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American Tragedy

by Dave Miller

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Today, I’m excited to release “American Tragedy”, a new original protest song in which I played the instruments, penned the lyrics, and sang the words (first time for the latter two, yikes!).

As many of us have during this troubled time in our nation’s history, I’ve struggled with how to most effectively use my energy to create change. I regularly call my representatives, attend rallies, donate to important causes, and generally try to be a better person in my daily life. However, it still feels so overwhelming.

One form of resistance I see lacking in all of this is the protest song. There is not much in the way of live music featured prominently in rallies. Similarly, I haven’t come across many songs written in response to our current political climate that really speak to the people, especially without irony or cynicism. Who is our generation’s Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Joan Baez, Public Enemy, or Gil Scott Heron? There are definitely examples, but we need more. And, because of the present state of the music industry and our short attention spans, we need to push harder to be heard by the masses. We need an anthem.

Therefore, living by the credo of ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone as a strict instrumentalist and putting my money where my mouth is. I don’t expect my humble contribution to become the anthem. Rather, I hope it encourages others to write their own anthems and put them out into the world. If someone (me) who is normally repelled by the thought of putting his own words to music and hearing his voice recorded can do it, you surely can, as well! And if you like my song, record an even better version of it and put it out! Or just share this track to inspire others. Above all, I hope my leap of faith inspires you into positive action of some sort.

This song is dedicated to both of my grandfathers, who served in World War II to defend and establish many of the freedoms we enjoy today, and to my parents, whose resolute positivity inspires me to stay engaged.

IT'S ABOUT TIME WE MUSICIANS ORGANIZED. Complaining to or commiserating with people who think like you accomplishes nothing. Fill the world with your sincere expression and you will see change!

You can stream “American Tragedy” for free, but I recommend buying the digital file for $1, as all my proceeds will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

As always, love your neighbor, love your Earth, stay woke, and VOTE!


In the halls of Washington
In the hearts of everyone
From the cries of a newborn son
Who longs to be free

From the mouth of number one
From the barrel of a smoking gun
'Bout the battle that will never be won
And it's not for you and me

In the hearts of forgotten ones
Era of coal job is done
He'll let you keep your guns
But you'll never be free

American dream soon to be dead
How do we move ahead?
Shine a light on our bed
Come together instead
See how the people have led
'Cause he's not for you and me
And we long to be free
We'll escape this tragedy


released August 15, 2017
Dave Miller - guitar, mellotron, vocals


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Dave Miller Chicago, Illinois

A truly unique musical product of both Brooklyn and Chicago, Dave Miller, who "plays with refined restraint of someone twice his age" (Time Out), has once again redefined his parameters with the improvisational psych-folk of "Old Door Phantoms". Out 4/1/16 on ears&eyes Records with a national tour to support! ... more

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