Hoping Machine

 

Apple Music dropped New Multitudes, an album by Jay Farrar, Wil Johnson, Anders Parker, and Jim James into my stream. As with Billy Bragg’s and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue, New Multitudes is a collection of songs written using Woody Guthrie’s archive of previously un-performed lyrics.

The first track, “Hoping Machine,” really captured me. Here’s a bit of the striking lyrics:

Don’t let anything knock your props out from under you
Always keep your mind clear, let your plans come out of mistakes
These are the plans and nothing can tear down
Made out of things that have already been torn down

Whatever you do, wherever you go
Don’t lose your grip on life and that means
Don’t let any earthy calamity knock your dreamer and your hoping machine
Out of order