One of the sheer joys of working with groups over the last year is constantly seeing and hearing things in a new way. Something familiar that we have been listening to for many years may be a powerful political statement or just a pop song, but if you polish your ears and listen to the words, you may be amazed at what you hear.
A classic example is the song that gets into your head and stays there ,usually making you smile, is Gimme Hope Jo’anna by Eddie Grant. When you think of the song , you may feel a positive vibe and even start to dance a little bit. Why not?
But the song itself was incredibly controversial in its day and was banned in South Africa. Grant was, in his own words, a political writer and artist. “I Don’t Wanna Dance can mean that you don’t want to go out on the dancefloor,” he says, “or it could mean that you don’t want to go along with an idea. That’s how I try to write: you take it how you want, but I am basically a writer of protest.”
When you really listen to the lyrics of Gimme Hope you will hear a song about apartheid, injustice, corruption and revolution. You can also hear a positive message of Hope for a country full of possibilities but caught in a maelstrom of negativity.
Just as Eddie Grant is an artist and a protest writer, Dr. Spock was much more than a wise vulcan with polished ears. Leonard Nimoy who played the Doctor is a gifted poet and director who wrote some of the most romantic poetry you will come across, as well as directing Three Men and a Baby. But he was also a singer who made the Ballad of Bilbao Baggins famous even if it was truly awful!
For Nimoy, as well as Grant, people could take them at face value as entertainers or listen and bit more closely and be inspired by ideas and concepts we might not associate with Hollywood. One of Nimoy’s simplest and powerful poems suggest we rethink what happens when relationships end.
If love can be
If love can be withdrawn
It never was
My love for you is not a gift
It is a gift
And just when you think Mr. Nimoy was a poet of beautiful words he pops up as a degenerate old crank shoplifting his breakfast on Bruno Mars “Lazy Song” unoffical vide
Music doesn’t always tell a story, unless its opera or country music, but sometimes we can listen to something for so long that we dont hear it at all, and often miss the very reason it became popular in the first place!
This week, when you drive your car or travel with i pod on or have music on your phone whilst you walk, run or work, and, listen to the lyrics, polish your ears and REALLY LISTEN and see what you discover!
And if you want to make a start, here’s the link to Eddie: