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Jonathan Byrd
Jonathan Byrd is a North Carolina preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran and "one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years" (Rich Warren, Chicago Tribune).

Entries by Jonathan Byrd

My Favorite Part of The Lion King Was Intermission

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2015 | 4:36 PM

My family and I were given three tickets to the Broadway production of The Lion King. Tuesday, 7pm. Only the tickets weren't there when we got there. The theater was sold out.

"We came all the way from North Carolina," I said in a final desperate plea. The man...

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Why We Should Keep Columbus Day

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 1:00 AM

You'll read and hear a lot of things like this: Christopher Columbus was a genocidal rapist and slave trader, the godfather of the American Holocaust. It's true. That's why we should keep Columbus Day.

Columbus Day is a warning for present and future America. There are new explorers. Like Columbus,...

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Are Guns America's Biggest Problem?

(57) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 10:59 PM

I grew up with guns. Country guns. Shotguns. .45s and .38s and beer cans on fence posts. That was back before public gun violence became a daily routine. If somebody got shot, it was a drug deal or domestic violence. There were guns all around me, practically under my pillow,...

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Take It Down

(55) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 12:02 PM

If the massacre in Charleston -- or any number of similar events in recent U.S. history -- had been committed by a foreign invader, we would go to war. How many billions will we spend fighting the terrorist organization known as institutionalized racism? How many American lives are we willing...

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What We're Really Fighting For

(5) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 5:00 PM

My fans are the best. There's no other job that pays as well in the currency of love. People tattoo themselves with my songs. They sing them at their weddings. They sing them to their dead as they lower them into the ground.

A lady once told me she...

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RIP Leonard Nimoy

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 4:17 PM

Spock was my favorite. As a church kid, he gave me permission to be skeptical. As a shy kid, he taught me that being aloof was a special power. I have no idea how logical Mr. Nimoy was, but when he put on the blue shirt, he glued me to...

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Love Is the Law

(1) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 12:23 PM

"Discover a second face hidden behind the one you see." -Søren Kierkegaard

We shot a music video today at three sites. One, outside the cafe where Danish filmmaker Finn Nørgaard was killed last week. Two, outside the synagogue where guard Dan Uzan was shot by the same gunman. Three, at...

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Be Unafraid

(2) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 12:29 AM

I'm touring in Denmark with the Danish band The Sentimentals. Several people have contacted me about the shootings in Copenhagen. Thank you for your concern. We are safe in the north of Denmark and the killer has been killed in the Nørrebro ("north bridge") neighborhood of Copenhagen.

In the...

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'Last One in the Water Is the Mayor!'

(8) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 1:07 PM

Edna Branch Jackson was a young lady in the '60s. She spent the night in jail after a "wade-in" at a whites-only beach on Tybee Island outside of Savannah, Georgia. She and five friends wore bathing suits under their clothes, walked down to the beach, stripped down quickly and ran...

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The Morning After

(2) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 4:10 PM

It's the morning after Election Day and, like the morning after prom night, some of you are holding your head in shame and some of you are whistling over the griddle. I live in the town that Jesse Helms suggested building a fence around in lieu of a North Carolina...

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Pete Seeger Was Bigger Than Music

(3) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 6:29 PM

In 2004, I woke up on a couch in the cabin that Pete Seeger had built on a hill outside Beacon, New York. His grandson Tao was staying there and I was hanging with Tao. The Seegers lived across the driveway in a modern house.

I heard Mr. Seeger had...

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