Saturday, June 05, 2010

Steve Goodman: Daley's Gone

Today's Saturday's musical selection is my most overtly political entry so far.

Steve Goodman, who died of cancer in 1984 at the age of 36, was a brilliant songwriter--Johnny Cash included him as one of his favorites. The Chicagoan is best known as the writer of the often-covered "City of New Orleans."

In 1977 Goodman took the melody of a traditional, "Delia's Gone," and composed new lyrics for "Daley's Gone." Mayor Richard J. Daley, the legendary boss of Chicago, had died a few months earlier.

It's a great video--it includes montages of "Da Mare."



There never was another man who could
inspire more love or hate
if you were in the park and it was 1968.

It would be funny if Heaven was
just like the 11th Ward
and you had to know the right people
to receive your just reward.
I visited Daley's grave on Memorial Day, it's at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Worth--he's buried about 100 yards from my father and my maternal grandparents--all Daley voters. Many other Daley voters are buried there--some exercised their franchise after their demise.

On my way home I immediately thought of this song. Love him, hate him, or even if you are not sure--one thing is for certain--Daley was a colossus of his time, the last and greatest of the big city bosses.

As for Goodman--he left us way too early.

Related posts:

Memorial Day 2010, Worth, Illinois

My Mississippi Manifest Destiny: Johnny Cash's boyhood home

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2 comments:

barbara said...

I graduated from Maine East in 1966 and had a couple of classes with Steve Goodman, tho I did not know him well. He already had a band. I moved out of state; didn't realize he had a singing career til I found one of his albums. I promptly bought it. He's been gone for years. What a joy to see the video you provided--forever young.

John Ruberry said...

Thanks for adding that detail about Goodman--I didn't know he had attended Maine East High School.