Yesterday’s Heroes

May we never forget the legends that built the foundations for this world.

These men and women carried the torch, the burden, the world before us. As the cycle continues, and as generations ahead sail for the shores of the great unknown, the responsibility falls to the next series of generations to step forward and define their legacy. Yet, in the middle of this transition, may we never forget the songs sung by both the heroes and the faceless masses they represented.

Pandora Radio provided a reminder this past week of this very thought. In the midst of my music, most no older than the millennium, a song by Johnny Cash began to play. In full confession, I have never considered myself, nor, do I expect, I will ever consider myself, a true fan and devoted listener of Johnny Cash, but that does not diminish my respect for him as a musician, as a man, and as the symbol he represented to those of his time.

Just yesterday, the world lost another icon: Etta Jones. Again, I must confess I know nearly nothing about her as a person or her music, yet I still notice the impact she had on the world of her day, especially through her music. In my time, my generation will discover its own symbols and heroes–our own icons of music and culture, but may we never forget those who placed the foundations for them.

Here’s the song that inspired this post: “God’s Gunna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash

New York Times article on Etta James:

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