Katrina & Beyond

Poem-Songs Kept New Orleans Group Together

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The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars found themselves in different parts of the country after Hurricane Katrina. Commentator Andrei Codrescu wrote a series of poem-songs to help keep the group together.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Katrina scattered members of the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars all across the country. To bring them back, commentator Andrei Codrescu wrote a series of poem-songs. The group recorded them, and the CD comes with Codrescu's newest book: "Jealous Witness: New Poems." On this, the third anniversary of Katrina's Louisiana landfall, we share one selection. It's called "Bodies in the Flood."

(Soundbite of song, "Bodies in the Flood")

Unidentified Man: (Singing) Bodies in the flood, just like in the days of Noah, cemeteries rising, the dead are coming back but no saints are marching in.

And my body's in the flood. Oh no, because I'm not poor and black, stubborn, crazy or sentimental, but it sure looks like the dead are coming back. It sure looks like a man (unintelligible).

Bodies in the flood, just like in the days of Noah. Nobody left to pick them all up, just like in the days of FEMA, just like in the days of FEMA.

SIEGEL: The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars from their CD, "Into the Maelstrom." The CD, as well as the poems that inspired it, can be found in Andrei Codrescu's new book, "Jealous Witness: New Poems."

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