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The 2011 Grand Rapids LipDub

This is what we could do only eleven years ago. We could organize a city full of volunteers to work together to create this epic poem of civic union even in the midst of decay and decline. Why? Because they were all citizens and they all thought it would be a good thing to do. It both fills my heart and breaks it at the same time. Where in lost space and time was that moment and could it come again? My heart wishes that it could but my head fears what my heart desires.


“The Grand Rapids LipDub Video was filmed May 22nd, with 5,000 people, and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.” We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope.” – Rob Bliss, Director & Executive Producer

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper July 6, 2022, 5:28 PM

    Quite a coordinated effort.

  • Sid V July 6, 2022, 5:36 PM

    2011: “This video was created as an official response to the NEWSWEEK article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.”

    ONE YEAR LATER: “At the end of 2012, (NEWSWEEK) discontinued the American print edition after 80 years of publication, citing the increasing difficulty of maintaining a paper weekly magazine in the face of declining advertising and subscription revenues and increasing costs for print production and distribution.”

  • LP July 6, 2022, 7:04 PM

    I haven’t watched to the end yet, but I personally know the author and singer of the song, “American Pie” here in Maine and his personal story is not very happy right now. He has a son who is a close friend of a relative of mine. I”m amazed at the incredible coordination that went into this effort. It’s a great song and we’re fortunate to be able to enjoy this tribute. Long live American Pie!

  • Tom Hyland July 6, 2022, 8:50 PM

    I clicked this and watched about 30 seconds and thought, “Nah… I’m not doing this.” Then another minute in I was hooked. Totally amazing. Incredible choreography. Applauds. Very nice.

  • John Venlet July 7, 2022, 4:28 AM

    As a resident of Grand Rapids since 1984, I can vouch for the goodness inherent in that video, and recall when it was made. Since that time, though, and with the rise of the idiocy of BLM, alphabet soup people, bike lanes, and other liberal fantasies, Grand Rapids has suffered. There are still a good many solid people living here, but they are not, at this time, the driving force in public policies. Grand Rapids is still a decent place to live and raise kids, in large part, but the cancer of liberalism run rampant is eating away at Grand Rapids’ decency. I do not think Bliss’ video could necessarily be made here today.

  • TrangBang68 July 7, 2022, 6:11 AM

    Dang I must have got some dust in my eye…God bless the heartland…slap a dirty commie bitch for Jesus!

  • Tom Hyland July 7, 2022, 6:57 AM

    A majority of Texans are totally fed up… with everything… and there’s a referendum brewing called TEXIT which could result in this enormous self-sufficient state becoming once again an independent Republic. Yaaa Hooo! https://tnm.me/news/tnm-news/texas-republicans-call-for-texit-vote-with-90-in-favor/

    • ghostsniper July 7, 2022, 8:31 AM

      Though it’s hotter’n hell down there I’d consider moving there if they did that. You know, they could start by “acting” like they are already a whole nuther country in all ways. Cut all the cords to federal everything, become more and more independent. Ignore everything the fedgov says and does. Make the fedgov irrelevant. Make it intolerable for communists to live there, so that they flee. If I’m not mistaken Austin is the capital and very LIEberal. Make that whole city/county an island and treat it like a criminal. Make em suffer.

  • Donn the Draughtsman July 7, 2022, 7:05 AM

    I worked an engineering designer contract in GR from spring 2018 to fall 2019. While the client was one of the best I ever had in 40 years, I hated the city itself. Nearly everyone and every business was dishonest. The directs at the client all were willing to commute from either Lansing or Kalamazoo to avoid having to live in the area because of the problems. I stayed locally because I didn’t like the idea of driving 40 miles each way in lake effect blizzards 2-3 times per week.
    And the crime problem was out of this world, though not at the client, located near the airport(off the bus route. Not as bad as Milwaukee, where I worked a few year earlier. But close.

    • John Venlet July 7, 2022, 7:24 AM

      Donn, you can’t be talking about the same Grand Rapids I’ve lived in the past thirty-eight plus years, or, you were hanging out with the wrong crowd. You make GR sound like inner-city Chicago, and it’s far from that. Though GR has many woke folk, there is still a large contingent of flyover deplorables populating the GR metro area.

  • David Spence July 7, 2022, 7:05 AM
    • Terry July 7, 2022, 9:41 AM

      Thank you David. That is a great video indeed.

  • Dirk July 7, 2022, 9:28 AM

    And I have tears in my eyes. God I love this country.

    So much goodness here.

    Yet I understand it has to be burnt down to save it.

    I understand it’s going to hurt.

    I understand the wrong people are dying.

    I clearly understand this madness is only fixed with brutal violence.

    Violence like these communist here, have never experienced.

    I understand our Klans will need to burn it down again, in a hundred years or so.

  • John Henry July 7, 2022, 10:59 AM

    I’d not watched this for a couple years.

    But when I originally discovered it 7-8 years back I must have watched it 100 times.

    Terrific! Thanks Gerard

  • Mike Seyle July 7, 2022, 11:50 AM

    I don’t know how my wife stayed in the kitchen when I played this. She sang along, but ignored my hoots and hollers. It’s a wonder we’ve remained married for 48 years. In some ways, it’s like a beautiful rose bloom sitting atop a stem of prickly thorns.