Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

My all-time favorite Don Henry song (and there are lots to choose from) which I feel compelled to share every year at this time.

If you’ve already heard it, you still need to be reminded of the timeless message and just the impeccable craftsmanship of the lyric and melody.

And if you’ve never heard it before… I kind of envy you the experience!





by Don Henry


Martin Luther, who did you think that you were?

Appointed by some higher up

Merely mortal, your plans were unaffordable

No one wants to pay for love


Oh, you beautiful fool

Swimming upstream, kicking up waves

Dreams weren’t meant to come true

That’s why they call ‘em dreams

Oh, you beautiful fool


Walter Cronkite preempted Disney one night

And all us kids were so upset

We thought that you were a trouble instigator

Marching through our TV set


Oh, you beautiful fool

Swimming upstream, kicking up waves

Dreams weren’t meant to come true

That’s why they call ‘em dreams

Oh, you beautiful fool


To fight a fight without a fist

All human instinct puzzles this

How dare you threaten our existence?

Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ

History repeats itself so nice

Consistently we are resistant to love


Saw you on the black and white

With blacks and whites applauding you

Saw you on another time

Without a sign of life in you


Oh, you beautiful fool

Swimming upstream, kicking up waves

Dreams weren’t meant to come true

That’s why they call ‘em dreams

Oh, you beautiful fool

Oh, you beautiful fool



11 Responses

  1. jonny


  2. tori

    You’re so welcome, small-j.

  3. kayshak

    Hi, I came across your blog a year ago or so. I grew up listening to Russ Taff from the time that he was in the Imperials and then when he branched out on his own. Walls of Glass is still one of my very favorite albums. It was quite by chance that I came across your blog when perusing Russ’ site one day and I was immediately struck by your candor – you put it right out there that you are a Christian and a liberal one.

    Since that time, I’ve started going to church again and I find myself stuggling with my love for God and desire to be closer to him, and my very clear feelings about a lot of issues that most would label as being more liberal (though I would argue against that).

    I hate labels! I think issues are complex and labels make it way too easy and convenient for people to ignore the finer points and simply dismiss the bathwater AND the baby.

    I find it interesting that I am not convicted about the way I feel. I too find some Christian rhetoric scary and abysmally lacking in Christ-like tone.

    It’s just nice to find someone who sees that as well.

    Thanks for putting it out there. God bless you and your family.

  4. tori

    kayshak: Welcome to ‘Bloomr Nation, thanks so much for joining us here! I appreciate the kind words, and I am right there with you about hating labels. One of the things I love about our little bloggy community is that even though we are probably all over the board on certain hot-button issues, we DON’T engage in conflict around here, and we haven’t ever allowed our differences to get in the way of the things we have in common and truly enjoy about each other. That’s kind of rare, and it’s a testimony to the quality of people who hang out around here– hope you’ll be one of them!

  5. LindaB

    That was his strength, wasn’t it—–“To fight a fight without a fist”! There were plenty of civil rights advocates ready and willing to fight for equality for all, but it takes someone special to fight without fists and win. And Rev. King was that special man. Our country, black and white, owe him so much.

  6. tori

    LindaB– Yes, we do. (And isn’t that an incredible lyric?!)

  7. LindaB

    Yes, it is!

  8. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Dr. King was such a fantastic man of peace…and a born leader. Wish we had a few like him incongress today.

    Welcome Kay.,,first thing I appreciated about you was yourexcellent tqaste in male vocalists.

    Thanks for the subject, sweet Tori.

  9. captain coy

    Hey Tori,
    Just a little note to say that I will be adding the song to my all time favorites list and be playing it in a smelly bar in the near future.
    My best to you and Russ. We must reconnect.
    Love and light,
    Cap’n Coy

  10. tori

    Momma Lloyd: Thinking of you every single day as you mourn the loss of your sweet little Lucy– seriously praying for you, and sending love.

  11. tori

    captain coy: Hey Coy, great to see you here! So glad you love the song like I do– I bet all of the smelly bar patrons will, too!

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