Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saltwater Economists and Songs about Growth and Community

I was catching up on economics by reading Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong, both saltwater economists, but from opposite coasts. They have been having a bit of a music exchange. Krugman started with Arcade Fire saying, "No particular reason to post this, except to provide something cheering after a tough day."

DeLong responded with another Arcade Fire song, Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). This is the same song I attached to post on farmland in Lynden, Washington.

Paul Krugman responded on the same theme of growth and community with a song from the Pretenders, My City Was Gone.

Krugman readers suggested several songs regarding growth. I'll start with the classic growth song by Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi.

James Taylor sings Copperline, a nostalgic song about his childhood. For many Washington State residents this song may be fitting as many of the communities in the state have changed dramatically over the past several decades and what we may have loved about the communities we grew up in has been lost. Taylor only has one line about the growth that changed Copperline. In away it comes across of acceptance that things have changed.

Dust Poets perform Walk Away. In a way this song describes a challenge many Washington State and for that matter many communities across the country struggle with as "everything is on the edge of town". 

I have always been an open space kind of guy so have always loved the Cole Porter song Don't Fence Me In. I once visited the Roy Rogers Museum (I believe it has since closed). I am ashamed to admit I did not fully appreciate Trigger and Roy at the time. This clip is amazing. That is one smart horse and Roy sure could ride.  

I included this video of Neko Case's Thrice All American (Tacoma) about Washington State's Second City. This song is the opposite of growth. Tacoma was for a fairly long period a depressed city that had seen better days. I lived there for the better part of a year working on the cleanup of the Tacoma Tar Pits on the former Tacoma tidelands. I'm not sure many of or for that matter any of the images in the video are from Tacoma, but it is fun to watch none the less and I keep thinking I have met half the people shown. 

And lastly a big favorite, Gretchen Peters' performs Mary McCaslin's Praire in the Sky. 


John said...

Don't forget "Paradise" by John Prine.

Dan McShane said...

Thanks - I knew I was missing something!