Man in Black

Do you have a Fundraising Anthem?

A colleague at English Heritage introduced me to Johnny Cash, or as he insisted on calling him ‘The Legend Johnny Cash’.

Cash’s protest-song Man in Black could be my Fundraisers’ Anthem. In this 1971 footage Cash performs Man in Black for the very first time. His audience is a group of students in Nashville, who he’d been talking to that week while he wrote it. He says, ‘we asked each other a lot of questions. You asked me questions, I asked you questions’. In fact, he’d only settled on the final lyrics that morning, and needed cue cards to remember all of the words.

Watch the students reaction as the song builds…

Bear in mind that ten months earlier the Ohio National Guard had unleashed 67 live rounds on students protesting against the Vietnam War. Four students were killed, one was permanent paralysed, and nine more were wounded. Four million American students then went on strike, closing universities, colleges and schools across the country, and public opinion was finally swaying against the role of the United States in the Vietnam War. However, the war was still raging.

It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

What would your fundraising anthem be? Share a link in the comments below.

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