Anthem of the Free Reed Liberation Orchestra

This was a piece I wrote (lyrics) for my second CD (which you can listen to over on the right, or download from Bandcamp). The idea was that there was this fictional between-the-wars crypto-anarchist, quasi-mystical accordion orchestra uniting squeezers everywhere. And this is their anthem.

I had no idea, at the time, that the FRLO would become and actual real thing nearly two decades later. I am grateful beyond measure for everyone in the group — squeezers and friends — who, I think, experienced a bit of trepidation when I asked them to sing.

There was also some emotion with the line about mothers, which should not have surprised me (mothers are complicated things). Steve said to me, “I don’t get this line about mothers.” To which I replied.

I wrote this around the time after my Mom died. It’s not really ABOUT MY MOM, just that I was feeling warmly about the idea of mothers. The FRLO in my mind, in 2006, was a … dance band that played in dives in a 1930s Svengali landscape. John Barrymore might bring Marion Marsh there while they’re on vacation in Vienna, trying to avoid the press and the police, and maybe get their hands on some absinth. The FRLO would be playing there, and they might dance, or they might not.

For reference: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022454/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

The FRLO (April 2021 edition) is

Anahata, accordion; Matthew Bampton, accordion, voice; Heloise Bampton, fiddle, voice; Gary Chapin, accordion, voice; Margaret Cox, fiddle, voice; Andrew Edgington, accordion; Steve Gruverman, whistle, bass clarinet, voice; Eric Johnson, guitar; Gren Penn, accordion, voice; Julian Scholefield, accordion; Janneke Slagter, accordion, voice; Abigail Stratton, trumpet; Barb Truex, banjo, tenor guitar; Siska vd Valk, voice.

If you would like to support this work I am at venmo @Gary-Chapin-7 or you can buy some sweet FRLO swag by clicking on the coffee cup over on the right.