A few months ago, I made this soundtrack inspired by the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The mix was a long-shot pitch to be on the music team of Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant's upcoming mini-series When We Rise. Initially shelved as a failure, it feels vilely relevant. I've been playing it for myself lately, as a rallying cry to show up and stand up.
"In the Civil Rights Movement, we ran from the police, in the peace movement, we ran from the police. That night, the police ran from us, the lowliest of the low. And it was fantastic," John O'Brien, Stonewall Uprising.
1. "No Matter What Sign You Are," Diana Ross & The Supremes
2. "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered," The Ronettes
3. "This Is My Life," Shirley Bassey
4. "Alice Blue Gown," Jo Stafford
5. "Christopher Street," Wonderful Town - Original London Cast
6. "Do You Come Here Often," The Tornados
7. "John, I'm Only Dancing," David Bowie
8. "I'll Come Running," Brian Eno
9. "I'm So Free," Lou Reed
1. "Mambo Sun," T. Rex
2. "See My Friends, " The Kinks
3. "Singing Cowboy," Love
4. "Keep Off the Grass," Dave Ronk
5. "Jump Into the Fire," Harry Nilsson
6. "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay," Earl Rivers & Kim Criswell
7. "Ballad of the Lights, " Arthur Russell, The Flying Hearts & Allen Ginsberg
8. "We Shall Overcome," Charlie Hayden
A few background notes:
The first three songs were on the original Stonewall Inn jukebox.
"Alice Blue Gown" was a phrase signaling Inn-goers that an undercover cop was attempting to enter the bar.
Facing off against NYPD Tactical Police Force, the protesters linked up in a chorus line and sang to the tune of "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay," "We are the Stonewall girls/ We wear our hair in curls/ We don't wear underwear/ We show our pubic hair/We pick up lots of tricks/That's how we get our kicks/We wear our Dungarees/Above Our Nelly Knees.