As January approaches each year, a song percolates up through my consciousness and I pull up on my computer, and listen to, several recorded versions of it . It is called Beautiful Fool and it was written by Don Henry. You can hear a beautiful recording of it, by Kathy Mattea, here:

Martin Luther, who did you think that you were?
Appointed by some higher up
Merely mortal, your plans were unaffordable
No one wants to pay for love

Oh, you beautiful fool
Swimming upstream, kicking up waves
Dreams weren't meant to come true
That's why they call 'em dreams
Oh, you beautiful fool

Walter Cronkite preempted Disney one night
And all us kids were so upset
We thought that you were a trouble instigator
Marching through our tv set


To fight a fight without a fist
All human instinct puzzles this
How dare you threaten our existence?

Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ
History repeats itself so nice
Consistently we are resistant to love

Saw you on the black and white
With blacks and whites applauding you
Saw you on another time
Without a sign of life in you


On Monday, January 20th our community will gather at the SeaCrest Resort in North Falmouth for the annual breakfast, sponsored by No Place For Hate-Falmouth, commemorating the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that “beautiful fool” lifted up in Kathy Mattea’s poignant and evocative song.

Dr. King’s personal dreams died with him on that Memphis motel balcony in 1968, but he bequeathed to each and every one of us a dream waiting still to be fulfilled. We gather on the anniversary of Dr. King’s birth to acknowledge both his dream and his gifts and to be reminded of the necessity of seeing ourselves as “beautiful fools”, intoxicated by the allure of the possible and undeterred by those who might deem our dreams “foolish”.

To secure a place at our MLK Breakfast, please visit the website of No Place For Hate-Falmouth

Because past breakfasts have sold out, No Place for Hate – Falmouth recommends that you pre-register. Tickets will be sold at the door only if space is available.

Reb Elias