NDY BALTZO was a modern-day prophet, one who fearlessly spoke truth to power.

            He was fond of saying that we all do the best we can, and I found myself incorporating that into a song lyric about Brian Willson. I’d like to share that song, and a few others, in memory of Andy.

            First is a sort of choral fanfare, “Sing To the Heart”. It has an intro, a chant I composed for the 2004 Kucinich presidential campaign, “Imagine”, a sentiment I’m certain Andy would echo.

             Next, you’ll hear the song, “Brian”.

             Andy played the piano. As I recall, he played five, and only five songs, as an exercise to limber up his fingers so his hands would be useful for the day. Undeniable is the fact that he loved music. I composed a suite of piano miniatures, which were interpreted by a jazz trio, with guitar solo. I dedicated them to my niece’s firstborn, upon Megan’s birth, “Three Miniatures for Megan Ashley Brown”. What you hear as vocals is actually a guitar synthesizer “patch”. Honest! (It’s my friend, Eddie Pasternak, playing, with my friends Walter Bankovitch, piano, Curtis Ohlson, bass and Paul Van Wageningen, drums. You’ll also hear the piano trio on “Brian”.

            Finally, a song of hope, called “It Seems To Me” also, I believe, expresses Andy’s optimism regarding the indomitability of the human spirit.

             Andy Baltzo, ¡Presente!

    Imagine / Sing To the Heart!

Imagine ... imagine ....

Imagine in our darkness shines a light with which we see
A hope and promise of a world where we can truly be.
Imagine living in a world where justice will prevail.
And working with compassion in our hearts we cannot fail.

Imagine creating a world where people live as one;
Imagine now, my friends, our transformation’s just begun.
                       [Sing to the center of the universe.]
Sing it out loud and clear, so that everyone can hear.
                       [Imagine people feeling that they’re no longer apart.]
Sing to the Heart – Sing to the Heart!

            Baruch ata Adonai,
            Eloheinu melech ha’olam;
            Halo lechol shirayich ani kinor.
            Baruch ata Adonai!
                       [We praise You, Eternal God,
                       Sovereign of the universe
                       Behold, I am a violin for all your songs.]

            Now sing!
Sing to the center of the universe;
Sing it out loud and clear, so that everyone can hear.
Sing to the Heart – Sing to the Heart!



So I talk to you of peace, and I want to save the world;
I speak of social justice with my banners all unfurled.
I stand along some picket line, or march with all my friends,
But when asked, ‘Will I be arrested,’ I reply,
           “Well, that depends.”


    Brian, you never meant to be a hero,
    Didn’t want to be a martyr,
    Did just what you had to do.

    Brian, I just had to give a cheer, Oh,
    But I wish that I could write
    A better song to give to you.

I write letters after church, vote resolutions every year,
As I try to find the answer in a heart still locked in fear.
I take my CD workshop, talk of laws the action bends;
But when I’m asked to lay my body down I say,
            “Well, that depends.”


So I seek a path to follow, try to sort out what is true;
And I believe that we all do the very best that we can do.
But, God, grant me enough courage and the strength of all my friends
To resist the urge to say to life and love,
            “Well, that depends.”


    Brian, you never asked to be a martyr,
    Didn’t want to be a hero,
    Did just what you had to do.

    Brian, I just had to give a cheer, Oh,
    But I wish that I could write
    A better song to give to you.

    Bop, ... do wah. That depends.



    Three Miniatures for Megan Ashley Brown


    It Seems To Me

It seems to me that you and I could change the world together
We could make it better by being truly who we are.
It seems to me, together, we could learn to love a stranger,
Nullify the danger that confronts us near and far.

It seems to me, if we could see the wounds that must be healed,
We’d move our hearts to yield the compassion that they bear.
It seem to me the earth could be a garden filled with laughter,
To blossom ever after with a beauty all could share.

At night I dream, and in my dream above the hills I’m flying;
Tears of joy I’m crying from the depth of love I feel.

As I descend a hand I lend to one whose fingers fashion
Understanding and compassion, with a touch that surely heals.

Yes, in the end I find, my friend, ‘tis you, my sister/brother.
We find in each other strength we need to carry on.
For in your eyes I realize the joy I find in living.
Now, in wonder and thanksgiving I arise to greet the dawn!

    Peace and love be with you all;
    Grace divine bestow upon you
    As you go forth to live and to serve in truth.


By the way, I cropped that photo from one of Andy & Deb. Here’s a “thumbnail” of the original. Click on it to see it enlarged: