Coming A Terrible Storm:
Storms As Metaphors, Covered In Folk

I had something else planned for this weekend’s feature, but even as Massachusetts downgrades the danger, the “perfect storm” barreling towards the East Coast is clearly atop everyone’s minds, smothering election news in its wake, and leaving us resigned to yet another reminder that no matter how advanced our civilizations become, our lives are still lived on earth’s fragile lifeboat.

It’s a lesson that we’ve learned well, here in our tiny rural Massachusetts town. Last October, still reeling from the aftereffects of the massive tornado that slammed through our downtown area and left five percent of our town homeless, our ravaged community spent 8 days without power or heat in the aftereffects of the heavy Halloween blizzard. At the time, I sent my family north to stay with my in-laws, knowing that rural homes that depend on electric well pumps and furnace fans are no place for children in the cold darkness. But someone had to stay home and care for the cats. And so it was my lot to huddle under the blankets, and keep an eye on the weighted branches and downed power lines out my window, and dream – a lonely time, but a centering and humbling one, as well.

This time, we’re as ready as we can be. The basement is stocked with wood for the furnace; non-perishables spill over onto the countertops; out in the community, the laundromat and grocery store are jam packed with shoppers planning ahead for the possibility of powerlessness. And though there are concerns about time lost to the ages – of school days cancelled if the wires go down again – the well-practiced struggle for survival is more real, and more present, in a world where disaster-driven isolation and community dependency are increasingly the norm.

And here on the blog? Easy peasy. The natural disaster is a common metaphor in folk music; the human condition is easily represented through images of both helplessness and shelter. And so we seek out the songs that tell our stories in fire, flood, and famine, in landslide and earthquake, in shipwreck and snow, in dust storm and drought, and more. And out come the songs about storms, themselves.

Listen, as the storms and instabilities of our lives and communities are played out in song. Download ‘em quick, by zip file or as individual tracks below, before the wires go down. And then follow the links, as always, to purchase and celebrate, and help support the artists we tout, that they may continue to speak to our secret hearts in the darkness.

Can’t wait until the next feature? Like the Cover Lay Down Facebook page for streaming bonus tracks and coverfolk extras throughout the week!

Category: Theme Posts One comment »

One Response to “Coming A Terrible Storm:
Storms As Metaphors, Covered In Folk

  1. Grant

    Nice essay, and songs. Thanks!

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