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renae angeroth des moines , iowa | interviewed 2-11-2002

biographical sketch | artist's statement | interview clips

"Another Day "

song and lyrics, recording by Renae Angeroth, voice and piano

LISTEN (mp3 audio): 1.8MB, 4-1/2 minutes | READ Lyrics

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"Another Day"—Lyrics

In the path of time
On any day in any land
Lives are taken at the hand of another.
Although I sympathize
I assume my routine.

I accept it as reality of nature.
Part of tradition and expected in the future.

For me it is
A day the same as any other.
No different than any other day.
A day the same as any other.
No different than any other day.

Then it was our own time
To play host to tragedy
And for once we did not know what we should do.
We moved to form a circle
Shoulders pressing on each side.
It was an unexpected thing for me to see.

We formed a circle, and we watched each other's fears.
We pressed together, and we shared each other's tears.

For me it was
A day not the same as any other.
It was different than any other day.
A day not the same as any other.
It was different than any other day.

As time moves on
We consider the meaning and consequences of our lives.
All who read my story
Will no doubt agree

It was a day of great importance to be sure.
But to the historian the day is nothing more

Than
A day the same as any other.
No different than any other day.
A day the same as any other.
No different than any other day.

A day the same as any other.
No different than any other day.
A day the same as any other.
No different than any other day.

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interview clips (mp3 audio & text)

Images of 9/11
listen (0:58/396KB) | read

October 7
listen (1:02/426KB) | read

"Another Day"
listen (0:45/311KB) | read

Art's Role
listen (0:32/218KB) | read

 

Images of 9/11
It didn't cross my mind that this could be a deliberate attack. Then by the time I got to work, in different offices people had TVs on and were huddled around those, and I didn't want to see that. I didn't know how I'd react, so I tried to get on the websites—of course, the web traffic that day was just tremendous, and I heard some more then, and then friends would call in, and let me know. We didn't do any work in the office that day, I'm almost certain of it.

The worst pictures for me were the people who felt they had to jump off those buildings. And there was a picture in the newspaper, I think. And it caught a person mid-air, and the fall was tragically so graceful. I'll never forget that image, because as many people that died, they were individuals who died; and what someone must be thinking when they reach that point, "I have to jump," haunts me.

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October 7 (Bombing of Afghanistan)
I remember thinking, "We're going to attack the government in Afghanistan in order to get through to who we believe were the terrorists," and so then I guess I felt, "Well, it's arrived then." It didn't take me by surprise.

In some sense, I was disappointed, yes, and another sense, I felt like, you can't let it go unchallenged, but is this how we want to challenge it? Perhaps I was grateful that I wasn't the one making that decision, too.

There's a professor on the East coast; it's his theory that more people have died in Afghanistan—and I've seen a lot of debate about those numbers, I don't know if they're accurate. Certainly there have been other conflicts and situations where more than 4,000 people have died in a small place. And do I notice? I read it in the paper and I feel bad, but then I turn the page. And in some sense you have to—I mean, that's part of getting on. But I felt ashamed. My life stopped on September 11th. I didn't do my work; I came home and I watched TV. And October 7th, I went through my usual routine.

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"Another Day"
It's just like any other day; it's no different than any other day. And I wrote both of those lines down—Okay, choose one. Can you make the melody work better with this or that? And I kept saying them together, because I was trying to choose between them. And I like that now, because it's repetitive, and that is the point—that our lives are repetitive and routine until something happens to us.

So the message I want to convey: be compassionate a little bit more when the tragedy hits others. Whether that tragedy be terrorism or be something even on a smaller scale, but particularly when we see wars in other countries. All they get is three minutes on the nightly news, and that's all.

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Art's Role
People paint or write poetry or do music for different reasons. Some people use it as therapy. I would hope that through an artist's perspective, though, that you're trying to show something different that we might have missed, to show a new perspective on how to view the situation. And with that, hopefully, to help heal the wounds that have been inflicted. So, perhaps as a healing, a thought-provoking—something that would enhance our whole being.

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biographical sketch

Renae Angeroth was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1962. She grew up on a farm just outside Council Bluffs, and was the third of four children. She spent a pivotal year in high school as an exchange student in New Zealand through AFS.

She has been active in music since childhood, taking several years of piano lessons and composing songs even as a youngster. She earned a B.S. in Broadcast/Business from Northwest Missouri State University, in Maryville, Missouri, and a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.

She has worked for a public radio station, Legal Services Corporation, and has taught Business Law at a private college. She currently is a staff attorney for the United States District Court in Des Moines.

She lives with her husband and three children in Des Moines. She continues to compose and play music, and for the last three years or so has been working on a three-hour modern opera on war that is specifically about the war in Bosnia, but its themes are universal.

artist's statement

On September 11, 2001, my feelings of fear, sadness, and disbelief were not unique from those experienced by many others. In the days immediately following, I was aware of a tremendous spirit of unity emerging from residents of the United States and with friends around the world. This genuine connected and closeness during of the week following September 11 surprised and overwhelmed me.

About one month later, I looked at a calendar which has an important event listed for every day of the year. On that particular date 50,000 residents of Poland were killed during a Nazi invasion. Although we staggered at our own injuries on September 11, I could not comprehend a loss of so many more people in such a short span of time. It forced me to recognize how many

individuals suffer and die throughout time and in all parts of the world without any real acknowledgement or change within me.

Several weeks later I was writing two separate and distinct songs, each focusing on one of the two reactions I had to the September terrorism. I believed separate compositions were necessary given the polarization of the concepts. Neither music nor the lyrics progressed well as separate pieces. Finally, I attempted to weave one thought with the other and was surprised by the easy integration of both.

"Another Day" was written in direct response to the tragedy of September 11. Nonetheless, it was meant to be a universal acknowledgment for anyone who has experienced grief of this kind.

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