James Gilmore

Category: Songwriter Stories

Black Dimes by James Gilmore

There are many things I'd like to see before I die. As a generation, we've been a part of incredible change, a two steps forward one step back progression that frustrates and inspires all at once. I was born in the opening credits of the 1990's, January 4th. By the time I could crawl, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait which led to the Persian Gulf War. I was barely forming sentences when it and the Cold War had ended, and Los Angeles was ablaze with riots. When I was a toddler Bill Clinton was sworn in as the President of the United States.

I was sitting in my first classroom when the bombing in Oklahoma City killed 168 people, and I was nine during the shooting at Columbine High School. The first election I was ever allowed to stay up and watch was the close race of Al Gore and George W. Bush, and the first tragedy that I was old enough to be devastated by was the attack on 9/11. At 13, the US and Britain went to war with Iraq. During my high school years, I watched terrible storms sweep homes into the ocean in Florida, tens of thousands of troops sent to train soldiers in Iraq and fight terrorists, and the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech. I voted in my first election my first year of college. My guy won. The economy did not. Bin Laden did not. Marriage equality efforts reversed Don't Ask Don't Tell and DOMA. BP sprung a leak that landed them on nature's most wanted list. Health care continues to be a topic of disappointment for all sides involved, except insurance companies, but Health itself has slowly become trendy somehow. Excusing gaps in my memory, that about brings us up to present time. I'm now 23 years old, and I wrote a song last year called Black Dimes that describes what I've seen and what I've still yet to see before my time is up. It's about rising up and fighting for what you believe. It's about using the tools of older generations to chisel at the obstacles between us and tomorrow, so that when death is upon me I can say "I lived to see the days."