Weiss: I’ve read criticisms that they “date too quickly,” which is insane; no one thinks of Bob Dylan and says “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” or “Hurricane” didn’t date well.

DiFranco: That the political song dates itself or something? Yeah, what the fuck is wrong with that? I mean, I just titled my new record after a song that dates back to the 1930s. I rewrote the verses so it’s changed to the struggle today. The original verses were very much about the labor strike and the coal mining in fucking West Virginia or Kentucky or something… but the song itself is timeless, the sentiment is timeless. It’s a call to action, and that’s a whole process. Take the shit and update it and continually evolve it just like the political situation evolves. But if nobody puts it out there to begin with … then there’s no cultural legacy of rabble-rousing, revolutionary music to draw from, to reinvent.


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