“Another man done gone” is a traditional chain-gang song first recorded in 1940 that is just as timely in today’s world as it was 75 years ago. What is going on in our country right now with the killing of unarmed black men and the rise of openly racist and fascist political candidates can cause a sensitive soul to lose hope in humanity. I’d like to believe we have come far and in many ways we have. However, we cannot heal and rise from our collective traumatic history unless we are willing to acknowledge, accept, learn from our past and all do our part to break the cycle of systemic racism and violence.
“Another man done gone” was first recorded by folk singer Vera Hall in 1940. Vera Hall was recorded by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax and she is most well known for her song “Trouble so hard.” You might recognize that song as sampled in Moby’s “Natural blues”.
Hall’s rendition of “Another man done gone” is so haunting in describing the casualness in the killing of black men for minor (if any) infractions. New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas recorded a version/remake of it on her 2006 Grammy-winning album, “After The Storm” chronicling the trauma and wretchedness of the Hurricane Katrina disaster aftermath. I’ve posted the original and the remake below. Folk singer Odetta and folk band Our Griffin also recorded versions, as well as Johnny Cash and many other musicians over the years.
Please pass this post along if it so moves you and let us all contribute to our collective healing of the trauma of the horrific violence of the past and present in our country and world. Let us love each other and have reverence for human life. #BLACKLIVESMATTER