Five Songs for Your Post-Election Blues

By pcsanchez7505

I’m not a very political person. I never have been, and doubt I ever will be. I do pay attention (for the most part) during important elections, and I’ve even volunteered at polling places before. I’ve only been old enough to vote in two elections, and I’ve cast my opinion into the sea of democracy each time. The American democracy, that is, is a system, although a precarious one, of checks and balances, or so I thought.

It’s not my intent to get too political, because this is a music column after all. I would like to say, however, that musicians, bands and artists of all kind have a unique voice, especially during times of political upset or confusion. Some musicians make music that reflect on very current and specific issues while others create timeless messages of hope or despair. Now, I’ve never been very political, but I’ve always turned to music to amplify reality or to bring me comfort. With the results of the latest presidential election in mind, here are a few songs, new and old, that I think capture the mood.

1. “Million Dollar Loan” by Death Cab for Cutie

“Million Dollar Loan” is one of 30 songs part of an artist coalition to speak out against the Trump Campaign. The song, released Oct. 10 by Death Cab for Cutie, a Seattle based band, talks about the apparent hypocrisy of Trump’s assertions that he is a “self-made man.” It was the first song in the project 30 Days, 30 Songs. The project featured other artists such as Josh Ritter, Thao Nguyen and Cold War Kids.

2. “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday

In 1939 when Billie Holiday first sang “Strange Fruit,” the bone-chilling subject matter of the lyrics astounded and shocked many. While society has come a long way from the racism and hate seen in 1939, there is still more work to be done.

3. “One Day” by Matisyahu

Matisyahu is one of those rare individuals who seem to transcend the melancholy attitude of many cynics. His humanity and goodness radiates through his music, and during times of despair, his voice rings out as a beacon of light. “One Day” calls upon the individual to make a better world through positive action.

4.”The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” Gil Scott Heron

Honestly, no matter who you voted for, rallied for or supported, this year’s election seemed more like a reality television show than an actual political and democratic exercise. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” released in 1970, is a strong statement and call to action. It is a song that advocates for progress outside of the living room. This song is especially poignant in today’s age where ratings, click bait and social media traffic are all that seem to matter.

5. “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye

No one said it better than Marvin Gaye in “What’s Going On.” Gaye wrote the song in response to brutality seen during anti-war protests, but the message of spreading love and nonviolence is universal. There will always be some sort of dissatisfaction with government, leaders, politics or the “system,” but how we react to it, and in turn how those in power react to us, is the ultimate catalyst for promoting change. It’s not an easy road we’re on, but with the right attitude it can hopefully lead to better things.

Source:: Five Songs for Your Post-Election Blues

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