"Aren't You Ashamed?": William Bolcom's Angry Song on Senators' Defeat of Gun Safety Legislation

04/22/2013 11:05 am ET | Updated Jun 22, 2013
  • Norman MacAfee Author, 'The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now'

The opera librettist Mark Campbell emailed me on April 20 to spread the word about a new song, William Bolcom's "Aren't You Ashamed?"

Bolcom wrote it on April 18.

The previous day, 45 senators defeated a series of modest proposals to curb the kind of gun violence that led to the slaughter of twenty elementary school kids and six educators in Newtown, Conn.

"Aren't You Ashamed?" is dedicated to Woody Guthrie.

Here is the video:

Bolcom is one of America's major composers, with at least one masterpiece to his credit: his sublime three-ring circus of a Grammy-winning 3-CD setting of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience.

So, gather round the national piano at the national tavern and sing it.

Sing it at gun-safety rallies and marches.

Hundreds and thousands and millions can sing it.

The 90 percent of Americans who support gun safety laws can sing it: That's hundreds of millions of voices in raucous chorus!