Search      Translate
with Jesus

By David Werther.

The Dimes, The King Can Drink the Harbor Dry (Timber Carnival Records, 2009)

           The king is England's George III. The harbor is Boston's, filled with 90,000 pounds of tea, courtesy of the Sons of Liberty. Liberty, or its lack, is one of the themes in this collection of songs focusing on the history of Boston. There is a song about William Lloyd Garrison's anti-slavery newspaper, "The Liberator," that ran from 1831–1866, and one about Mary Dyer (1611–1660), "The Lovely Mary Dyer," the Quaker who refused to accept banishment from Massachusetts and was hung for her defiance. The infamous, cold-hearted Webster Thayer (1857–1933), who allegedly assigned himself the role of judge and jury in the trial of anarchists Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti also merits a full song, as does compassionate Clarrissa Harlowe Barton (1821 – April 12, 1912). "Clara" is the standout track. The singer takes on the persona of a wounded soldier ("my lungs are filled with smoke and fear") pleading to Clara to hold him in his final moments.

           Good ideas always seem obvious after the fact. Reintroducing and/or introducing the listener to the likes of Clara Barton and Mary Dyer, as well as Winslow Homer (1836–1910) and Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894), is a good idea, and the Dimes seem to pull it off effortlessly. Their music is pleasing folk-pop, sometimes echoing Simon and Garfunkel, and their lyrics are intelligent and intriguing, without sounding pretentious.

Copyright © 2001–2024 by Daniel B. Clendenin. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla Developer Services by Help With