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First Watch: Andrew Bird Is Bloodless

There's new music from Andrew Bird. The creative violinist and singer has written a pensive tune inspired by our political climate called "Bloodless," including lines such as, "it's an uncivil war bloodless for now / and the poets they explode like bombs." Andrew Bird wrote to say, "We find ourselves in a cold civil war. Everyone is playing their part too well. Certain actors are reaping power and wealth from divisiveness. Echoes of the Spanish civil war when fascists and clergy win because they put up a united front against the individualistic and principled (yet scattered) left. We can turn this ship around, but need to step back and be honest with ourselves about what's happening while it's still relatively bloodless."

The video that accompanies this song takes us on a stroll through the streets of Los Angeles - streets filled with modern distractions of commercialism, commodities and cell phones. We see the haves and have nots all while Andrew Bird's song sends us a warning with lines about how "the best have lost their convictions /while the worst keep sharpening their claws."

Andrew Bird's song of discontent, his first new single in a little over a year, is available to stream or purchases now, and will also be available as a physical 7" on December 14. Here are the full lyrics:

They're profiting from your worry

selling blanks down at the DMZ

banking on the sound and fury

wonder what it's to do with me

bloodless for now

I'm keeping mine with the altruists

putting my weight behind the dancer

I know it's hard to be an optimist

when you trust least the ones who claim to have the answers

and it's an uncivil war bloodless for now

and the poets they explode like bombs

while the gentry is drinking moët chandon

turn around and quote a well known psalm:

don't you worry 'bout the wicked

don't you envy those who do wrong

and your innocence will be like the dawn

while the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun

the best have lost their convictions

while the worst keep

sharpening their claws

peddling in their dark fictions

while what's left of us we just hem and we haw

and it feels like 1936 in Catalonia


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.