Where are the songs,
the anthems to be sung?
Who is writing the lyrics,
composing the chords?
Where is the music?
Where are the songs?
Pete* gave marchers in Selma
and to millions speaking out,
angry with passions against
the multitudes of political wrongs,
a unifying chorus for all voices raised,
“We Shall Overcome.”
John* forced generations awake
to “Imagine” dreams for human dignity, that must be fulfilled.
Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young
multiplied their versus, singing their visions of change.
Bonded by frustrated despair, they sang out again and again,
giving to righteous politicians lyrics of truth to power.
That was then and this is now,
with a world still living with too much the same.
Times moving faster, disparities widening, racism raising,
reeling, searching for an anthem, trying to find the right song,
with a chorus for all peoples that counts injustice in every land
Finally, a hymn to the travesty of power received, but no majority won.
Who will know what to write for each voice to sing?
Who will see the image of people forgotten, marginalized, standing,
now singing words to be written with no tolerance for wrongs,
verses sung of a new dogma of equality for all,
with health care, education, environment, a holy trinity harmonized?
When will that song, when will that anthem be born?
Composers, whoever and wherever you are,
write those verses of the inequities humanity faces each day.
Create a song of protest, but not to be left out,
lyrics of compassion must also resonate.
Please, you, with the musical skills, do it now.
There has to be a start, there has to be a song.
To all who see, or worse yet live
those disparities caused by greed and power
gather…stand…march and sing with voices challenging and strong!
But wait, I forgot,
there is no new anthem, there still is no song.
*Pete Seeger – “We Shall Overcome” based on a 1901 Gospel Song – used for Labor Unions in the 1940’s and Civil Right’s marches of the 1970’s.
*John Lennon – “Imagine” – written in one morning in 1971.