Thursday, June 22, 2023

Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs - "Wave a Flag for Harvey Milk"

Photo by Sarah Trott

Cass McCombs and San Francisco preschool teacher Mr. Greg have collaborated on an upcoming album of children's songs, but judging by the first single from the album, it's going to be great for all ages. "Wave a Flag for Harvey Milk" is a charming and catchy song about the late gay rights activist Harvey Milk. It does kind of sound like a kids' song at times, but traditional folk can have that sound. It's a beautiful little tribute to Milk, and it's nearly impossibly catchy. It'll be a challenge to not get the chorus of "Let's all wave a flag for the late great Harvey Milk" not stuck into all of our minds. 

Mr. Greg says of the new song:

“A few years ago I created ‘Wave a Flag for Harvey Milk’ as a sing-along coloring book that I wrote and illustrated as a way to introduce my students to some of the positive things that Harvey Milk did for San Franciscans in particular and the LGBTQ+ community at large. Cass and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus then added their musical magic to the song. This year, my students were overjoyed to see the illustrations from the coloring book come to life in a rainbow of colors by the talented animator Cameron Burr. I hope that this video inspires children and their grown-ups to follow Harvey's lead to make positive changes in the world.”

You can watch the video for "Wave a Flag for Harvey Milk" below. Mr. Greg & Cass McCombs Sing and Play New Folk Songs for Children is due out August 18 on Smithsonian Folkways, and is available for pre-order here. For more on the project, check out Smithsonian Folkways' website.

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