Artistic Voices Fighting Back

With everything going on these past few weeks ( i.e. election stuff bleh) I thought I’d touch on two songs that represent the current thoughts running through many of our minds.

One of the songs focuses on the current fight for women’s rights. No man, or group of men should be able to control or even have an opinion on what a woman can and can’t do with her body, hence the phrase chanted repeatedly at the recent Women’s March, “My Body, My Choice”.

Now is an important time to be speaking out and resisting this oppression. If artists are there to use their platform to fight back it can then inspire and motivate others to do the same.

A few female musicians have taken the artistic route in voicing their opinions on this election. One of the most recent is Fiona Apples “Tiny Hands”, which she released in honor of the Women’s March on Washington. The song is basically a one-line chant looped over a sample of Trumps Access Hollywood tape where we hear him boasting about groping and sexually assaulting women – what a stand up guy am I right?

I suggest giving it a listen.

Another song that has had an impact on many people I know is “Seriously” written by Sara Bareilles and performed by Leslie Odom, Jr..

The song isn’t as much of a protest song as it is a continuous flow of thoughts written from the perspective of President Obama. Sara imagined the election from his eyes and created an incredibly moving and poignant piece of art. Though it isn’t as blunt as “Tiny Hands” and she doesn’t call out Trump directly, she does give him a discreet jab when she refers to a “demagogue” figure.

Here are the lyrics:

Let’s start with hope
I threw it in the middle like a skipping stone
The ripples won, son of a gun
Some would not have thought so
But I stand here Commander in Chief
And I take that seriously 

But along the way
A rogue ripple turned tidal wave
In reaction to what I tried to do 
A rebirth of a nation’s hatred
Red, white and blue
Is black in there too? 

One man
Rewriting the book on bad behavior
Maybe cheats the neighbors
Feels he gets what they pay for
We can’t
Pat him on the back and send him on through
No man’s ignorance will ever be his virtue

Is this the best we can be?

Let’s talk of fear
And why I don’t bring it in here
It’s a dangerous word, it spooks the herd
And we all bleed in the stampede
Fear makes a false friend indeed
And I take it seriously

So hear me now
Before the truth gets drowned out
By a demagogue flexing
A demagogue flexing
He’s history repeating

Am I angry?
You ask am I angry?
And I’m at a loss for words
After all we’ve done
Every battle hard won
Every hair gone gray
In the name of this place
In a history plagued
With incredible mistakes
Still I pledge my allegiance to these
United divided States

Let’s end with “why?”
It’s a question I
Want to ask of us as a populace
Why not take our time or the weight of this story

It’s definitely a powerful song that makes you think and evaluate the situation.

Take a listen:

In short, I haven’t been able to really express in words how this election has made me feel, so music has been a voice in identifying those feelings and thoughts. Between these songs and the peaceful protests it gives us a sense of hope and a feeling that we are all in this together. We are acknowledging this fight and we won’t stop until we get what we deserve, we will not be silenced. No one is giving up just yet, because we are truly stronger together.

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