Les McCann & Eddie Harris

In 1969, the Les McCann Trio and the Eddie Harris Quartet played the Montreux Jazz Festival. Later in the week, the two leads joined forces with some fine sidemen. The result was a live album, Swiss Movement. It is one wonderful, rockin' chunk of jazz.

When I was growing up, my brother Roland had the LP. This evening I bought the CD version and have been listening to it over and over, especially the first cut, "Compared To What." It sounds as vital and defiant now as it did in 1970, especially the 3rd verse. You can hear most of the instrumental intro in the Amazon clip. Herewith, the lyrics:

Compared to What
(by Eugene McDaniels)

Love the lie and lie the love
Hangin' on, with a push and shove
Possession is the motivation
that is hangin' up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut
Tryin' to make it real - compared to what?

Slaughterhouse is killin' hogs
Twisted children killin' frogs
Poor dumb rednecks rollin' logs
Tired old ladies kissin' dogs
Hate the human, love that stinking mutt
Try to make it real - compared to what?

The President, he's got his war
Folks don't know just what it's for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We're chicken-feathers, all without one gut
Tryin' to make it real - compared to what?

Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
Tryin' to duck the wrath of God
Preacher's fillin' us with fright
Tryin' to tell us what he thinks is right
He really got to be some kind of nut
Tryin' to make it real - compared to what?

Where's that bee and where's that honey?
Where's my God and where's my money
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol' young King Tut
Tried to make it real - compared to what?!

(thanks to somlynn at buzznet for the lyrics)


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