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small thoughts on Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron died a few days ago.

I'm a bit surprised by how that's stayed present in my mind, how it's affecting me. I haven't cried about it, I wouldn't say that I've even been particularly sad as such, and yet for some reason it's stayed present in my mind: what a sad loss for us. Sad that he should die now, only 62 years old, when just last year he released his first new studio album in 16 years, I'm New Here, and hopefully might have had much more music and poetry to share with us had he not passed. 

He's most famous of course for one of his earliest works, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", and deservedly so, but did ever so much more than just that poem/song. On KEXP, DJ Riz just played a good 20 minutes of Scott-Heron's music, jazzy and soulful and uplifting, and it's just more evidence that my music collection is sorely deficient for not including any of it. Which is another reason why it's a bit peculiar that I've been feeling so affected by his death: I've had "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" in my iTunes shopping cart / wish list for several years now but still haven't purchased it, and I've been thinking for about as long that I really needed to check out more of his music but haven't done so. My familiarity is entirely based on what I've happened to hear on the radio (mostly KEXP) over the years. I wouldn't expect to care that much, and yet I do; I believe from what I've heard that I've really been missing out by not knowing his work better, and I think it's very unfortunate that I never saw him perform live and now never will. 

KEXP's recent documentary series "Poets and Music" included a segment, episode #9, on Gil Scott-Heron. I recommend checking it out.

And with my ever-present struggle of overcoming myself to be the better person I believe I should be, it's no surprise that in the wake of his passing the song I've been thinking about the most has been "Don't Give Up"—listen to it here on YouTube, read the lyrics here on LyricsWiki
Spirits say don't give up
Yes it's time to stop your fallin'
You've been down long enough
Can't you hear the spirits callin'?


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