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State of Independence


Driving through the wintery woods last night, picking up pizza from Phoenicia for our guests from the city, I was thrilled to hear Dave Leonard on WDST play “Spiritual High” by Moodswings in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday – and, clearly, given the other songs that followed, in anticipation of Tuesday’s historical Inauguration. I shouldn’t ever forget this song: it’s the one my wife chose as her wedding music. I have other reasons to remember it, too, though this isn’t the right occasion to go into all of them! Still, I hadn’t heard “Spiritual High” for a while – a few years, perhaps – and the beauty of the instrumental track really caught me all over again.

Now that I’ve listened to it again, I’m not entirely sure Dave Leonard was playing the original recording, which features Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I believe he may have superimposed a different speech over the instrumental track instead. Either way, it feels appropriate to share the track today. Some people know it not as “Spiritual High” but as “State of Independence.” Others know it not by the name of Moodswings but that of its singer, Chrissie Hynde. You can hear her vocal performance by following through the YouTube link to “Spiritual High” part 2. But today it’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s day, and so it’s part 3 that I encourage you to hear. Happy Birthday, sir. We’ve come a long, long way.

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