By Stuart Mitchner
If you take the long view, this week begins with the birth of Mozart on January 27, 1756 and ends with the birth of Schubert on January 31, 1797.
If you’re looking for something more passionately immediately here and now, something to give you the energy to break through a writing slump to the other side of the impeachment trial and the mind-numbing miasma of talking heads (on or off pikes), you turn to a song John Lennon composed and recorded in record time 50 years ago, January 27, 1970. At first it’s fun to give yourself up to outrageous fantasies, like blasting Lennon’s relentless, in-your-face message at full bi-partisan volume from a dozen speakers located above the head of the chief justice: “Instant Karma’s gonna get you, gonna knock you right on the head, better get yourself together, pretty soon you’re gonna be dead…. Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear.”
What makes the song surpass any of Lennon’s more famous anthems is the inspirational chorus, “We all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun.” Good luck imagining both sides of the Senate chamber of horrors rising en masse singing “We all shine on.” Try picturing Adam Schiff gazing prayerfully over Mitch McConnell’s stone wall singing acapella “Imagine a brotherhood of man” or “Give Peace a Chance.” Speaking for myself, to stand with a group of people at an antiwar protest singing “All we are saying is ‘Give peace a chance,’” is too much like Oliver Twist in the poor house food line mewling, “Please, sir, can we have another nice warm bowl of peace and understanding, sir, please.” more