Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Wednesday’s Choice

“‘Alabama’ is a composition written by John Coltrane that appears on his album Live at Birdland (1963). It was written in response to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963, an attack by the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four girls.”

– Wikipedia entry for Alabama (John Coltrane song)

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8 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Choice

  1. This is a great song I hadn’t previously heard, and one that’s made better (much better, in my opinion) by the historical explanation, which gives me a little reference from which to appreciate the work.


    • It is, and although I’ve got more Coltrane CDs than you can imagine, it’s one I’d never heard until only recently when I was watching a YouTube documentary on Coltrane.

      I agree, the explanation makes you understand it all the so much better.


  2. “I’d like to point out to people the divine in a musical language that transcends words. I want to speak to their souls.” John Coltrane

    Brilliant musician!


  3. Tom … This is the first I was aware of the historical connection to Coltrane’s song. It certainly does reach me on a deeper level just knowing that. Love this song.

    An adolescent literature book that ties in to that same tragic bombing is “The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963.” When I read that, I was so into the characters that I just broke down in sobs. The story by Christopher Paul Curtis is fiction but it really brings that horrible moment home.


  4. Hi Tom, always love to listen to music that touches the soul…


  5. Hi, Beth.

    Yes, such music does the soul immeasurable good.


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