Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Music – Song #113

The Youngbloods
“Get Together” —

The Youngbloods were an American rock band consisting of Jesse Colin Young (vocals, bass), Jerry Corbitt (guitar), Lowell Levinger, nicknamed “Banana” (guitar and electric piano), and Joe Bauer (drums). Despite receiving critical acclaim, they never achieved widespread popularity. Their only U.S. Top 40 entry was “Get Together”

In 1967, the Youngbloods released their version of the song under the title “Get Together”. It became a minor Hot 100 hit for them, peaking at number 62 and reaching 37 on the US adult contemporary chart.

However, renewed interest in the Youngbloods’ version came when it was used in a radio public service announcement as a call for brotherhood by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Youngbloods’ version, the most-remembered today, was re-released in 1969, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

I remember this song as an anthem for peace during the Viet Nam war. It was a theme song for student protestors opposing the war, but who were also opposed to the often violent response of law enforcement and National Guard troops during student demonstrations that were not always peaceful to begin with. These were tumultuous times for our nation and many people were deeply divided on many fronts related to the social issues of the day.

Today, we are similarly a nation divided, but there is always a remedy for the hate and contempt that divides us no matter the tumults that we face. We are all brothers and sisters in this world. Love and compassion destroy hate and contempt. If we can understand the message in this song and apply to the way that we live and how we treat one another, then we can conquer those things that divide us as a people. “Get Together.”

I’m adding this song to my Homeless Memorial Day list because it is as relevant today as it was ever relevant in the past. With all of the indifference in politics, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. that plays out before us each day in the media, we are drawn to make conclusions on so many issues. Let us not be overwhelmed by the cries for social justice and equality on behalf of special interests so much, that we can not hear the cries of those who are the least in our society.

All lives matter including the lives of people without homes. They too need permanent places to live that are safe, secure and healthy. Black or white, rich or poor, Christian or Muslim; We can end homelessness if we “Get Together.”

One of my favorite lines from any song comes from the opening line from this song. “Love is but a song we sing, fear’s the way we die.”

Love is but a song we sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

C’mon people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right Now

Some may come and some may go
We will surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moments sunlight
Fading in the grass

​C’mon people now
Smile on your brother
​Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

(Again)

​C’mon people now
Smile on your brother
​Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand
Listen!
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your tremblin’ hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command

C’mon people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

C’mon people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now!
Right now!
Right now!

See an entire collection of songs relating to homelessness here!

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About the Author

Tim Houchen
Tim Houchen was homeless and living at the Santa Ana Civic Center between 2011 and 2015. He began advocating for the homeless community there while he was still homeless as a founding member of the infamous Civic Center Roundtable. The “grass roots” organization was composed of homeless individuals living at the civic center and Houchen was elected to serve as the groups first official spokesman in 2014. Tim is now in permanent supportive housing and lives in the City of Anaheim where he serves as a Commissioner of Housing and Community Development. Tim is also a member of the Orange County Continuum of Care and serves as Co-Chairman of the Homeless Providers Forum. He founded the nonprofit, Hope 4 Restoration, in 2017 and serves as Executive Director of the organization. Houchen created this site as a vehicle to share his knowledge, information and most of all, his experience which allows him to view the current homeless crisis in Orange County from a different and very unique perspective, a “Homeless Perspective.”

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