THE BLOG

John Mellencamp's New Song About a Small Town

10/02/2007 02:14 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

You might be sick of hearing me urging John Mellencamp to run for governor of Indiana. But the schlemiel in there now just gets worse and worse... and John keeps getting better and better. John has been in the studio working on a new album, still untitled, with T Bone Burnett and it's due out soon... maybe in January (once he makes a new record deal with some company).

Lately he's been busy performing for wounded Iraq war vets -- like all Democrats and progressives, he hates them -- and last month he performed his all-American classic, "Small Town," at the opening game of the NFL Season (between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints), 3 nights before the annual Farm Aid benefit he does with Willie Nelson. Many of his most inspired songs are patriotic in the finest sense of the word, celebrating the inclusiveness and unity that brings people together, like his Woody Guthrie-like "This Is Our Country".

In August he recorded the song "Jena," as soon as he heard what was going on in that small town. He wanted to get it out even before the album was released. Here it is (click to watch the video): "Jena," a powerful and healing song of redemption.

An all white jury hides the executioner's face
Is this how we are, me and you?
Everyone needs to know their place
And here we thought this blackbird was hidden in the flue

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

So what becomes of boys that cannot think straight
Particularly those with paper bag skin
Yes sir no sir wipe that smile off your face
We've got our rules here and you've got to fit in

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Hey some way sanity will prevail
But no one knows when that day will come
A shot in the dark, well it might find its way
To the hearts of those who hold the keys to kingdom come

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Cross-posted at DownWithTyranny. The video will be up on YouTube... soon.