October 2000


There are several sound clips of Malvina on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.


Margret Roadknight, Malvina's great friend from Australia, writes:

Hi, Nancy! finally on the Net, so Greetings from Oz!! Hope you and Claudia are fighting fit, and will send me the occasional e-mail (though I'll check yr website every so often for official updates).

Speaking of which, you might like to add info re international centenary tributes, namely “From Way Up Here”, the Down Under sing'n'chat hour starring yours truly with pianist extraordinaire Sue Porter who also sang along (beautifully but reluctantly). Debut: Woodford Folk Festival (largest such gathering in the southern hemisphere), Dec 31, '99, and most recently - Port Fairy Folk Festival (another biggie, this time in Victoria, rather than Queensland) last month.

Needless to say, it always goes down a treat, with folks requesting more info re records etc (I told them about the upcoming CDs - but when will they really be out? - and the website, etc). So, if you'd like to experience the Antipodean take on the legend, Sue & I have a few available dates remaining.......................Love, Margret


Friend of mine, back from a visit to Homer, Alaska, said she heard two hours of different people singing Malvina songs on the Public Radio Station there. KBBI, I think she said.


Larry Kelp starts his favorable East Bay Express review of Ear to the Ground, the new Folkways CD, thusly: “Berkeley's Malvina Reynolds was already a grandmother when she became her generation's Ani DiFranco, writing, recording, and publishing her own music and booking her own concerts until her death in 1978.” Later he says, “The music is brilliant, Reynolds' voice is craggy and not nice, and her lyrics are as relevant today as when she wrote them, scarily so.”


Rosalie Sorrels' combined celebration of Malvina's 100th birthday and Rosalie's new album of Malvina songs, No Closing Chord, was a rousing success. Sold out a week in advance, the August 23 gathering at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage Coffee House brought together old friends and new for cake and song. Having fun on stage with Rosalie were album accompanists Nina Gerber, Barbara Higbie and Bruce Barthol, with Will Scarlett adding mouth organ on a few tunes. Rosalie told stories of her travels with Malvina and rounded off the evening with a short set of her own excellent songs.

The album includes two songs never recorded by Malvina: “I Cannot Sleep” and “No Closing Chord” (words by Malvina and music by Pete Seeger) which was first sung at her memorial in 1978. No Closing Chord is available from Red House Records.


Pat Lamanna writes:
Six members of the UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie did a service about [Malvina]. One of the songs we sang was "I Wish You Were Here." There wasn't a dry eye in the house -- or on the stage.

The service has also been performed at the UU congregations in Kingston and Croton-on-Hudson, NY, and we would consider traveling to any UU congregation within about two hours of Poughkeepsie.

I would also send a copy to anyone who requests it. They can e-mail me at patla6@aol.com.


The November 16, 2000, Freedom Song Network song swap will feature songs by Malvina. It's at 885 Clayton St. in San Francisco, starts at 8:00pm. Freedom Song Network will be doing another Malvina tribute at the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival at San Francisco City College on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in January 2001.



by Malvina Reynolds
new words by Bernard Gilbert

Little boxes on the ballot
Here's one for the Democrats
Here's a box for the Republicans
And you can't tell which is which,
There's a green one and some red ones
And one for the Libertarians
And a box for Pat Buchanan
And you can't tell which is which.

Little boxes on the ballot
And every vote counts, they say,
Except if you live in Florida
Where they throw your vote away,
There are experts, there are lawsuits,
But you don't need to be a genius
To know that we're in trouble
If they throw your vote away.

They have stolen the election
But in four years, if we live that long,
We'll get the opportunity
To vote once again,
And I'm hoping that the next time
In case anybody's listening
That we can vote for candidates
Who do not sound all the same.