Modernism Monday: “Don’t Fence Me In,” David Byrne


love good cover songs.  I love them.  When they’re done well, they’re really a stroke of genius – they take the song to an entirely new level.  This is such an example.  What was a melodic but fairly hum-drum song about and sung by (sorry, I have to say it) a white guy becomes a global human rights anthem, an immigration song, a manifesto about personal freedom, and all the good and bad parts of America and its history, sung to a world beat rhythm by men and women of every color and background you could cram into three minutes.  It’s magnificent and it supercharges my social justice batteries when I need it, which, let’s face it, is pretty frequently.


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