Tom Russell: Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?
I happen to think Tom Russell ranks among the greatest living American songwriters. Don't know him? You probably do, but know performances of songs by other people—typically his co-songwriters.
So why do I cite Russell and not Dave Alvin, Ian Tyson, or any of his other collaborators? Because Russell is the only thing all of those songs have in common, other than an inordianately high level of craft.
This is a pretty good protest song until the last two verses, which kick it up a notch:
We've got fundamentalist Muslims,
We've got fundamentalist Jews,
We've got fundamentalist Christians
They'll blow the whole thing up for you.
But as I travel around this big old world
there's one thing I most fear
and that's a white man in a golf shirt
with a cell phone in his ear.