Eric Andersen Shines a Light on “Dangerland” 

Submitted by Don Graham 

These are troubled times in so many ways. Wars are still being fought, political unrest and division is high and uncomfortable and gun violence and mass shootings are occurring in epidemic proportions. Fifty plus years ago the folksingers in the United States wrote songs of protest about the war and political unrest and hoped that their words would create a change. Folksingers like Phil Ochs, ‘I Ain’t Marching Anymore’, Bob Dylan, ‘Blowing In The Wind’ and Eric Andersen, ‘Thirsty Boots’, all were part of the youth for change movement. So in the new millennium who among the young artists would write about the current situation? Who would address the division and the gun violence? I couldn’t find any . Why not? I’m not sure. Maybe they lack the blind optimism that they could make a difference? 

Watch and Listen to “Dangerland” on YouTube here:

In Eric’s words “I was never a protest singer though a little Phil Ochs ran through us all. But you can write songs for the long views like medical journals describe diseases. Like a protest song that happens every day. I’ve been wanting to write about gun culture violence for a long time. The other day I read a disturbing piece on CNN where a few days ago a three-year old girl in Texas found a semi-automatic pistol in a room and fatally wounded her four-year old sister. And that coupled with all the school shootings we read about and see on TV. Remember the Sixties civil rights activist H. Rap Brown? He made an astute, tragic, and fruitful observation: “Violence is American as cherry pie.”

“Dangerland” – this is what we’ve been waiting for. Eric Andersen was the voice of discontent for a generation back in ‘60s writing and singing his outrage and mobilizing us to fight for change. During all these troubled and messed up times I kept wondering “where are the young voices expressing their outrage?” They were nowhere to be found, like they either didn’t know how to express themselves or didn’t care. And finally the old master had enough and took it upon himself to scream out his view on the condition of “Dangerland”. This song, the lyrics, the haunting track and uncomfortable images will shine a spotlight on a problem that must be dealt with. Bravo Eric, you have comforted the disturbed and disturbed the comfortable.