Music and Culture

Month in Music (January 2013)

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A review of the month in music.

  • A number of artists became involved in various social justice causes:

Ingrid Michaelson sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with children from Sandy Hook.
Deadmau5 hosted a post-Grammy’s benefit.
Mark Foster of Foster the People helps raise funds for water in Africa.
Peter Gabriel is working on an album for peace in Africa.
Edge of U2 starts a Hurricane Sandy relief fund.

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Finding the beautiful, good and true in music but exposing the bad, ugly and sinful. Read through Day 1 of the series for more information on racial justice and the Christian response.

Both songs today look forward to the day when every tribe, tongue and nation will finally be reconciled. Interestingly, while both songs are not Christian they do borrow heavily from the language of Christianity, in order to express the hope which humanism is unable to provide.

Final thought as we end our journey on songs for racial justice, using the words from our final songs: “The Lord will see us through someday, we’ll walk hand in hand,” under the “one love” of Christ so “give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right; Let’s get together and feel all right.”

Bob Marley – One Love

We Shall Overcome

For additional recources on racial reconciliation, watch the following presentations on the Christian response:

Ken Ham – One Race, One Blood

John Piper – Bloodlines Documentary

John Piper – From Bloodlines to Bloodline Sermon

Finding the beautiful, good and true in music but exposing the bad, ugly and sinful. Read through Day 1 of the series for more information on racial justice and the Christian response.

South African apartheid is the subject of today’s songs, with a single musician speaking out against the regime who killed a South African civil rights leader and a collection of musicians raising funds for anti-apartheid projects.

 

Peter Gabriel – Biko

Artists United Against Apartheid – Sun City

Finding the beautiful, good and true in music but exposing the bad, ugly and sinful. Read through Day 1 of the series for more information on racial justice and the Christian response.

These two songs (each in their own way) express anger towards the injustice of racism as presented by African American men, who intimately experienced racism themselves. (Warning: Fight the Power contains some expletives.)

Michael Jackson – Black or White

Public Enemy – Fight The Power

Mockingbird, Music and Culture, Musicals

In the final scene of the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie, his Grandfather and Wonka fly over the factory as Charlie becomes the candy mogul’s successor. And like any fairytale, it ends with:

Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
Charlie Bucket: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

But is this really happily ever after for Charlie? The journey up to this moment was fraught with difficulty, as Charlie and four other children traversed a candy-laden world filled with the curses and blessings of on eccentric candy man. Unbeknownst to the children, Wonka is able to dole out the rewards or punishments because of the contract that each of the children signed at the beginning of their journey together. So these blessings and curses (to be honest, mostly curses) are not dispensed randomly or erratically by Wonka but are rooted in an agreement, a covenant if you will, that the children made with Wonka.

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