Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. A performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
March 4 in Kent, OH Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. A performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Garrison Keillor comes to The Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD for an Evening of poetry, Sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. Tickets $60
Garrison Keillor and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet come to The Wayne Theatre for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 7:00PM
High Point, NC
Garrison Keillor and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet come to the High Point Theatre for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 7:30 PM
I’m in favor of diversity, inclusivity, reclusivity, multiplicity, reciprocity, irony, everything on the shelf, because last week I was the luckiest guy in America, going around doing shows and because I have double vision the crowds looked even bigger than they were. I was working the northern tier of states so it was an audience of stoics who needed cheering up as the darkness descends, many of them older folks who wonder why they don’t resettle in Florida, and I needed to tell them why: because they’re needed to defend our northern border against the rapacious Canadians.
Nobody bad-mouths Canada. Why not? We trash everything else. What makes them so hoity-toity? They have an unsingable national anthem, their bacon is round, not in strips, they have five political parties and two languages — a recipe for confusion — and they have no South to look down on as we do with Alabama and Mississippi. And the border is porous. Some places in Minnesota there’s only a barbed wire fence, and not a tall one but an ordinary three-strand fence like at a pig farm. You could detach the wires and drive right on through. Canadians are virtually undistinguishable from us, except for a couple vowels they mispronounce. We could have millions of them living illegally here and we’d never know it. And it wouldn’t be the best and brightest Canadians.
No, we’re seeing an enormous influx of angry Canadians, the malcontents, anti-vaxxers, irrationalists, deniers of science, polar people, Trumplets, arguing that east is west and jagged is straight, and there is nothing we can do about it except hope they go away, and in the meantime, let us simply ignore them.
Ignorance has been an excellent strategy for me. I could listen to Fox and it’d make me furious, but I don’t and I save a lot of time that I’d spend chewing the carpet. I pass people on the street who’re talking to themselves and I imagine they’re talking on an invisible phone. I used to correct people’s bad grammar, such as using “that” instead of “which,” which seemed pointless so I quit that. If I saw that someone’s hair was on fire, I would step in to help, but otherwise I keep my nose out of it.
I live for pleasure, whenever it pokes its head up, such as during a show in Holland, Michigan, in a basketball arena, where I found an audience of older folks who can sing “America” from memory and also “America The Beautiful” and “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” and “The Sloop John B.” I was walking among them, leading the singing, singing bass, and I took a big chance and launched into “It Is Well With My Soul” — and they all knew it and sang it with feeling! Thanks to the religion of sports, which is slowly devouring Sundays, Protestantism is fading fast in America and in a decade or two, when the churches are turned into condos except a few that become museums and my people are meeting in caves as they did back in the Roman Empire, you won’t ever find a thousand people like the crowd in Michigan that knew the words to “It Is Well With My Soul.”
In fact, soon there will be no common musical culture. Schools have eliminated all American folk songs that contain violence or show bias or are militaristic or elitist or that marginalize or alienize or disparage or fail to address systemic inequality, which eliminates all the songs we loved to sing in grade school, so the younger generation only knows the music of its favorite pop stars, Melvin T or Bon Ami or the Philistines, but there is no band like the Beatles that touches a broad demographic.
So be it. Let it be. I have no complaint with that. I am only happy for those minutes in Holland, Michigan, when I stood, microphone in hand, among a thousand people who knew all the songs I know. Suddenly I had sunshine on a cloudy day, it was cold outside but inside it was the month of May.
Maybe I’m just singing in the rain but I want to hold your hand ’cause when I touch you I feel happy when skies are gray and I have a wonderful feeling everything’s coming my way, guiding us through the night with a light from above. Love. That’s the only thing I’ve plenty of.