The Importance of the Artist in Hard Times

I thought I would write a blog that is of a political theme, due to the recent horrific shooting in Orlando at the gay club last Saturday. It’s no question, just as the 30s, 40s, 60s and 70s and various other decades of the 1900s faced difficulties and national hardships, we in present day find ourselves still struggling with some of the same human rights and violence issues. It is difficult to fill our minds with anything else than the horrific events and sometimes we may even feel guilty focusing on anything but injustices going on, but they should be even more motivation to continue your art, and your music.

It is artists that have helped to bring the world together, the artist that helps people view things from different perspectives and ultimately the artist that helps us get through difficult times. When we deal with aching heartbreak, it can be music that helps us find the strength to go on, when we feel alone, it is music and the lyrics of someone that help us see we are NOT alone, and it can even be music that let’s us express our deepest anger. No matter the hardship, albeit a personal one or a political one, music has our back.

John Lennon helped us see and feel the idea of unity with his “Imagine”, Bob Dylan was/is a huge voice in politics with songs like “Blowing in the Wind”, Sam Cooke gave us strength in knowing that “Change Gonna Come”, Marvin Gaye discussed war and environmental issues in “What’s Going On” and “Mercy Mercy Me”, Sharon Jones did an amazing re-vamp of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Our Land”, and so many other artists have helped us and given us a voice in hard times. As songwriters, we use our music to heal ourselves, it can be a very therapeutic process for many of us. Our music can also be used to heal others, to help them feel heard, and to be the voice of others in difficult personal or political times.

So, I urge you to keep writing and singing even more in these difficult times! It is art and music that will bring us together, or at least bring us joy during hard times. Music and art play such a vital role in healing from the hardships around us. So write on songwriters!

Have you ever written a song that is more political?

What is your opinion of the recent events in the Orlando shooting or the injustices being faced by the gay communities in our country and in the world?

What kind of consoling words do you have for the families and friends who lost their loved ones?

Can you put it in a song?

Some lyrics I had written around the Ferguson case:

We know who’s to blame 

How can they ever make amends? 

Love will see us through 

And changed our very truth
Love will find it’s way back to our hearts

Yes love will see us through!
No matter what we do
Love must find it’s way back into our hearts….

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