Sen. Robert Byrd, Remembered In Song : Blog Of The Nation The late Sen. Robert Byrd was an accomplished fiddler, who performed all over. His life is also the subject of a song by the band I See Hawks in L.A.
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Sen. Robert Byrd, Remembered In Song

Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia is joined on Tuesday, April 23, 1980 in Washington by Barbara Mandrell and Charley Pride as he entertains at a Country Music Association reception for members of Congress. Charles Harrity/AP hide caption

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Charles Harrity/AP

Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia is joined on Tuesday, April 23, 1980 in Washington by Barbara Mandrell and Charley Pride as he entertains at a Country Music Association reception for members of Congress.

Charles Harrity/AP

When Sen. Ted Kennedy died, I took great pleasure in commemorating his life with a  roundup of clips of the Senator singing all over the place.  And when Sen. Robert Byrd died, one of the first things I saw about it was the clip below, posted by David Gura, an avid fiddler himself.

YouTube

The next thing that came my way was a link to this song, "Byrd From West Virginia," by I See Hawks in L.A. It's a tribute to the late senator, and a history lesson, to boot.

Flu of 1918 took his mother away
Couldn’t go to college in the depths of the Depression
The valedictorian pumped gasoline instead

The band doesn't shy away from Byrd's dark years as a KKK member...

He burned the cross of Jesus in the West Virginia night
The darkness of America blinded his sight
Baptized in the blood of our national sin
The Ghosts of the Conquest rise again and again

But also credits him for his objections to the Iraq war...

And when a reckless young President came calling for war
Old Bird from West Virginia
Sang out the score:
"The doctrine of pre-emption is radical and deadly"

Thanks to Peter Granitz, working with Talk of the Nation into the fall, for the link. And stay tuned -- he plans to join us on the blog in a couple months.