30-Day Song Challenge Encore – Every Damn Day in America

Yea, it makes me wanna holler/And throw up both my hands

Today, I’m letting others speak for me. They’ve been speaking for decades. Maybe at some point, the point of their speaking will no longer be a point. That’s what I hope for.


1987 Sign O the Times, Prince 

In France, a skinny man died of a big disease with a little name . . .

You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin’ you somebody died . . .

. . . And yet we’re sending people to the moon


1985 America, Prince

Little sister making minimum wage

Living in a one-room jungle-monkey cage . . .

Jimmy Nothing never went to school

They made him pledge allegiance

He said it wasn’t cool


1975 Fight the Power, Isley Brothers

I can’t play my music

They say my music’s too loud[1]

I kept talkin about it

I got the big run around

When I rolled with the punches

I got knocked on the ground

With all this bullshit going down


1973 Living for the City, Stevie Wonder

His hair is long, his feet are hard and gritty

He spends his life walkin’ the streets of New York city

He’s almost dead from breathin’ in air pollution

He tried to vote but to him there’s no solution . . .

I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow

And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow

This place is cruel nowhere could be much colder

If we don’t change the world will soon be over


1971 Inner City Blues, Marvin Gaye

Oh, make me wanna holler

And throw up both my hands

Yea, it makes me wanna holler

And throw up both my hands

Crime is increasing

Trigger happy policing

Panic is spreading

God knows where, where we’re heading

Oh, they don’t understand

Make me wanna holler

They don’t understand


1971 What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye

Don’t punish me with brutality

C’mon talk to me

So you can see

What’s going on


1970 Heaven Help Us All, Stevie Wonder

Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day

Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away

Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl

Heaven help us all


1962 Blowin’ In the Wind, Bob Dylan

How many years must some people exist

Before they’re allowed to be free?

And how many times can a man turn his head

And pretend that he just doesn’t see the answer

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind

The answer is blowing in the wind

How many times can a man look up

Before he sees the sky?

How many ears must one person have

Before he can hear people cry?

And how many deaths will it take ’til he knows

That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind

The answer is blowing in the wind


[1]  Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old high school student, was murdered in 2012 following an argument over loud music played by him and his friends.

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