Friday, July 31, 2020

Racism & Mother Earth's Sickness Revealed In Song Lyrics

Looking at the headlines today and the catastrophic, problematic racial events happening recently in a certain country, it's wise to reflect on some of the lyrics from past music compositions on this topic. Many song lyrics are revealing and unearth truths about the country's past.

There is also the wanton destruction of Mother Earth and despite warnings from those who love this world of ours, they have been left unheeded. Even with the deadly threat of Covid, the shameful thrashing of Earth continues. We have some blue skies these few months (the post before this one) but nothing else has improved earth's morbid climatic conditions.

First things first.

It isn't a sudden phenomenon but a terrible tale that has glued itself in the books of time for a long, long while. History aside, cause I'm no historian, let's just take a peek at extracts of a few songs that have peaked the charts through the years and remembered even today. First, Michael Jackson's :

Black Or White
Michael Jackson (1991)


For gangs, clubs, and nations
Causing grief in human relations
It's a turf war on a global scale
I'd rather hear both sides of the tale

See, it's not about races
Just places, faces
Where your blood comes from
Is where your space is
I've seen the bright get duller
I'm not going to spend my life being a color

Don't tell me you agree with me
When I saw you kicking dirt in my eye
It don't matter if you're black or white...

Black or White: Michael Jackson, obviously aware of what he's trying to explain. Check out his screams...

Now back to our planet being unwell.  It's a stark reminder again, a beautiful song called:

Colors of the Wind
Alan Menken, Stephen Laurence Schwartz (1995)
Sung by lovely Vanessa Williams.

You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew, you never knew 
From the movie: Pocahontas.

Racism, like climate change, has deep roots in many countries. Song lyrics from the US tell tales of woe. Here's a very popular one, about being together by McCartney and Wonder.

Did anyone bother to replay?
Ebony and Ivory
Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder (1982)

Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don't we?

We all know that people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad in ev'ryone
We learn to live, when we learn to give
Each other what we need to survive, together alive

Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord why don't we?
Black and White
Colors of the Wind
Ebony and Ivory
Everything Is Beautiful

Kung Fu Fighting
Gimme Hope Joanna
Half Breed
Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud
Brown Sugar
Living for the City
A Change Is Gonna Come

Tear Apart Hate
Black and White
It's Not Easy Being Green
Birmingham Sunday

These songs listed are only a fraction of those with similar themes. Disharmony with intent is worse than Covid  that will not only destroy humankind but Mother Earth as well.

Bullying a minority race and bullying the planet - headlines today.

It's not easy being green...
People tend to pass you over
Cause you're not standing out
Like splashy sparkles in the water...
(Joe Raposo, Jim Hanson, Muppet Show)

Listen to the songs listed and focus on  the lyrics.



Colours Of The Wind Vanessa Williams.
On animism and Mother Earth.

2 comments:

mattjsltan said...

p.s.
lest we forget... the mere "founding" of colonies is the most overt based of racism..
you know, the absurdity that the original people of those lands were not already the first nations of the lands they "found" . it is said that they were fishermen that was lost at sea during a monsoon or huuricane ..and they FOUND that new found land.

there they cultivated and survived into healthy men women and children..
with their own way of spirituality and innate gift or perharps the guidance and blessings of Our Creator.

then came the white men...
and suddenly every single one of us were educated with how we were made civilized
and educated and converted.

the incas, the mayans, the baianos, the aztecs, the malays, the africans, the cherokee, etc etc etc..

but not many lived to write songs about their being the law of the land beyond even colonialism,etc..

but there are some of the greatest music written of them.. though not directly pointing a finger at racism, but perharps the consequence of racism..

PORGY AND BESS Gershwin and Heyward ... eg"summertime"
SHOWBOAT Kern and Hammerstein II .... eg. "old man river"
...
or even the dramatization of gang warfare

WEST SIDE STORY Bernstein and Sondheim .. ..
if you can pick up the movie of rita moreno, natialie wood, and a list of notable young people..in fact in all these shows all the partakers are superstars, to me.
in the movie rita prelude to America is my all time favorite.
about being whitewashed !.. ..)

Puerto Rico My heart's devotion Let it sink back in the ocean
Always the hurricanes blowing Always the population growing And the money owing
And the sunlight streaming And the natives steaming

For a small fee in America Buying on credit is so nice
One look at us and they charge twice
I'll have my own washing machine What will you have, though, to keep clean?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Matt.
Matt's views are not mine.
But he has been open with them and that's important.