Stonewall Pride in Song / Song of the Day #2047

As we near the end of Pride Month, this remains a night to remember.

On this night in 1969, in Greenwich Village, NYC, a rebellion began. It would unfold over six days, taking on legendary significance in the battle for freedom and personal flourishing. This is my tribute to Stonewall Pride in Song …

Song of the Day: The Monkees (“I’m a Believer”), words and music by Neil Diamond, was recorded by The Monkees, with lead vocals by Micky Dolenz. It first appeared on the group’s second studio album, “More of the Monkees“. It was heard in four consecutive episodes of “The Monkees” TV show in 1966.

Though the show ran from 1966 thru 1968, this song remained on the jukebox of the Stonewall Inn in the wee hours of June 28, 1969, when that gay bar was raided by police for the umpteenth time.

For those who don’t understand why there is such a thing as “Pride Month” or why it is celebrated in June, it’s because on that night, the patrons fought back. They had had enough of being regularly harassed and bullied, arrested and bloodied. This was not the first such revolt against state authority, not by a long shot. In NYC, for example, during the “Sip-In” at Julius’ bar in 1966, gay men who identified themselves as such were defined as “disorderly” and denied service. Despite court victories in 1967 against oppressive liquor license laws, mob-owned bars like the Stonewall operated without liquor licenses, with all the corruption, payoffs, and blackmail this entailed.

That’s why the Stonewall Uprising remains a milestone of mythic proportions.

In honor of their bravery, I salute the Stonewall Rebels in all their rainbow glory. Their historic struggle has universal significance for those of us who value human freedom and personal authenticity.

Check out this song in a compilation of scenes from “The Monkees” [YouTube links]

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