Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jonah Matranga: “The Lonesome Death Of Trayvon Martin”

"He's a no-account son of a bitch, he's just like a scum bag of the earth, I should have sued him and put him in jail."
William Zantzinger on Bob Dylan

Factual errors aside, Bob Dylan's 1963 protest song "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" brutally illustrated the fatal violence that can be visited on poor African-Americans with scant penalty for the guilty.

The song, recently given a spooky reading by Cage the Elphant, sadly still speaks to 21st century American racial relations as evidenced by the tragic death of Trayvon Martin in Florida in February of this year. While the evidence in this explosive case has not all been assembled, the fact that George Zimmerman* could walk away free after killing the unarmed youth he pursued against the advice of law enforcement is shocking. The coterie of far-right reactionaries willing to "philosophize disgrace" piles insult upon injury. There is no question that Zimmerman chased, shot and killed Martin and it is my belief that if there are any mitigating circumstances, they should be argued in front of a judge and jury, not played out in a media free-for-all.

Of course it was the reaction of people, in both the mainstream media and social media, that brought this issue to international attention, so let us play an oh-so-modest part in that reaction with this little batch of words and a song.

"The Lonesome Death Of Trayvon Martin” by American folk-punk-emo dude, Jonah Matranga is an earnest adaptation, which, like Dylan's original, seems to represent a gut  reaction to the initial injustice rather a balanced account of the events. While this song will not likely be remembered when the crime's memory fades, it is, if nothing else, another indication of how the protest song will be spread ("Please feel free to share all of this in any way you like. Any money generated will go directly to Trayvon's family.") in the internet age. 

Bandcamp page

*(Speaking of Bob Dylan and this case, has anyone noticed that George Zimmerman's father's name is Robert?)


  1. Welcome regular readers, newcomers and trolls alike!

    If you are one of the latter, why not actually read the post before putting words in my mouth? (And please remember that I will delete comments with abusive language.)

  2. Replies
    1. Well, I never said it was perfect - just an interesting addition to the discussions
      But thanks for taking the time to listen and comment.

  3. Another take (can't have too much of this stuff, I guess)

    1. Thanks for adding your own interpretation to the mix.

  4. this is like a weird al version of Bob Dylan's song

    1. I think you're thinking of this:

  5. The Hattie Carroll story debunked. She died from cardiovascular disease. The charge of murder was dismissed. Read below.

    "Did William Zanzinger Really Murder Hattie Carroll By Beating Her to Death With a Cane?"

    Maybe it's time for Dylan, the false witness, to take the rag away from his face, now ain't the time for his crocodile tears.

    Well, to his credit, he has made a fortune from race baiting and sing about poor people.

  6. "sing about poor people", atrocious grammar aside, this is quite an elitist charge to level.
    Perhaps your reading skills are also lacking, after all the article you linked says "the charges were reduced to manslaughter when it was determined that it was his berating of Carroll that caused her death of the brain hemorrhage.
    Glad you're defending the scumbag, however ineffectively.


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