

One of these days I'm gonna stop my listening
Gonna raise my head up high.
One of these days I'm gonna raise up my glistening wings and fly.
But that day will have to wait for a while.
Baby I'm only society's child.
When we're older things may change,
But for now this is the way, they must remain.

I say I can't see you anymore baby,
Can't see you anymore.
No, I don't want to see you anymore, baby."

Matthew Shepard may have died for no reason, but he did not die in vain.



  1. That is a beautiful song. Matthew's a martyr, but the good kind. The kind that changes things. we are so far behind where we need to be on same sex marriage and equal rights for pepope, in terms of sexuality. But at least we're better than we were when Matthew died.

    good post

    1. Thanks Lance. We are moving in the right direction, it just takes too long. In my lifetime I remember seeing "Whites Only" motels, restaurants, etc. as we traveled through the south. As a kid I knew it was wrong, you would think by now, we would all know better, with all types of discrimination.

  2. Heartbreaking. And then there were the idiot high school students who heckled the cast during a performance of The Laramie Project. When will they wake up?

    1. yeah, absolutely reprehensible. but we keep taking small steps.