Stephen Foster's classic of 'Love and Theft,':
Massas in De Cold, Cold Ground
Down in de cornfieldH
Hear dat mournful sound:
All de dark-eyes am a-weeping,
Massa's in de cold, cold ground.
or remembering, much more pertinently to this New Year where we struggle for hope but seem able to continue to wonder, trying to fight despair, only about the future, Gil Scott-Heron's anthem/ode from the 70s -
"And now its winter/
Winter in America...
and all the healers been done killed or sent away,
..But the people know..
Save your souls from Winter in America."
Given the economic and political polarization of American institutions and society, the political metaphors are not lost, it seems, when compared with this brutal winter of 2011.