S.O.L. – Use the Power of Lyrical Truth


Kind words and a real good heart

Doesn’t mean you get respect

Kind words and a real good heart

Doesn’t mean you get the best


It doesn’t mean they won’t get brutal

It doesn’t mean they won’t assault you…

Joan Armatrading-Sleight of Hand (1986

Sometimes, songs you hear carry a whole lot more weight than what the words say on the surface.  This didn’t come from me.  This thought came from, well, maybe I should lay it out for you what happened.

Joan was singing when I started out this morning, her song and lyrics at the top of the page.  Listening, I was taken aback by the veracity of what she was crooning.  But that’s nothing new for me; I expect music to inspire one to something other than a booty call.

At work, the FedEx delivery person was arriving, so I asked her about Joan and had she heard of the tune.  Maybe it’s my years-I don’t know why-but I find it hard to judge a person’s age these days, especially women.  Trust me, it’s gotten me into more hot water than a little bit.

Anyway, the young lady-got to find out her name-told me she was just a young thing during Joan’s heyday, but her Mom probably had heard of her.  Feeling primordial, I supposed that was so.  On her way out, she surprised me by saying that songs back then had all sorts of underlying meanings to them.

And she’s right in that artists today are explicit and “put it out there”.  It’s true, but where’s my inspiration, I wonder?  In years past songs did what music has done down through the centuries.  They not only entertained but they also stimulated, challenged, shamed or wheedled society to action on fronts that she hitherto before was skeptical or outright afraid to act upon.

I can’t help but think that today’s musicians are missing a golden opportunity; one that would take their craft to another dimension, where it would then be a catalyst for social change, again.  I mean, there’s a lot of stuff wrong with what’s going on, right?


Absentee-activist Eric Snowden spoke to attendees of SXSW the other day, imploring technophiles to assist in correcting the mistakes of the NSA surveillance program.

The problem is coming from him and the likes of Julian Assange, another festival headliner, such talk is cheap, almost cut-rate mainly because a large portion of the public just won’t listen to the two.  But, if you really want to get people’s attention about the NSA, write some music about it.

Hell, I know there’s a song in there, someplace just waiting to get out.

Source: Joan Armatrading – Kind Words (and A Real Good Heart) lyrics taken from  MetroLyrics; Videos uploaded from YouTube.


Filed under Life and Society, Music, Opinion, Politics and Government

2 responses to “S.O.L. – Use the Power of Lyrical Truth

  1. Or write a book???? You get much more across as a story than a boring history book! (That is of course, if people read!)

  2. You right about that, frankiekay. The joke used to be that if you wanted to hide your valuables, put ’em in a hollowed out book, lol! I’m just into music and have always dug how it could be used as a medium for change, plus it moves us, you know. What types music do you like? me. I’m into jazz mostly but you’ll find anything on my player from rock to R&B to classical to country. Love it all. Hey, thanks for commenting, appreciates that! Holler back, be good…

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