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Peas and Collards

from The Good Life is Half Night by Michael Holland

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I was lounging around on New Years Day 2001, making peas and collards, and thinking about this annual Southern tradition….that if you eat peas and collards on New Years Day you’ll have good luck (peas)and money (collards) during the year. And I was thinking that only a desperately poor person would ever come up with such a thing, but that even though it was desperate, it still must have (and still does) seemed like a ray of hope at the beginning of what would probably wind up being another arduous and worrisome year. And then I wondered if any rich people followed this tradition, thinking “ The rich don’t eat peas and collards on New Years Day.” The thought never crosses their minds. They’re too busy counting their money and admiring their good fortune. And that led to some thinking about corporations and ethics…. of making money, and the root of all evil, and disparities, and history. And eventually uprising and revolution…and as I am standing there over the stove, I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but my wife Jamie came into the kitchen, and I started singing the main melody to her, “…peas and collards on New Years Day…good luck and money…soon come my way.”
So the idea grew from there and I worked on it in my home off and on for about a month. I took an old Jennyanykind drum beat from Big Johns that fit the bill and then built the song from that, knowing I just wanted to make something long and developed that talked about the tradition of eating peas and collards, not in a passive, hopeful sense, but as a spark and seed of a new revolution against a corporate empire that oppresses almost everyone and has destroyed the basic American Dream, but just as importantly, also as an admonishment and reminder to each person about the evils of a material life, and in the most American sense, money. The song is meant as a metaphysical act of revolt, a fantasy created by a lone individual in an enormous socio-economic system.


from The Good Life is Half Night, released March 1, 2011


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The Holland Brothers Carrboro, North Carolina

This is the official site for North Carolina musicians, and Jennyanykind members Michael and Mark Holland . Here you can listen to and purchase (if you wish) all of the recorded songs in Michael's solo catalogue, Mark's catalogue, Jennyanykind, and their collaboration, the Holland Brothers. ... more

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