This Year’s ‘Political Folk Song of the Year’ Was Written by a Boricua Songwriter

In case you didn’t know, NPR just proclaimed “The Body Electric,” written by Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, as the 2014 Political Folk Song of the Year. Segarra is a Puerto Rican songwriter from the Bronx. She is now based in New Orleans, along with the rest of the band.

This is what Segarra once said about the band:

The name of our band is Hurray for the Riff Raff, and the Riff Raff has always been defined by us as outcasts of society. We are a political feminist queer folk roots music band with a Puerto Rican front woman. We were inspired to play music by outspoken artists of the past who stood their ground in the face of great adversity. Women of color in particular sharing their pain and their struggles made us the musicians we are today.

Here is a video of “The Body Electric,” whose production was fan-funded, with the remaining funds donated to the Third Wave Fund and Trayvon Martin Foundation.

This is what the video’s director Joshua Shoemaker said about the project:

This video is a meditation on the acceptance of violence and discrimination against people of color, women and the LGBT community. We took these frustrations and paired them with classic imagery. Replacing the Botticelli’s Venus with Katey Red, the transgender mother of ‘sissy bounce,’ is something that speaks clearly without having to be salacious or heavy-handed.

Earlier this year, the band performed “The Body Electric” on Letterman. By the way, the song was also named the #1 Song of 2014 by American Songwriter.

The song is part of the band’s album, Small Town Heroes.


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rikimaru says:

The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable “ judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.

The Babylonian” Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.” (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
And finally it came Spain’s turn. Persecution had occurred there on “ and off for over a century, and, after 1391, became almost incessant. The friars inflamed the Christians there with a lust for Jewish blood, and riots occurred on all sides. For the Jews it was simply a choice between baptism and death, and many of them submitted to baptism.
But almost always conversion on thee terms was only outward and false. Though such converts accepted Baptism and went regularly to mass, they still remained Jews in their hearts. They were called Marrano, ‘ Accursed Ones,’ and there were perhaps a hundred thousand of them. Often they possessed enormous wealth. Their daughters married into the noblest families, even into the blood royal, and their sons sometimes entered the Church and rose to the highest offices. It is said that even one of the popes was of this Marrano stock.