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Dec 06
Tuesday
Video, Audio, Photos
“International”

Music and video by Jim Infantino, of the Boston Shambhala Center, and his band: Jim’s Big Ego

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/bw0wYDfN8kY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I wrote the song International while on a folk music tour in 2005, promoting a folk music festival called Falcon Ridge in upstate New York. There were six of us traveling around and playing in folk music venues throughout the Northeast. When we made it to Maryland, I realized that none of us were really playing folk music. We were playing songs that we wrote that had their basis in blues and folk and pop, but that were essentially about ourselves. I thought that ideally, folk music was not about promoting ego, but about telling stories about things that happened from the point of view that was not often found in the papers or history books.

I began doing a little research to find a seminal folk song, when I discovered the origins of the Internationale, a poem/anthem from the days of the Paris Commune by Eugène Pottier, meant to be sung to the tune of the Marseillaise. I was reading the words and listening to versions of this anthem, and thought, eh, could be better. So I paraphrased most of it in modern English and wrote a tune on the guitar that anyone could play and sing. Years later, it turns out, some of the sense of suffering and economic injustice that I wanted to sing has risen to the surface of our country. My friends and I put together a slide show to the song as an offering.

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