Friday, February 27, 2009

The Dutchman

One blog I quite enjoy is Jeff Shalit's.
He filled in a 25 random items post recently and one item leapt out at me.

One of my favorite songwriters is someone few people have ever heard of: Michael Peter Smith. He wrote The Dutchman, among other songs. (He is not to be confused with the insipid Christian songwriter Michael W. Smith.)

I have long thought this is the best song ever written! (OK a bit of rhetoric there.)
You can break into tears here:

For me the saddest and most beautiful line is Margaret's seeing the unborn children in his eyes.
Michael Smith was part of a stunning Chicago contribution to music which also includes Steve Goodman and John Prine.
I know of The Dutchman and of a lot of other great music from the stunning Max Ferguson, back in the days when the CBC could have flaky hosts who were interesting.
And here is Michael Smith performing it. So gentle.

Or, maybe even lovelier, though a cover, from the irreplaceable Steve Goodman:


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