Who would’ve thought the Kingston Trio could predict the future

Commentary

All they needed were a few lyrical updates

The recent headlines from America and, indeed, around the world, have been horrific. Apocalyptic, even.

A sampling:

Portland records all-time high temperature of 116, setting new record for third day in a row

California fire prompts evacuations; Large wildfire scorches Oregon

Climate Change – Megafires fires were rare in California before 2003 — but 17 of the 20 largest fires in the state’s history have occurred since then

Historic drought in U.S. West will persist through October

Utah’s Great Salt Lake dips to record low, Lake Mead also in crisis amid drought

Air-rage incidents are rising

Covid-19 cases are surging in 46 states. In one hot spot, hospitalized patients are younger than ever, doctor says

Tennessee fires top vaccine official for advocating Covid vaccinations for teens

Tokyo declares Covid ‘state of emergency;” First positive COVID tests for athletes in Olympic Village

The Death Toll From Flooding In Western Europe Has Crossed 180, As Rescuers Dig In

Cuba protests: Thousands rally against government as economy struggles

Deaths climb to 72 in South Africa riots after Zuma jailed

As U.S. Troops Withdraw, A Map Shows The Taliban Control Much Of Afghanistan

I could go on, but you get the point. There are few, if any, bright spots in the world in mid-2021. Which brings me to this:

In 1959, the Kingston Trio’s second album, “Live from the Hungry I” featured a song called “Merry Minuet.” With this song the Trio, not known as one of the foremost protester folk groups, did show them to be, with a little updating, amazingly prescient.

The track and the original lyrics are here:

Now, what about that updating?*

*With apologies to the original lyricist, Sheldon Harnick. Yes the same Sheldon Harnick who wrote the lyrics for “Fiddler on the Roof,” still with us at the age of 97!

Have a great weekend!

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

3 thoughts on “Who would’ve thought the Kingston Trio could predict the future

  1. Love the lyrics, old and new. I remember this trio very well, from SF and also the Trident in Sausalito. Thanks for sending this.

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  2. I love it Ted. You should record it and put it on YouTube!!!! Better than the original, sadly. See you soon. We can tune up the guitar.

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