EDITOR’S NOTE: WestVirginiaVille profiled Chris Haddox, one of the Mountain State’s finest singer-songwriters, upon the release of his exceptional debut album in March 2022. I was cruising Facebookistan yesterday and found that Chris—like the rest of us—had been dispirited, and enraged by the latest self-inflicted gun catastrophe in America in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and 2 adults. With his prodigious gifts, Chris’s Muses (they seem pretty pissed off and maybe you know the feeling) produced the song you hear below, “It Ain’t More Damn Guns,” which he quick-recorded to this phone. Hear more of his fine tuneage at: chrishaddoxmusic.com
CHRIS HADDOX (from May 26,2022 Facebook post): Will end the day on a pensive note. I, like everyone else, am trying to process the news of the past few days, weeks, and years. Lyrics and music are the tools I turn to most often for such tasks.
CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO of “It Ain’t More Damn Guns”
“It Ain’t More Damn Guns” by Chris Haddox
Our leaders level fingers like snipers level guns
Trying their best to mow each other down one by one
Shouting from their towers and their trenches blue and red
Each hour brings gut wrenching news of the newly dead
In my trips around the sun
I’ve come to know a lot
I don’t know what the answer is
But know what it’s not
It ain’t more guns
It ain’t more shells
It ain’t more rights
Or more liberty bells
It ain’t more Stars and Stripes
Waving in the sun
But it sure as hell ain’t more damn guns
The critics like to say it’s not guns that choose to kill
There ain’t ten among the bunch will raise their hands, who have the will
To stand up to the critics they’d be sure to face
Critics that would surely cost them victory in their race
All the thoughts and prayers
All the tears and moans
Raining down in a mix
Of sad emojis on the phone
All the pounding fists
All the sounding lobbyists
Distract us and retract us
Till a new one makes the list
Tell me how we got here, how’d we get so numb
To the pain of those around us what have we become
The whole world is watching in a state of disbelief
While we mumble through and bumble through our constant state of grief
Chris Haddox tells stories from the hills, plus unexpected ones, too: February 18, 2022: On the occasion of the March 2022 release of his CD of high songcraft from the Appalachian hills, here’s the world-premiere music video of the Chris Haddox tune “A Soul Can’t Rest in Peace Beside the Four Lane — and a chat with the artist about songwriting and life.
What’s Up in the June 2022 Issue of West VirginiaVille
FREE SUBSCRIBE TO THIS MAGAZINE: WestVirginiaVille.substack.com
EDITORS/NOTE/June2022: The Persistence of Meaning: I used to think once you got the words right they could change the world. I don’t believe that nearly as much as I used to. Yet, still, we persist in the face of oligarchs, wannabe autocrats and media lapdogs who want to tan men’s testicles.
‘HERO OF THE OPEN HEART’: A WV native’s global humanitarian life showcased in documentary: When “The Wake Up Call” make its West Virginia debut June 23, 2022 in the state’s capital city, the documentary will train a spotlight on a remarkable global humanitarian life which ranged far beyond the Appalachian hills where Dave Evans was born.
UKRAINE: How the Russian army helped to nationalize my country: A Ukrainian exchange student who studied in Charleston WV, reflects upon the devastation he finds all around him and his family in Mariupol after the Russian invasion of his homeland
VIDEO: A first-hand story about an elephant’s birth in West Virginia: They dreamed of an elephant for the parade capping off All Together Arts Week in southern West Virginia. But where do you get an elephant? A group of artists and elephant enablers decided they must do what they had to do: manifest one.
ONE/SONG: “It Ain’t More Damn Guns” by Chris Haddox: Chris Haddox’s Muses (they seem pretty pissed off and maybe you know the feeling) quick-produced the song “It Ain’t More Damn Guns,” reacting to the latest American gun catastrophe in Uvalde, Texas.
POETICS: “Appalachian Marie Kondo” by Crystal Good: I live in the disorder of a missing mother. / I sit in the middle of my mess. / I hear my mother’s voice: / You don’t need this. / This doesn’t fit. / When was the last time you used this? …
PICTURE/SHOW: A Taste for Solitude & Forests: Have I cared enough about the water? Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom? Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?’
EVENT: Native Russian classical guitarist strums up a benefit for Ukraine: A Russian classical guitarist and newly christened American citizen living in West Virginia hosts a June 1 musical benefit for Ukraine, as he works passionately to counter an invasion he abhors.
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