During the bleakest and most unsettling sinkholes of history, there are often silver linings. In the wake of the latest dark chapter, beautiful incidents of resistance and solidarity have emerged: this photo from Baton Rouge, the peace sign formed by the crowd of protestors last night in Inglewood, the thoughtful and poignant essays written over the last week. Oscar Wilde famously claimed that “discontent is the first sign of progress of a man or nation,” and the protests over the last week will undoubtedly place added pressure on police and government to alter a malignant status quo.
As the “Fuck the Police” tape illustrated, protest rap songs are some of the most powerful that the genre has produced. Boosie’s “Fuck the Police” foreshadowed last weekend’s events in Baton Rouge because his lyrics were rooted in damning truths. But not every great protest song needs to be built off of intensity and rage. Jay Z’s “Spiritual” was one of the most powerful and honest things he’s recorded in the last decade. Louisville sluggers, My Morning Jacket just dropped off one of my favorite songs that I’ve heard from them in years that could soundtrack a peaceful march or a mind narcotically melting.
“Magic Bullet” is a bourbon-doused slab of psychedelic funk, an agnostic prayer for peace and love, and a critique of gun-toting zealots. It’s a modern song in that it’s not filled with utopian ideals, but one girded by the belief that we can do better than this, that the best of us can come together as one, and that saxophones and blistering guitar solos can only help. A song like this isn’t a stretch for a band like My Morning Jacket, who have long blended Marvin Gaye, Prince, James Brown, and Badu with Crazy Horse, Pink Floyd, and Bjork. It’s part of what makes them singular from the rest of guitar bands that emerged in the last decade. It’s a reminder that protest music can come in many forms, but strives for the same peaceful ends.
The band attached a note with the song — see below.
violence is never the answer.
we all need to be a part of the discussion.
part of the solution.
how long will it take before we realize-
we are all the same.
this is not idealistic dreaming.
this is a fact-
we all want only to love and be loved.
to nuture and protect those we love.
hate comes from the illusion that we are separate and cut off from
one another by factors like race and religion but this simply is not true.
it does not matter your race/creed/sexual orientation we are all filled with the same beautiful blood- a mix of old and new generations… past present and future…we are all in there somewhere…in the blood lines together…all of humanity.
a beautiful mix of male and female and all the colors rolled up into this wonderful gift we call life.
a gift that should be celebrated like the beautiful rainbow that it is- not riddled by bullets and cut to pieces spilling and wasting that precious blood.
I don’t pretend to think that a song can fix or change the world instantly, and I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of the political landscape and proper gun control legislation-
BUT if we say nothing then nothing will ever change.
and things have got to change.
so maybe if we all sing out-
if we all speak out- for peace. for equality. for justice. for an end to the violence…then perhaps we can together change the world for the better-
create a world of true peace, love, and acceptance where our differences are celebrated because we realize they are in fact all just shades of the same wondrous human rainbow.
dare to dream. dreams can come true.
no one said it better than Dr. King:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
here is a wish from us to you for peace,love, understanding, and an end to the violence.
we hope you enjoy this song that basically says
there can be a solution…
but none of us can do it alone.
we have to get together.
peace and love,
my morning jacket